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Devil's Food Cupcakes Recipe from Zoë François of Zoë Bakes

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

This Devil's Food Cake from Zoe Bakes Cakes is the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever tried and believe me, over the past 20+ years, I've tried them all. The dark chocolate cake has a texture that is smooth and rich. The flavor is not overly sweet, because of the intensity of the coffee (you don't actually taste the coffee, it just cuts the sweet) and the rum (the Devil in "Devil's Food cupcakes" perhaps?), which make it a great match for cream cheese frosting sweetened with Lyle's Golden Syrup (honey works, too, if you're in a pinch).
Course: Desserts
Servings: 12 in a large muffin tin


Devil's Food Cupcakes

  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (50g) Cocoa Powder (It doesn't seem to make a difference if you use natural or Dutch-processed), sift if lumpy
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) hot coffee
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1 1/2 pounds (680g) package of Philly's Cream Cheese (I am really brand loyal, having tried lots!), softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (330g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract optional
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 5 cups (600g) confectioner's sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Lyle's Golden Syrup use honey if you are in a pinch


  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare 1 dozen large muffin tins with Paper Baking Cups (or two 9-inch rounds).
  • Combine all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and whisk until combined, set aside.
  • Whisk together, eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla until well combined. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk, while slowly adding the coffee and rum to the batter and whisk until totally blended and smooth, about 2 minutes. The batter will be quite runny.
  • Fill a measuring cup or pitcher with the batter and then fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full. 
  • Bake the devil's food cupcakes for about 18-20 minutes (about 25-30 for 9-inch rounds) or until a tester comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool on a cake rack and then frost with cream cheese icing (recipe follows).
  • Cream Cheese Icing: Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and cream together until smooth. I used a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip to decorate these devil's food cupcakes. You may want to double the icing recipe just in case you find yourself dipping into the bowl with a spoon!


*You can also make this in a standard size muffin tin and it will result in about 18 cupcakes, rather than 12 in the large muffin tin.