Anything But Basic Chocolate Cake

I always say I'm not a chocolate fan.  And I'm really not...but I do like this cake.  It's fluffy and moist and even Sherród, who also doesn't like chocolate, loved it.  It's a classic recipe and goes well with almost any kind of frosting.  Shown above, we got three different cupcakes out of this one batter: double chocolate using our ***Flawless Chocolate Frosting, S'mores, and Salted Caramel and Coconut.  All we did is change the frostings and voila... people think we're extra fancy and spent hours in a kitchen.  And as far as I'm concerned, they are more than welcome to think that.

Yields 24 cupcakes.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 1/2 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon granulated instant coffee


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare cupcake tins by placing paper liners in each cup.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, pudding mix, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine softened butter, vegetable oil, and granulated sugar in the bowl an of electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on medium speed until the mixture is light in color and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and beat for an additional 30 seconds.
  4. On a low speed, beat in eggs one at a time until well combined.  Next, add cooled melted chocolate and mix on low until well incorporated.
  5. Dissolve instant coffee into milk and set aside.
  6. Add about 1/2 of the dry mixture to bowl of the mixer and mix on low speed until dry ingredients are absorbed and add 1/2 of the milk mixture and continue to mix.  Repeat with remaining flour and milk mixtures.
  7. Divide the batter evenly into 24 standard cupcake cavities.  Each cup should be filled about 2/3 full.
  8. Bake between 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  9. Remove from pan and let cool completely before icing.