Baker Sweet Maker - Shirl Gard
Devil's Food Chocolate Cupcakes
Author: Shirl Gard
The unexpected ingredients in this recipe are the mayonnaise and the instant coffee, both of which help to make the cupcakes extra moist and chocolate-y. This recipe is like an old-fashioned mayonnaise cake, and is one that I have made many times because it is so good. I have used it for sheet cakes, as in Shirl's Brooklyn Blackout Cake, for vintage layer cakes, and for these cupcakes. You just can't go wrong with this recipe.

  • ABOUT 1000g (2# 3 oz) BATTER
  • 200 grams pastry flour (King Arthur) or bleached all-purpose flour (Gold Medal) (1½ cups)
  • 60 grams Dutch-process cocoa powder (Valrhona (1/2 cup + 1½ Tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (6g)
  • 1½ teaspoons instant coffee (Medaglia D'Oro)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 100 grams eggs (2 large)
  • 20 grams egg yolk (1 large)
  • 250 grams granulated sugar (1¼ cups)
  • 170 grams mayonnaise (Hellmann's) (3/4 cup)
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 210 grams water, room temperature (7/8 cup)
  • 1010 grams = Total 35 oz (2# 3 oz)
  1. PREP MUFFIN PANS: Line two standard muffin pans (one 12-cup and one 6-cup) with paper liners (I prefer brown ones for chocolate cupcakes but white ones work also). Have non-stick spray with flour (Pam or Baker's Joy) handy and spray the papers just before filling with batter. This step will make the muffins easy to release from their paper cases.
  2. PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 350° F (175° C).
  3. SIFT flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add instant coffee and salt; whisk to blend.
  4. MIX eggs and egg yolk on low speed in Kitchen Aid (or other stand mixer), using the whisk, until combined. Gradually drizzle in the sugar with mixer running; turn speed to high and continue to whip until thick and pale in color, about 10 minutes.
  5. TURN speed to low and add mayonnaise, a spoonful at a time, with mixer running. Add vanilla.
  6. ADD ⅓ of the flour and pulse in gently on lowest speed.
  7. ADD ½ of the water and mix in.
  8. REPEAT with another ⅓ of the flour and ½ of the water.
  9. FINISH by adding the remaining ⅓ of the flour and mix just until all the flour is incorporated.
  10. STOP the mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and mix in.
  11. NOTE: The batter will be very thin, thin enough to pour into the muffin pans. Transfer batter (in batches) to a 2-cup measuring cup with a spout; this will make pouring easier. Fill each muffin cup to within ⅜" of the top of the muffin paper.
  12. BAKE @ 350° F (175° C) 19-20 minutes, until a wooden skewer tests clean.
  13. LET COOL in the pans for 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
  14. CHILL the cupcakes before frosting. I like to have the cupcakes cold (even frozen) when frosting, especially when using buttercream. If you pipe onto warm cupcakes, the buttercream will melt.
Recipe Ancestry Notes:
Recipe adapted from the " Bouchon Bakery" Cookbook by Thomas Keller with Sebastien Rouxel (2012). .
Recipe by ShirlGard at