Cupcakes/ Dessert/ Recipes

Buttermilk Chocolate Cupcakes


So, the party was a success but I don’t even want to tell y’all what I ate last night. Let’s just say I feel like a major greaseball right now and just want to eat lettuce leaves for the rest of the week.

Oh right, I’m going to Texas on Wednesday morning. Well, lettuce leaves until then…..perhaps.

Okay fine—I’ll tell you. It was Rocky’s final wish for us all to make In-N-Out burgers at the house together. He found the recipe online and so we bought all the ingredients to make the burgers, the sauce, the fries….the whole deal. Now, I’ve never actually BEEN to In-N-Out but honestly, I have no real desire to go after last night. The burgers were just sorta…..greasy. I woke up in the middle of the night with a killer stomach ache and am still not feelin’ so hot today.

The cupcakes, on the other hand, were a smashing success!

I gave you the recipe for the buttercream yesterday so today we shall bake cupcakes! Seriously, these are so incredibly simple to throw together and they are some of the best tasting chocolate cupcakes I’ve had.

Here’s what you need for success:

First, whisk together a cup of buttermilk, two teaspoons of vanilla extract, a third cup of oil and three fourths cup of sugar together in a large bowl.

Perfect. Now in another bowl, combine a third cup of cocoa powder, a cup of flour, half a teaspoon of baking powder, a pinch of salt and three fourths of a teaspoon of baking soda. You really should sift this but…..I didn’t.

Now, add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk everything together.

MMMmmm just look at that cake batter goodness. I know we’re making cupcakes right now, but you could also just pour the batter into a cake pan and make a cake instead. I’ve done that. Just double the recipe, pour into two nine inch cake rounds, bake and then put the buttercream frosting in between the layers and on top. It’s the perfect chocolate birthday cake!

But, today we are making cupcakes.

Bake the beauties at 350 for about twenty minutes, or until they are light and springy.

While they cool, make (or re-whip) your frosting.

And there ya there ya go!

Buttermilk Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes about 12

1 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt (I didn’t sift when I made these yesterday but you really should!). Add the dry to the wet and bake cupcakes at 350 for 20 minutes or until they spring back when lightly touched.

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  • Katelynn
    August 29, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Hi Jenna, Those cupcakes look simple and delicious. I just got back from Northern Cal for the first time. Now, I see how you fell in love with it so fast. I got to see your Sonoma as we drove to Napa. Breath-taking!

  • kate
    August 29, 2010 at 11:58 am


  • kate
    August 29, 2010 at 11:58 am


  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat)
    August 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    If you made cake, you could eat the whole pan as one portion! No need to go back for seconds πŸ™‚

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write
    August 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I agree with Allie.
    I want the whole cake. My husband would likely agree.
    I’m with you about lettuce leaves for the rest of the week. I ate FIVE of the cookies I made Friday night. Between my hubs and I, there’s only one left. :-/

  • Brooke - One Healthy Cookie
    August 29, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Yum, yum, yum! Those babies look sooo good. I can’t wait to see your adventures in Texas. I’m from Dallas and went to UT. πŸ™‚

  • Lindsay
    August 29, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Just catching up on posts. Love the new look! The site looks really good…

  • Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman
    August 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Mmmm, mmmmm Good! Love chocolate cupcakes with butter cream frosting. I just made some chocolate chocolate chip cake from scratch for my daughter’s 4th bday….I think I’ll eat a piece of it now that I’ve just read your post:)

  • Sana
    August 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I feel like men can digest burgers better than females.

  • Tiffany
    August 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    the cupcakes look amazing! I can’t wait to try making them myself.

    And, do try In-N-Out. I love it and I don’t feel like they’re too greasy at all, especially compared to other places.

  • sirenjess
    August 29, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Those look so good…I’m going to have to make them. How moist were they?

    • jenna
      August 29, 2010 at 12:52 pm

      Very moist! The buttermilk really works nicely in keeping the ‘cakes super light and moist.

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat)
    August 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Being from California, I have to say that In N Out is good but definitely greasy. It’s something you have to eat after a night of drinking. (Perfect hangover food seriously.) Otherwise it totally leaves you feeling greasy and gross.

    Those cupcakes on the other hand, YUM!

  • Jaclyn
    August 29, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Mmmm, looks delish! I love how those two mysteriously disappeared… ;P

  • Angharad
    August 29, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I kind of love In-N-Out burgers but I’m not sure I’d ever want to try and recreate them. A greasy hot mess is what I’m imagining! Bet the boys loved em though.

