Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

My friend Alex wants chocolate raspberry cake for her wedding – not a chocolate cake with raspberry filling, but a literal chocolate with raspberry flavoring in the batter.  Several bakers have told her this isn’t possible, so I decided to prove them otherwise.

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes


10 tablespoons butter, slightly softened

1 ¼ cups sugar

4 eggs

¼ teaspoon almond extract

2-3 teaspoons raspberry extract (depending on your preference)

1 ½ cups flour

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup milk minus about 2 teaspoons (depending on how much raspberry extract you use)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two muffin tins with paper liners.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Mix in eggs, almond extract, and raspberry extract.

Add flour mixture alternatively with milk, beating until just combined.

Using a cookie scoop for even portions, scoop batter into muffin tins.

Bake 20-25 minutes, until tops spring back when lightly pressed.

Cool on a wire rack.

Vanilla Buttercream


1 cup butter, softened

3 to 3 ¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted

¼ teaspoon salt

1 to 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk


Place butter in a mixing bowl and beat for a few minutes using the paddle attachment.

Add 3 cups powdered sugar.  With your mixer on low, incorporate the powdered sugar into the butter.  (Hint: I find that placing a kitchen towel over the mixer during this stage prevents a powdered sugar blizzard.)

Increase speed and add 1 tablespoon vanilla, salt, and milk.

Beat for 3 minutes, then taste.  If you’d like a stronger vanilla flavor, add the second tablespoon of vanilla, along with the additional ¼ cup of powdered sugar.  Beat until combined.

For thinner buttercream, add additional milk, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.