Brooklyn Blackout cupcakes - these are my very best and very much exhausted take on the Brooklyn Blackout cake.
What is a Brooklyn Blackout Cake (BBC from here on out), you ask?
Yeah tons of people have asked me. BBC is a chocolate cake with chocolate pudding filling, topped with chocolate fudge frosting, and originally cake crumbs. The cake was invented by a bakery called Ebingers out of Brooklyn during WWII. The cake was named blackout in support and recognition of the blackouts occuring at that time to protect the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
How's that for a f'ing history lesson??
Anyhow, Ebingers is closed, but the cake lives on and it probably most popular via Ovenly - a bakeshop out of Brooklyn. They make a gloriously tall BBC using black cocoa powder (that you can buy here) and a salted chocolate pudding. There are recipes everywhere...and the pudding is absolutely the one you have to use. The cake recipe I initially found, on the other hand, I have some issues there.
Quick and dirty on how I came up with my Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes.
I know nobody really gives a shit and you all just want the recipe, so I will keep this quick and dirty, only because I feel like I should talk about how I came to this cake recipe after trying a few.
The recipe I originally used from Gather Journal I DID NOT like AT ALL. The batter was way too runny and the cake baked up flate and incredibly dense. It called for an entire cup of coffee which...just...no. Everybody who tried it agreed, cake recipe needed improvement. One good thing out of this thoug - I was definitely using black cocoa powder. I liked the look it gave and the texture of it.
So onto the second cake recipe is from Bon Appetit. They also did a Blackout cake using the salted chocolate pudding recipe from Ovenly (I am telling you right now don't bother with any other filling in this). The cake recipe was dry AF and lacked rich chocolate flavor to me. I felt like it was missing the coffee the first recipe had, just needed less of it or something.
Best one and the one you are getting. My go-to, chocolate cake recipe from all the way back when I managed that cupcake shop. Which also led me to...turning these into cupcakes! F'ing genius I am, right?
This cake recipe is quick, simple and always works. I subbed black cocoa powder for the dutched cocoa powder. And boom. Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes were born.
Last word...the frosting
I promise this is it. Real quick on the frosting. So the Ovenly recipe uses a Dark Chocolate Pudding Buttercream which is absolutely amazing, but I am a total sucker for sour cream chocolate frosting. And after trying once with the Ovenly frosting, and once with the sour cream, I like the sour cream frosting (from Bon Appetit) better with this...so that's the recipe you're getting. It has a perfect texture and and I love the tang it gives every bite.
Also fair warning this is a lot of waork...alot of recipes blah blah blah. I recipe tested this for my husband's birthday, Valentine's Day and a couple parties because it is a lot of f'ing work. Everytime though, everybody loved it, even the ones I didn't think were perfect. You will enjoy the shit out of this.
Brooklyn blackout cupcakes
- 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon black cocoa powder you can use regular if you don't have this
- ½ cups strong hot coffee
- 2 cups flour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup oil
- 4 eggs
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Salted dark chocolate pudding recipe (taken directly from Ovenly's recipe)
- 2 cups whole milk divided
- 2 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped (preferably 60-70%)
- 3 tablespoons of black cocoa powder use regular if you don't have it
- teaspoonvanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
Chocolate sour cream frosting (taken directly from Bon Appetit)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons golden syrup such as Lyle’s Golden Syrup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
- ¾ cup sour cream at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 350. Place chocolate and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Pour hot coffee over chocolate and cocoa podwer and whisk until smooth. Cool this completely.
- Whisk flour, sugar, salt and baking soda together. In a third bowl, whisk eggs, vinegar, oil, sour cream and vanilla together.
- Add the egg mixture to the cooled chocolate/coffee mixture and whisk well. Add the dry to the wet and whisk to incorporate. Divide into lined cupcake pans and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes - maybe a touch longer. Cool completely.
- When cooled using a small knife or an apple corer if you have, cut out a small hole in the center of the cupcake - this is where you will pipe in the pudding.
For the pudding
- In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ cup milk and cornstarch until smooth. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 1¾ cups milk, sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Heat over medium-low heat, whisking, until chocolate is melted. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture until fully incorporated. Reduce the heat to low, and continue to stir briskly with a wooden spoon or a heatproof spatula. The mixture will come to a simmer and slowly begin to thicken. Continue to cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pudding coats the back of the spoon and slowly drips off. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cover with waxed paper directly on the surface. Chill until nice and cold in the fridge.
For the frosting
- Bring cream, syrup, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate, sour cream, and butter. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until chocolate and butter are melted and mixture is smooth and no streaks of white remain. Transfer to a medium bowl. Let frosting sit at room temperature, stirring every every once in a while. The frosting will look gross at first, but don't freak out - it will thicken and become shiny and spreadable in like an hour or so. Kepp stirring until smooth. It should be the consistency of sour cream; if not, chill another 5 minutes and stir.
- Place pudding in a piping bag. Pipe the pudding into the holes of the cupcakes. Let chill i nfridge for an hour.
- Place the frosting in a piping bag - or not, you can just spread it on top, but it is a bit sofft and messy - and pipe frosting on top og chilled, filled cupcakes. Keep in fridge and take out 30 minutes before enjoying.
Hey Katie! Where do you find the black cocoa powder? Totally making these!
Just added the link to the blog post. Get it over at Amazon 🙂
how much flour? recipe doesnt say
Ahhhh! How the heck did I leave that off? It is 2 cups of AP flour. I have updated and thank you for asking!
A+ very nice watch
So I’m gonna be “that person”, lol. I wang to use this as a cake. Would this be a two or three layer if I’m using 8” pans? Thanks!
Lol - I use it as a cake all the time! It is easier for me to photograph as cupcakes! I make this as a three-layer, 8-inch cake. Tip: I not only line the bottom of the pan with a parchment circle, I also gently place one of the top of each layer to bake. It is a great trick, it stop the top from having a 'crust' so to speakm and it peels off incredibly easy when baked. Let me know what you think and any other questions 🙂
Sarah Graham says
These are always a hit when I make them! But also not going to lie, I make the pudding sometimes just to have pudding. It is that good!
I don’t have black cocoa powder and I live in Korea is there gonna be an awful difference between reg cocoa and black cocoa powder?
Katie Beck says
Hi Adrienne! Totally fine to use regular cocoa powder! The black cocoa powder gives this the near-black color, but does not influence the flavor. Regular cocoa powder will give the same flavor, just a lighter color 🙂
Excited to try this recipe for Mother’s Day! We’re thinking of doing chocolate ganache for the icing instead of frosting - do you think that’ll be fine?
Katie Beck says
Hi! Absolutely a ganache would be fine. To get the best consistency for a frosting use a 1:1 chocolate to cream ratio 🙂