Smoky Chocolate Cupcakes

bbq-cupcakes-from-the-Cupcake Project

Cupcakes suited for BBQ

I have received ‘flak’ from the purists (you know who you are!) when I suggested the average person who didn’t have time, equipment or materials could achieve some decent smoke flavoring on the surface of their meat by using a spray application of liquid smoke. Now I never intended to suggest this was anything like a true smoking process – but a reasonable way to add smoke flavor. After all, using the randomness of smoke particles suspended in hot air or direct application of smoke particles suspended in water – which would you choose in a hurry? I thought so!

My resident cupcake princess suggested I demonstrate various ways to use liquid smoke as a way to explain some reasonable expectation. Guess what I discovered with some online sleuthing? There are plenty of folks (are you one?) who have come up with some amazing ways to use liquid smoke – and I am celebrating one of them this week. I was sent a link to a food blog called “Cupcake Project” where the author, Stef, presents a BBQ flavored cupcake. I’ll use her words to describe it:

My cupcakes get jealous at BBQs – all of that BBQ smoke and sweet corn at meal time and none at dessert. That’s why I created the All American BBQ cupcake. The cupcake is a chocolate cupcake with a secret ingredient – liquid smoke. The liquid smoke gives the chocolate a fantastic smoky smell and taste. The frosting is a sweet corn cream cheese frosting that has just enough corn to scream summer BBQ, but not too much to say, “Ewww, corn frosting!”

Thanks Stef for giving me permission to feature your photo and recipe.  Welcome to the Cookout! ~ Barry CB Martin

The Smoky Chocolate Cupcake RecipeReader Recipes All American BBQ Cupcakes: Smoky Chocolate Cupcakes with Sweet Corn Cream Cheese Frosting

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Makes 16 cupcakes

This recipe used with permission of The Cupcake Project.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Askinosie cocoa powder. See my post on Askinosie cocoa powder for more info.)
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 t hickory flavored liquid smoke
  • This recipe used with permission of The Cupcake Project.


  1. Beat butter until softened.
  2. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
  4. Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small-sized bowl and whisk to combine.
  5. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
  6. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine.
  7. Add about half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine.
  8. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
  9. Add liquid smoke.
  10. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 1/2 full. These cupcake will not dome. If you fill them too high, they will just collapse.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


I added liquid smoke to my favorite chocolate cupcake (Chockylit's chocolate cupcake) to make this recipe. - stef of


Click here to get the recipe for the frosting or just plain check out Cupcake Project.

Welcome to the Cookout! ~ Barry CB Martin


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