Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day recipe? Then look no further than these cupcakes, adapted from a recipe provided by DC’s own Georgetown Cupcake.

One of the most well known bakeries in DC, Georgetown Cupcake is one of those places that always has a line out the door, rain or shine. I like their cupcakes because of the cake, which has a rich flavor and a moist, tender crumb.  This is a change of pace in the cupcake world, where pillowy buttercream tends to overshadow the cake that it sits on.

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This recipe lives up to the reputation of Georgetown Cupcake.  Thanks to the cocoa powder in the batter, the cupcakes have a deep chocolate flavor.  The icing is the perfect contrast, fluffy but not overly sweet. Topped with coconut flakes, it’s the perfect treat to share with any chocolate lover.

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

For the cupcakes (adapted from this Georgetown Cupcake recipe via Martha Stewart)

  • 1 1/4 cup flour sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

For the icing (adapted from this recipe)

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • coconut flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 muffin pans with muffin cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla extract.
  4. In the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add softened butter and sugar and beat on medium until creamy, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the eggs, stirring after each addition.
  5. Starting with the dry ingredients, adding about a third into the bowl and mix until combined.  Add half the milk mixture and stir again.  Continue alternating the dry ingredients and milk until everything is well combined.  Add the cocoa powder and stir.
  6. Pour mixture into the 12 muffin cups.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcake comes out clean.
  7. Remove cupcakes from the pan after 5 minutes and let cool completely.
  8. For the icing, combine softened butter and confectioners sugar in a stand mixer and stir on low speed.  Add the milk,  vanilla, and pinch of salt.  Increase speed to 2-3 and beat until creamy.
  9. Using a spatula, spread icing on cooled cupcakes (make sure that they are fully cooled or the icing will melt).  This recipe provides a light spread of icing, so double it if you’d like more. Top with coconut flakes, if desired.

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