    Cupcakes = beauties. It’s amazing how much prettier and more appetizing they look frosted like that rather than just with the back of a knife. Lovely!

  • Little Bookworm
    August 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Those cupcakes look amazing! πŸ™‚

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner?
    August 29, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    This is definitely bookmarked to be my first chocolate cupcake to make once my oven is fixed. My oven is broken and I’m so sad about it… I want to make these NOW!

  • Samantha @ Food Edu
    August 29, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Beautiful cupcakes! I have to tell you though–I love In & Out!

  • Heather
    August 29, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    i really LOVE in-n-out burger…but then again i’ve only been in texas and colorado my entire life, so it was always a special treat. the cupcakes though…they look slap yo’ mama good! πŸ™‚

  • Stacey
    August 29, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Only you would have an actual cupcake box. πŸ™‚

  • Stacey (The Habit of Healthy)
    August 29, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    They look great. Anything with chocolate in is fine by me! πŸ˜‰

  • Coley
    August 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    You’re so adorable, Jenna! I love the box with the cupcake ribbon… so cute!

  • Jen H
    August 29, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    These look amazing! Do you think they would work with soy milk?

  • Rachael
    August 29, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Cupcakes as future-in-law bribery tools? Check. Your recipe might make my weekend all the better!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    August 29, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Those look divine!

  • Mom
    August 29, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Do you remember your “No Guilt Chocolate Cake”? Yummy!! Would you mind printing that recipe for me?

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl))
    August 29, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I’m glad my boyfriend doesn’t read your blog, because what you said about In-N-Out is basically blasphemous to him as a California native.. I actually really like In-n-Out, esp compared to other burger joints, so I’d agree with the other commentator who said you should try it again at a real storefront.

    Ok, I’m off my In-N-Out soapbox.;-) THose cupcakes look scrumptious!

  • Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl
    August 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Can I just say that it’s super cute that your mom comments on your blog! My mom does too on mine and I love it!

    Annnnd I’m super impressed with all of the pictures you take one handed! I think I have photography ADD and mine always end up super blurry unless I have both hands on deck πŸ™‚

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef
    August 29, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    oh yum. these look super easy & delish.

  • hippierunner
    August 29, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    As a vegetarian, I love In n Out grilled cheeses! A nice guilty pleasure! Lol just like those scrumptious looking cupcakes you made!

  • Tay
    August 29, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Oh girl, you really should try In N Out!! I LOVED it before I gave up red meat. And most people find that it tastes “healthier” and not nearly as greasy as other fast food places.

  • eatmovelove
    August 29, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    The only time I heard of In N Out was in the movie “Harold & Kumar” – when they go on a quest for the burgers and a series of misadventures ensues…

    Those cupcakes look too pretty to eat…almost ;).

    How long does it actually take you to prepare them?? Because you have to stop and take pictures in between!!! Seriously, I wanna know…;)

  • Caitlin
    August 29, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Was that the recipe on Serious Eats that was for a Double-Double Animal Style? I read that one, but animal style means extra masculine and greasy. I prefer their regular hamburgers because they taste (and are) much lighter and fresher.

    But really I think the best part of In-n-Out is the milkshake.

  • Katherine
    August 29, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Cupcakes look great and you cannot live in CA and NOT go to in and out. When you order from the restaurant the food is not greasy at all (or I should say, substantially less greasy than other burger joints). You also can order your burger with lettuce wrap instead of the bun. Also, the sauce is good but it does make it greasy because its 1000 island. Do give In & Out another chance!

  • Tina
    August 29, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I went out for my friend’s bachelorette party last night (where a body shot from my pregnant belly was involved, but that’s a story for the blog LOL) and we had some greasy eats too. I had the worst stomach ache in the middle of the night. Sweets somehow don’t do that to me though. I’ve still managed to nibble a few Oreo truffles today. πŸ˜‰

  • Kim@BudgetOrganicLiving
    August 29, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    You had me at Green and Blacks!

  • Ella
    August 29, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    OK I have to join the chorus about In-N-Out – give it a try! I think it’s excellent *for fast food* (<— important caveat) and not greasy. My husband is a Cali native and loves the chain, it's our first stop off the airplane when we visit his family…

  • Candice
    August 29, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Super cute packaging – these look delicious!

  • marisa @ vinyasa mama
    August 29, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    how, oh how, do you lived in california but havent had and In-N-Out burger yet???

