Chocolate Velvet Cake or Muffins Recipe


Chocolate Velvet Cake or Muffins

  • Servings: 1 cake or about 16 muffins
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Chocolate cupcakes ready to serve


  • 2c cake flour
  • 1c white sugar
  • 6T cocoa powder
  • 1t baking soda
  • ½t salt
  • 1c oil
  • ¼c strong coffee, made from 2T prepared ground coffee or 4t of instant coffee
  • 4T butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1c buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • 3t white or red wine vinegar

Optional to serve:

  • Chocolate icing (see recipe below); or
  • Icing sugar to sprinkle over; and/or
  • Cream or icecream; and/or
  • Fresh berries

Chocolate icing ingredients

  • 100g butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ – 2c icing sugar
  • 2 – 3T cocoa powder
  • 1T strong coffee


Preheat oven to 180°C. If you are using real coffee, make it now using only about half a cup of boiling water (you will actually only use a quarter cup but it’s easier to make half), then leave it to get nice and strong. If you only have instant coffee, dissolve that in about a quarter cup of boiling water.

If you’re using cake tins, it’s a good idea to grease them and line the bases with greaseproof or baking paper. If you’re using cupcake or muffin pans, grease each one with butter or oil or use muffin cases.

Measure the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt into a big bowl, and mix it all up well.

Now add the room-temperature butter and the oil, then beat with an electric beater. At first you will just have a mass of crumbs (hopefully flying around the big bowl rather than around your kitchen). Add your coffee now too, which makes the mix moister and helps to pull it together.

If you keep going, it usually comes together to form a thick mixture. If it still doesn’t come together after a minute or so (this depends on the flour, amongst other things), add some of the egg mixture from the next step.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and vinegar – you should end up with a fairly smooth mix. Pour about a quarter of it into the flour mix and beat it for a few seconds, then the next quarter and beat, and so on until it’s all added and mixed in.

Divide the mix between your cake or muffin pans, filling the muffin pans about ¾ full. This mixture doesn’t rise too much as it’s quite dense, but it does need some room. Bake until you put in a skewer and it comes out clean. The muffins take about 20 minutes and a cake should take around 30 minutes, but start testing five minutes before, and then every few minutes after the time.

When they’re ready, remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan.

If you are making chocolate icing, beat the butter until it’s soft and fluffy, then add the icing sugar half a cup at a time. Taste after adding 1½ cups and if you want more sweetness, add the rest of the icing sugar. When it’s incorporated, add the cocoa, again starting with 2T and tasting to see how strong it is before adding the rest. Finally beat in the coffee.

When the cake is completely cool, either simply sieve icing over or ice with chocolate icing before serving.


© Alexandra Lawrence and Inspired Nourishment, 2014


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