I had been planning to bake cupcakes today since earlier in the week. The hubby has friends over nearly every Sunday afternoon and I often use them as test subjects for my baking. So this afternoon, despite a pounding headache and fever, I couldn't wait to try out a new chocolate cupcake recipe.
I have this issue with most chocolate cake recipes. The most moist chocolate cakes always have annoyingly thin batters, which are great if you're baking a layer cake as they tend to bake up nice and flat--no leveling the layers; but, if you're going for adorably domed cupcakes, they don't deliver. I'm on a mission to discover a go-to recipe for chocolate cupcakes that produces a flavorful, moist batter and a pleasantly sweet rounded top. A recipe that produces 12 or fewer cupcakes is also a plus.
I received Julie Hasson's 125 Best Cupcake Recipes from the hubby for my birthday last summer. I immediately read through the cookbook and was intrigued by several of the recipes. Unfortunately I tend to turn to TasteSpotting, FoodGawker or All Recipes first when I'm looking for a recipe and my cookbooks are often neglected. I can't believe it took me almost a year to finally try one of the recipes from this book!
Julie Hasson's book is beautifully organized and nearly every recipe in the book yields 12 cupcakes--perfect! Each cupcake recipe is followed by a few suggestions on which frosting to pair with the cake. Today I made the Best Chocolate Cupcakes and paired them with the Chocolate Fudge Frosting. The result was a rich, decadent chocolate experience! Both the cupcake and frosting recipe were simple, straightforward and yielded delicious results. For now I am thankful to finally have a chocolate cupcake recipe I adore, but I can't wait to try more of the recipes from the book.
Best Chocolate Cupcakes
from Julie Hasson's 125 Best Cupcake Recipes
yields 12 cupcakes*
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted**
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
In a small bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl whisk together sugar, oil, egg and vanilla until smooth. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of buttermilk, beating until batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.
Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 22 to 27 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.
*I made 6 regular sized cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes. I baked the mini cupcakes for 13 minutes and the regular sized cupcakes for 22 minutes.
**I used King Arthur Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa for the deepest, darkest, most chocolaty experience!
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
adapted from Julie Hasson's 125 Best Cupcake Recipes
yields about 1 1/2 cups*
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons milk
pinch of salt
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, butter, milk and salt until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
Spread onto cooled cupcakes or pipe with a decorator bag and preferred tip.
*Since I like a heaping swirl of frosting atop my cupcakes, this was only enough frosting to frost half the cupcakes (24 mini cupcakes). I would suggest doubling this recipe is you plan to generously frost 12 cupcakes.