1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line four 12-cup standard cupcake pans with cupcakes liners. Place the pans on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
2. In a mixer bowl, with paddle attachment, on slow speed, cream the butter and sugar until well blended.
Add in the eggs and vanilla and blend well. Stop machine every once in a while and make sure no unblended ingredients are stuck in the well of the mixer bowl.
3. Place cocoa, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl and hand whisk to blend.
4. Fold dry ingredients into butter/egg batter and mix on slow speed, stirring in the cola and blending well, 2-3 minutes. Blend until smooth (this is a loose batter).
5. Using a small ice-cream scoop (#14, #16 or muffin disher size you prefer) scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
6. Bake until done (22 to 25 minutes) or until cupcakes spring back when gently touched with fingertips (you want to make sure they are just done – as anything made with cocoa has a tendency to dry out if over-baked)
Cool well in pans 15 minutes before removing.
Makes approximately 48 standard cupcakes
CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM METHOD
1. Place the fondant and butter in a mixer bowl. Using paddle attachment, mix on slow speed to blend slightly.
2. Add in the vanilla, cocoa and salt and blend on slow for 3 minutes. Then attach whip attachment and whip on high speed until buttercream is fluffed up and increased in volume.
3. Using a star tip or palette knife, pipe or frost cupcakes as per your design. Garnish tops.