Chocolate Cupcakes with Pretzel Buttercream

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Pretzel Buttercream | The Baking Robot

Chocolate has always been famously paired with peanut butter, but I’ve seen a recent shift in the food scene to pair chocolate with pretzel (or chocolate paired with both peanut butter AND pretzel at the same time, but that’s too much to compute).

Or it might just be that pretzel is the new thing. It’s everywhere, isn’t it?

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pretzel Buttercream | The Baking Robot

From burger buns to frosting*, you can’t escape it. But why would you want to? I must admit that prior to developing this post, I had never encountered chocolate covered pretzels. What a fool robot I was. Chocolate covered pretzels are my new everything, and from now on this blog will be devoted solely to spreading the word about their insane deliciousness. The Chocolate Covered Pretzel Robot is here to stay!

*Don’t bother Googling for a pretzel frosting recipe to see if I’m telling the truth. Scroll on, humans.

But GUESS WHAT. These cupcakes taste exactly like chocolate covered pretzels. Because it’s chocolate and pretzel. I thought this was obvious.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pretzel Buttercream | The Baking Robot

This is my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, I use it all the time. It’s so simple and quick to mix up the batter (one bowl, no mixer) and it produces the darkest and lightest cupcakes ever. The frosting itself is so easy to make. Whip up a buttercream and add ground pretzels! I used a food processor to crush my pretzels but since I use the oldest, worst food processor in the world (an attachment at my left elbow) my pretzels remained a bit more crumby. So if you don’t have a food processor, you can crush the pretzels by hand into small pieces and mix them into the frosting. Whatever you do, the buttercream develops a delightful crunch that’s just like eating pretzels. Because there are pretzels in it. I thought this was obvious.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pretzel Buttercream | The Baking Robot

Chocolate Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes
from Hershey’s Kitchens

2 cups granulated sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with baking cups.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in eggs, milk, and vegetable oil until combined. Carefully stir in boiling water, mixing until combined and batter has thinned.

3. Fill baking cups 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Pretzel Buttercream

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup ground pretzels (about 2 cups whole pretzels)

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar. Stir in vanilla extract, then fold in the ground pretzels. Since the pretzels really thicken up the buttercream, don’t try to pipe the frosting. Instead, scoop the frosting on top of the cupcake and spread into a cute little mound. (If you want to heavily frost your cupcakes, like in the photos, you’ll need to double this recipe. If you’re going for a simple spread, this is enough buttercream to cover all 24 cupcakes.) Top with chocolate covered pretzels, if desired.

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  1. What a disaster this turned out to be. The first batch after adding the cup of boiling water was turned into soup. So I tried it again without the water. It was a lot more thick so i stuck It in the oven and made a mess all over. Also the buttercream was waaaaaay too sweet. = (

    • Hi Kelley! Thanks for commenting. The cupcake batter, after adding the water, is very very thin. In fact, it should be soup-y. Did you try to bake it? It bakes like a regular cupcake. As for the buttercream, I’m sorry you didn’t like it.

  2. I can’t wait to try these!

    I too, have a recipe for chocolate cupcakes that calls for the boiling water. Verrrrrrry thin. I use a glass measuring cup to pour it into my cupcake tins. The cupcakes come out so light!

    Again, can’t wait to try these with the pretzels!

    • Oh, yeah, the texture is so great. This is my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, for sure. Thank you!

  3. Made them tonight. Super yummy. I love the salty from the pretzel. It balances the sweet.
    I have a chocolate cake receipe that has thin batter like this. Maybe thin is the secrect to good cake.

  4. So I was toooooootally skeptical when I made the batter and started adding the water… It was literally like soup! But oh my god, once baked, these are the most amazing, light, chocolatey cupcakes I’ve ever tasted!! Mind. Blown.

  5. Pingback: Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Cupcakes - SugarHero