Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream


I know I say this every year, but how on earth has an entire year flown by already? My sweet baby girl turned 4 on Monday, and she has grown up to be quite the little lady. She loves wearing dresses, hair bows and lip gloss.  And Mommy's shoes, of course. Her latest obsession is singing songs from Disney's Frozen. She hasn't seen the movie yet, but we watch the videos on YouTube.

When I asked her what kind of cupcakes she wanted for her birthday, she did not hesitate. She said that she wanted me to bake chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and topped with rainbow sprinkles. I didn't want to repeat a chocolate cupcake recipe so I found this one that looked promising. I made a basic vanilla buttercream to top it and colored it pink, which is Addie's favorite color.

These cupcakes were yummy, but I still like the Hershey's version better. The original recipe asked for hot coffee, but I didn't think that would be appropriate for a bunch of pre-schoolers. I substituted with milk, so that could have made a slight difference in the taste and consistency of the cupcakes (though, probably not by that much). Regardless, these were still solid chocolate cupcakes, and if I make them again, I will use the original ingredients and chocolate ganache filling.

Addie's classmates and teachers all enjoyed the cupcakes, and I'll actually be baking yet another chocolate recipe for her birthday party this weekend. Stay tuned for that post.

Happy 4th birthday to my sweet baby girl!

Chocolate cupcakes
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used a Trader Joe's 54% dark chocolate bar)
  • ⅓ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup milk of choice, heated
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard muffin pan with paper liners (you may need two pans) and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder. Slowly pour in the hot milk and whisk until no lumps remain. Set the chocolate mixture aside and allow it to cool slightly.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.

Add the vegetable oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla to the chocolate mixture. Whisk well until the mixture is smooth.

Transfer the chocolate mixture in the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well until no lumps remain and no flour streaks are visible. The batter should be smooth and slightly runny.

Evenly distribute the batter into your prepared muffin pans and fill them about 2/3 full.

Bake for 17-19 minutes in your preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool completely before garnishing with your favorite frosting.

I used a basic vanilla buttercream to frost my 30 cupcakes. To do this, I used 3 sticks of butter and beat it on medium-high speed in my stand mixer. Then I added about 3-4 cups of powdered sugar, a few Tablespoons of heavy cream and about 2 teaspoons of vanilla. I added 5 drops of red food coloring to turn my frosting pink. I piped with an open star tip.

Yield: I doubled the recipe above and got 30 cupcakes, so the original recipe above should yield about 15 cupcakes

Source: Slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker; originally adapted from Cook's Illustrated

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