A lot of people know me for my famed cupcakes. It makes sense because I know how to make a good cupcake, and I make them frequently. In fact, I made each of my friends a special cupcake for their birthdays last year, and for my sister's friends on their birthdays and my brother's preschool on special holidays. (See here, here, and here, for example.) I even made my middle school science project "The effect of pH level of cupcake batter on the height of the cupcake after being baked." (It got a blue ribbon (: )
As you may know from previous posts, tomorrow is my brother's birthday, so I'm making him chocolate cupcakes to bring to his adorable preschool friends. I wish I could be there! This is just a precursor to the confetti strawberry layer birthday cake I'm going to make him.
- Here are some tips for making perfect cupcakes:
- Use buttermilk. If you can't find it in stores (I can't) then just mix one tbs white vinegar with 1 cup minus one tablespoon of milk. Or, you can probably find dry buttermilk powder in the baking isle or where the dry milk is.
- Sift the flour (this makes the cake fluffier)
- Use quality ingredients, like good cocoa powder and real vanilla beans (If you're making Oreo cupcakes, well then be sure to use quality Oreos)
- Don't overmix the batter (overmixing kills the cupcake)
- Bring ingredients to room temperature (so they mix better)
- Make exact measurements. If you don't have a kitchen scale, then be sure to use the spoon and level method for measuring flour.
As long as you follow the recipe and these tips, you'll be sure to make a chocolate cupcake which the average human taste buds would deem the perfect chocolate cupcake. Here's the recipe.
Perfect Chocolate Cupcakesmakes about 30 cupcakes
adapted from Ina Garten
Ingredients1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (I boiled water and added a teaspoon of instant espresso powder)
- Preheat the oven to 350*F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Place the buttermilk in a container with a sturdy lid and close it. Shake for about 30 seconds to make it fluffy.
- Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla to the buttermilk and whisk until combined.
- Slowly add wet ingredients to the dry while stirring with a spoon or mixer on low speed. Stir until just combined.
- Add coffee in a thin stream, stirring constantly until just combined. Batter will be thin.
- Pour batter into baking cups (I used a ladle) and bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool in pan for a few minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove cupcakes and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the cupcakes are cool, frost with fudge frosting (recipe below) and enjoy!
Fudgy Chocolate Frosting
Ingredients1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
6 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 tablespoon vanilla
a pinch of salt
4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (sifting unnecessary)
6 tbs half and half or heavy cream
- In a glass bowl over simmering water, or a microwave in 30-sec intervals, melt 4oz of the chocolate, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in remaining chocolate until smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Once it's cool, add the butter. Cream with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Then add the vanilla and salt and beat until combined.
- Add half of the sugar and beat until incorporated. Then, mix in the cream.
- Add the rest of the sugar until the desired consistency is reached and beat until fluffy.