  • marisa @ vinyasa mama
    August 29, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    woops, that should have read “live” (not lived). sorry!

  • Marie
    August 29, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Thank youuuuu.

  • Sarah @ BikingNBaking
    August 29, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Yum! This post inspired me to make some cupcakes as a welcome home! Linked you on my blog as inspiration, I hope thats alright, but if not let me know and I can change it!

  • Krystina
    August 29, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    I love the way you presented those in that cute box. Totally adorable.

  • Lizz @ Leading the Good Life
    August 29, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! They look delicious…and adorable all packed up like that!

  • Laura (Starloz)
    August 29, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    someone else said it but i’ll say it again.

    Only you would have a cupcake box & adorable ribbon!

  • Tasha
    August 29, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Aww I never comment, but you need to try In-n-Out at the actual store. Yeah the animal style stuff can be a bit greasy, but they make some pretty darn good burgers for a fastfood chain. And you CANNOT ever move out of California and not try it (if you ever do that is)

  • Tasha
    August 29, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Aww I never comment, but you need to try In-n-Out at the actual store. Yeah the animal style stuff can be a bit greasy, but they make some pretty darn good burgers for a fastfood chain. And you CANNOT ever move out of California and not try it (if you ever do that is)

  • vivian
    August 29, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    I worked at In-n-out for 3yrs and I have to say the grilled cheese animal style is the best.You are not a true California girl until you have had In-n-out.Btw you should go just to see how hard the workers there work.

  • The Cilantropist
    August 30, 2010 at 12:19 am

    LOVE that cute cupcake ribbon! These look fabulous, and I have no doubt they tasted wonderful, I adore buttercream. πŸ™‚

  • The Cilantropist
    August 30, 2010 at 12:21 am

    So one more comment; I think I got distracted by these awesome cupcakes and somehow failed to notice that you mentioned In-n-Out bc OMG you definitely need to go there. Forget that burger you made at home, the burgers from there are awesome, and I am a pretty picky burger gal. Please go. Please. Or, maybe I can go and eat one for you. πŸ™‚

  • Jamie
    August 30, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Go to In n Out! Do it. Now.

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    August 30, 2010 at 4:32 am

    The cupcakes? Divine. I love chocolate and these look positively perfect. Especially with that whippy buttercream hat on top. Mmm… πŸ˜€

  • amanda
    August 30, 2010 at 4:34 am

    Wow, those cupcakes look and sound delicious. BTW, I have had In & Out burger before and thought they were okay. I am surprised you haven’t had them since you are out in California. If you want a good burger (fast foodwise) I would suggest 5 guys. However, it is very greasy but they use fresh topping items

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    August 30, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Wow, do those look fantastic! Chocolate and buttercream are a match made in heaven. Yum.


  • Lauren at KeepItSweet
    August 30, 2010 at 5:25 am

    i love your cupcake box, so cute!

  • Maura
    August 30, 2010 at 5:38 am

    I wish I could get my frosting to look like that! Mine ALWAYS looks like a mess lol

  • MyThy as in "Mighty"
    August 30, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Ohh those cupcakes look so good. I’m still afraid of working with buttercream frosting though (as I don’t have a hand/standup mixer!). Any suggestions?

    Homemmade In N’ Out? Sorry, but not the real thing. You mentioned burgers & Champagne as #6 as some of your favorite things…def must try the real thing. Get a regular cheese hamburger and fries (or hamburger w/ grill onions for me and animal style fries–I’d rather save the cheese for the fries!) w/ a shake, and its a great post long-run fuel!

    I grew up In N’ Out but I’ve discovered The Counter Burgers which is great for BYO (build your own) and the options for parmesan fries/sweet potato fries/or onion frings. Five guys burgers…while Obama may like them, is just TOO greasy. But their cajun fries are good…if you eat only a handful of them then its a just a salt lick!

  • Jessica@tastyandtrim
    August 30, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Your desserts always look absolutely perfect! But despite their stunning appearance, I would still devour those cupcakes instantly, yum πŸ™‚

  • Joane
    August 30, 2010 at 6:17 am

    I really want to try these ASAP!! They look great!

  • Andrea
    August 30, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Why do I want to put that buttercream frosting on top of my oatmeal right now???

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    August 30, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Haha, I think this may be the first time I’ve ever disagreed with your food preferences…I LOVE In N’Out burger! It’s the freshest fast food I’ve ever eaten. It’s certainly not healthy, though, and that’s why I only eat it once or twice a year.

