A couple months ago, I decided I wanted to learn how to make darling cupcakes. The kind you see in bakeries and cookbooks and wedding magazines and ooh and ahh at, with puffs of swirly frosting and bright sprinkles and adorable toppings.
Well…these don’t have the cutsey looks…as you can see, they look, um, “rustic.” They actually remind me of my Grandma’s cakes – simple looks, but soo delicious. After all, the taste is really what matters when it comes down to it! These are two quality recipes.
For my next cupcake endeavor, I will be investing in a pastry bag, and the results will be darling – promise! (I hope!) Stay tuned!
Double Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
from Food and Wine
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350° and position 2 racks in the lower and middle third of the oven. Line 24 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
- Put the cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the boiling water and whisk until a smooth paste forms. Whisk in the buttermilk until combined. In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1 1/2 sticks of the butter with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then beat in the dry ingredients in 2 batches, alternating with the cocoa mixture. Carefully spoon the cupcake batter into the lined muffin cups, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are springy. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
Chocolate Buttercream Icing
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup cocoa or three 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares, melted
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
3-4 tablespoons milk
Yield: About 3 cups of icing.
In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add cocoa and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.