Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes, Browned Butter Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes are chocolatier than the standard Southern red velvet cake. But, just as moist and light...And maybe even more delicious when topped with Browned Butter Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.

The recipes are adapted from Southern Living's The Southern Cake Book.


For the Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes:

  • 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips (12-ounce bag of Ghirardelli)
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 2 cups organic light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces of Greek yogurt (or 1 (8-ounce) container of sour cream
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Browned Butter Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 (16-ounce) packages of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 generous teaspoon of cinnamon

For the Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes:

Fill cupcake tins with liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a microwave.

Ninja Note: If microwaving the chocolate: 1. Do cover the bowl with a paper towel so a chocolate volcano does not explode in your microwave. 2. Do stir every 30 seconds or so. (The chocolate should melt within 2 minutes.)

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a hand-held mixer) beat the softened butter and sugar for about 5 minutes. One at a time, add the eggs. Blend in the melted chocolate.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt together. Pour in a third of the dry mixture to the melted chocolate mixture. Stir in some of the Greek yogurt (or sour cream.) Pour in some more of the flour mixture. Add the rest of the yogurt. Add in the remaining flour mixture.

On the mixer’s low speed, stir in the hot water. Blend in the vanilla extract.

Divide the batter into the cupcake cases. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool.

For the Browned Butter Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

Melt the butter in a saucepan, constantly stirring for about 8 minutes. The butter will bubble and transform from golden yellow to deep chestnut. (Do keep stirring to avoid burnt butter and do-overs.) Pour the browned butter into a large bowl. Cover with cellophane. Refrigerate for one hour.

Empty the softened cream cheese on top of the hardened butter. Beat with a mixer until combined. Slowly pour in the powdered sugar. Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon.

Fill pastry bags with the Browned Butter Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and pipe onto the cooled  Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes.