Chocolate swirl cupcakes recipe

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40 min


20 min

Nutrition per portion

Calories 557 kCal 28%
Fat 38g 54%
  -  Saturates 23g 115%

Impress your friends and family with Woman’s Weekly’s stylish chocolate cupcakes decorated with a swirl of delicious chocolate meringue buttercream


  • For the cupcakes:
  • 150g (5oz) butter, softened
  • 150g (5oz) caster sugar
  • 100g (3½oz) self-raising flour
  • 2 level tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Few drops of vanilla extract
  • For the buttercream:
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 250g (8oz) caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Few drops of vanilla extract
  • 300g (10oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g bar dark chocolate, melted (leave to cool, stirring occasionally, until needed in step 9)
  • 12 chocolate shapes/decorations
  • You'll also need:
  • 12-hole bun tray, lined with paper cases
  • Large piping bag fitted with star piping tube tube


  • To make this cupcake recipe, set the oven to gas mark 5 or 190°C.

  • To make the cupcakes: place all the ingredients in a bowl and beat until smooth.

  • Divide the mixture between the paper cases, and bake in the centre of the oven for 15-18 mins, or until the cakes have risen and are just firm to the touch in the centre.

  • Remove cakes from the oven, transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

  • To make the buttercream: Tip the egg whites into a bowl and add the sugar and salt.

  • Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the sugar dissolves completely, and when you put your fingers in the mixture you can’t feel any grains of sugar

  • Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk the mixture, preferably using a table-top mixer, until it becomes a thick meringue and whisk in the vanilla extract.

  • Cut the butter into chunks and whisk it in – the mixture may collapse and go runny, but keep whisking it at full speed and it will combine together to give a fluffy buttercream.

  • Gradually whisk in the melted chocolate.

  • Fill the piping bag with the chocolate buttercream and pipe a swirl onto the top of each cupcake. Press a chocolate shape/decoration into the top of each.

Top tip for making Chocolate swirl cupcakes

Cookery Editor, Sue McMahon, says that she made her chocolate decorations from piping chocolate-flavoured cake covering onto baking parchment and leaving the shapes to set in a cool place before peeling them away from the paper. As an alternative, you could buy ready-made chocolate shapes or scatter over chocolate sprinkles or grated chocolate.

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