    Thank you for sharing that amazing cupcake recipe! I have a birthday coming up, and I may just be baking myself these as a present to myself.

    Best of luck to Rocky!

  • Jackie
    August 30, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I have a feeling that homemade In N Out and ACTUALLY In N Out are a little different from one another. You should really try the actual thing. Did you know In N Out has a secret menu? Google it. Animal fries are the way to go.

  • Amber K
    August 30, 2010 at 9:13 am

    My stomach can not handle the grease! You think that would be a good thing, because I would never eat anything greasy. Unfortunately, I have given in before. My stomach always burns for about the next five days, and yet why do I never remember that part?

  • kiera
    September 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    first off thank you so much for this recipe! i was having a hankering for baking and decided to try these out – with one change. As I started the baking (oven already heated, most of the ingredients together) I realized I must have used all my vanilla extract just before I moved! bah! so I had to improvise. and it was genius. I replaced the vanilla extract with some (don’t ask why I had this) peppermint extract! the cupcakes taste like thin mints! so wonderful.

  • Lauren
    September 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Goodness, there just aren’t enough hours in the day! I can’t wait to try these – especially that buttercream. I TOTALLY agree with you that whipped cream is a favorite dessert. πŸ™‚

    Regarding In-N-Out…I really encourage you to try the real thing. Their burgers are NOT greasy, everything tastes so fresh and delicious! I know you will like the real thing. But as you say, in moderation of course. Probably not along with an entire night of heavy foods. πŸ™‚

  • Lauren
    September 9, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Hi Jenna! I took the plunge and tried these wonderful cupcakes and buttercream frosting last night, and let’s just say I’ll be trying round 2 again soon. LOL. First disclaimer: I live in Colorado Springs, so I’m at high altitude (7141 ft. to be exact at my house). The cupcakes tasted great – just like you say not too sweet – but I used cupcake wrappers and they stuck when I tried to peel them off, they sunk like rocks in the middle, were dry (oh, and I may have over cooked them slightly.) LOL. Any suggestions? I will have to experiment w/ some high altitude adjustments. One question – I realized as I was preparing the batter that there are no eggs in this recipe. Is that because of the buttermilk? The buttercream tasted great but I wasn’t sure about the consistency. It seemed a little heavy and not super light like I had imagined. I wonder if I let the meringue “sit” for too long while I was waiting for the syrup to come to temp? Anyway, I will try again. Thanks for fun recipes and posts to read every day! πŸ™‚

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  • Kristin
    October 8, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I need to make cupcakes for a friend’s bday. Can I use lower fat buttermilk you think?

    • jenna
      October 8, 2010 at 9:28 am

      The only buttermilk I’ve ever seen has been low fat buttermilk πŸ™‚

      • Kristin
        October 8, 2010 at 9:45 am


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  • Shannon
    November 13, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I just made these, topped with cream cheese frosting. Very good!!

  • Carly
    January 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    I just made these and they are AMAZING! I love them! Thank you for the recipe!!

  • Shivani
    March 15, 2011 at 6:04 am

    Jenna, I just wanted to tell you – I made these last night with a peanut butter buttercream (2/3 cup peanut butter [I used chunky because that’s all we had and blended it to smooth it out a bit, but the peanut flecks left gave a wonderful texture], 1 stick of butter, 3/4 cup confectioners sugar), and they were absolutely heavenly – perfectly moist, perfectly chewy, perfectly delicious. I was dreaming about them all night.

    Also, I didn’t have buttermilk at home, but a friend suggested mixing a cup of milk with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and letting it stand for 15 minutes – worked like a charm!

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    March 24, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Wow, this recipe does not require a mixer?! Only a whisk? Amazing. Definitely trying this recipe out. πŸ™‚

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    This recipe was a complete success and SO easy to put together!! When I was mixing all the ingredients I noticed that there was no egg in the mix and I started to get worried, but to my delight these turned out very moist and with a strong chocolate flavor – just what I needed for my Saturday afternoon cravings. Thanks!!

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    I made these cupcakes yesterday and they are the best I have ever made. I couldn’t ice them though as they were all gone. Best recipe ever

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  • Stephanie
    January 21, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I am planning on making these this weekend for a party. Is there a reason you used vegetable oil? I usually don’t cook with it, so I was wondering if you have made these with butter before instead? Or even coconut oil?