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Dark Chocolate Orange Cupcakes Recipe
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5 from 2 votes

Dark Chocolate Orange Cupcakes Recipe

These cupcakes are so intense in flavors! Fluffy dark chocolate cupcakes frosted with tangy-sweet orange buttercream. Easy to make. With video.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dark chocolate orange cupcakes
Servings: 14 - 15 cupcakes
Calories: 398kcal



  • cup all-purpose flour (80g)
  • cup dutch-processed cocoa powder (40g)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup granulated white sugar (150g)
  • ½ cup oil (120ml)
  • 1 vanilla bean* (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • ½ cup buttermilk (120ml)


  • 1 ¼ cups freshly squeezed orange juice (300ml - about 4 fist-sized oranges)
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature (226g)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (240g)
  • 1 vanilla bean* (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with about 14-15 cupcake liners (this recipe yields 14-15 cupcakes - I got 15 cupcakes). Set aside.
  • Cupcakes: Stir flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl to combine. Set aside. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat egg and sugar until creamy for about 2 minutes. Add oil and vanilla* and mix on low speed until combined. Alternately add dry ingredients and buttermilk to the batter and mix on low speed just until combined. Begin and end with dry ingredients. Spoon batter into the liners and fill max. ⅔ full that your cupcakes don't sink or spill over the sides. Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick centered in the middle comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature before frosting.
  • Over medium-high heat, in a medium saucepan, whisk together orange juice and sugar and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes until it has thickened up and reduced by ½. It should look like syrup. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. It will thicken as it cools.**
  • Frosting: In a large mixing bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, mix butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until combined. Stir in cooked orange syrup until fully combined. Pipe or spread frosting on top of cooled cupcakes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days. 



*First, cut off the straight end of the vanilla bean. Then place the tip of your knife below the curled end and cut the vanilla bean through the middle of the bean lengthwise with a sharp knife. Although you don't need to cut it all the way through, it's ok when you do so. Then open the vanilla bean and scrape out the flavorful seeds with the back of your knife. Just use the seeds.

**The texture of the cooled orange syrup should be like honey or caramel syrup. If you accidentally overcook the syrup and it is too firm then add freshly squeezed orange juice little by little and stir to combine. Add as much as needed to reach a honey-like consistency.


Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 157mg | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 485IU | Vitamin C: 11.1mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 0.7mg