Friday, March 23, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Frosting

We made cupcakes this week so Alyssa could take them to church for her birthday. When you homeschool, it's just not as exciting sharing your birthday treat with your classmate family. I asked her what kind of cake she wanted even though I already knew the answer. Chocolate. Always chocolate. And pink frosting, of course.

Thirteen ingredients. This is why people use a box mix.

Seriously though, this is one of the easiest chocolate cake recipes since it's made in 1 bowl in 2 steps.

 Dump in your dry ingredients and sift.

Add in your wet ingredients and mix well.

Easy and quick? Yep.

The only "problem" per se is that the batter is runny. Extremely runny. And messy.

I made 24 cupcakes  and the batter rose over the edges, making it difficult to remove the cakes. The cupcakes are incredibly moist, so they're very delicate. I suggest filling the liners a little less and making a few more cupcakes. More is good, right?

After the cupcakes are cooled, begin making your frosting. I highly suggest this recipe. It's probably not so much the ingredients, but the technique that really makes it. This picture is just the butter after it was whipped for 8 minutes. Thank God for a KitchenAid! 

Here's another tip - if you take your butter out of the fridge and let it sit for a couple hours in 75° weather, it's probably going to melt. All over. It also makes it difficult to "whip" since it just kinda slops around. If that should happen, just pop the bowl into the freezer for 10 minutes or so to stiffen the butter up before whipping. Ask me how I know.

Pour in the remaining ingredients after the butter is sufficiently whipped. The frosting will look done before the additional 7 minutes are up. Please, please, please continue to mix it. This is the lightest, fluffiest frosting I've ever made.

Wow. Like I said, the cake is incredibly moist and rich. Even Jake and Leighton liked them, and neither of them are big chocolate fans. In fact, Jake requested these for his birthday - minus the pink frosting, of course. The frosting itself is so airy and light. Jake said, "This is so yummy! I can really taste the 3 sticks of butter in it." I admit, I ate more than my fair-share of it. It's that sweet-tooth I have. I just can't help myself.

We even made the pink glitter sprinkles (post coming.)  It was so quick, easy, and fun!

I'm so sad the cupcakes are gone. Mmm, they were good. Both of these recipes will be added to our permanent collection for sure.

Anyone have a birthday coming up and need me to make you a cake??? One condition - you have to share!

Classic Chocolate Cupcakes
1 1/2 c  flour                                                         1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c sugar                                                        2/3 c buttermilk (or 2/3 c milk + 2 tsp vinegar)
1/2 c cocoa powder                                             1/2 c brewed coffee or espresso, hot
1 1/2 tsp  baking soda                                          1/3 c + 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp  baking powder                                      2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp  cornstarch                                            1 Tbsp  pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350° F and fill cupcake pan with  liners.
2. In the bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift all dry ingredients.
3. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed and pour into prepared cupcake pan until just less than 2/3 full.  *Batter will be very liquidy.
4. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick comes out with a few crumbs. Carefully remove cupcakes from the pan immediately and place them on a wire rack until completely cool.
Recipe adapted from Sweetapolita.

Whipped Vanilla Frosting
3 sticks + 2 tablespoons  unsalted butter, softened
3.5 cups  confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. Butter will become very pale & creamy.
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.
3. Best used right away, for ideal spreading consistency.
Recipe adapted from Sweetapolita.

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