Please be sure to follow my exact order of steps and method here, as this will ensure the best, richest and moist cupcakes. I strongly recommend parchment paper liners or the Reynold's Staybrite liners, because they never stick. Regular paper may stick.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line 2 muffin pans with 14 liners. This is important to divide the batter into 14, 15 at the most, as the
cupcakes rise considerably. If you do not have 2 muffin pans, make sure
to reserve some batter to fill the extra 2 or 3
To a medium bowl, add the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk
very well to ensure there are no lumps. Sift, if needed.
To a large bowl, add the almond milk and chocolate chips. Place in the
microwave for 30-45 seconds until the milk is really warm. Whisk the
liquid until the chocolate is FULLY melted and smooth. Whisk in the
syrup, cocoa powder and espresso powder (if using) until fully smooth.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the liquids while gently whisking.
Once it’s fully mixed and smooth, divide the batter into 14 cupcake
liners. DO NOT be tempted to add all of the batter into 12. These rise A
LOT while baking, so you do not want to fill the liners more than about
1/2 full. Super important. The amount that will go into each liner will
be a very scant 1/4 cup, but keep it divided between 14-15 and you will
Bake for 15-20 minutes OR until a toothpick comes out clean. Each batch of mine was perfect at 18 minutes. Be very careful to not over-bake these, so they don't get dry. The toothpick should be clean, that is how you will know they are done. Don't judge them by the bounce back test, as the tops will be super delicate still, but firm up perfectly as they cool.
Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. I used the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting linked in the post..
These freeze beautifully and are fantastic again once thawed. This is how I stored them. I wrapped each individual cupcake in a single baggie and then placed each of the wrapped cupcakes into a large ziplock bag. To thaw, simply place them out on the counter to come back to room temperature a few hours before wanting to eat or serve them.