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Chocolate Pecan Derby Cupcakes

Author: Gwen Adams

Chocolate Pecan Derby Cupcakes Recipe

If we could choose just one person to bring to the Kentucky Derby with us, it would definitely be Joy the Baker! These decadent cupcakes are just the fancy dessert we want to enjoy while watching the races.

At a glance

24 cupcakes
Nutrition information


Choose your measure:



  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at rooom temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk


  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup very coarsely chopped pecans


  1. Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two cupcake pans with papers.
  2. To make the cupcakes: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, vanilla extract, vinegar, and cold coffee or water. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry, being careful not to over-mix. The mixture will be quite wet; that's OK.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans until the cups are 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on a rack to cool completely before frosting
  5. To make the frosting: Place the butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on low until pale and very smooth, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add the confectioners' sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing until just incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the vanilla and milk and then beat the frosting on high speed until light and smooth, about 3 minutes.
  7. To assemble: Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of frosting on each cupcake. Refrigerate until the topping is ready.
  8. To make the topping: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, cream, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and pecans. Rest for 5 minutes, then spoon over chilled, frosted cupcakes. The topping will harden as it cools.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 cupcake, 76g
  • Servings Per Batch 24 servings
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 290
  • Calories from Fat 150
  • Total Fat 17g
  • Saturated Fat 7g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 40mg
  • Sodium 212mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 32g
  • Dietary Fiber 2g
  • Sugars 2g
  • Protein 3g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.