These chocolate cupcakes are the perfect way to enhance an ordinary chocolate cupcake, using pistachios and flaked salt. The pistachio nuts add their own nutty flavor, while salt helps to add contrast. If you haven’t tried to up your chocolate cake or cupcake game, these cupcakes are a great way to get started!
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a cupcake pan and bread loaf pan. Bring cocoa powder, 1 cup butter, and 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan and remove from heat. Set aside.
Meanwhile, whisk sugar, baking soda, salt, and flour in a medium bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla in another bowl and mix. Gradually incorporate the wet into the dry ingredients. Add cocoa-butter mixture and whisk until smooth. Transfer batter into prepared cupcake pan and bread loaf pan (if using).
Bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35–40 minutes. Once done remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
While cupcakes are baking, make the frosting. Heat butter, milk, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan over low heat, whisking occasionally, until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla.
Once cupcakes and frosting have cooled, spread frosting over cupcakes and minicake and top with pistachios and sea salt.
If the frosting is too runny, which it probably will be, put it in the freezer for a few minutes to harden up.