Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

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 egg
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.

I used a Wilton 1M tip to frost these cupcakes.

51 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, look how pretty those are! These sound delicious.

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  2. Gorgeous, gorgeous cupcakes. I too tend to refer to Tastespotting for recipes and neglect the many books which I have bought from Amazon. I love the colours of this cupcake as well as your presentation.

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  3. Beautiful!! Saw you on live journal and new I had to make you my new best friend! :)

    Blessings-
    Amanda

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  4. aww, these are adorable, very striking!

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  5. oh my god these look amazing. so dark chocolatey looking. i can't wait to make a vegan version.. which makes me wonder what sort of vegan substitute can i hunt down to replace the buttermilk.. hmmmmmmm.. gotta look it up!


    also also! do you buy your flowers or make them?

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  6. I love it I love it I just totally love it! I agree with all points re chocolate cake recipes - must give this recipe a go! The beautiful photos won me over! :)

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  7. Thank you for all the sweet, sweet comments!

    @ Chanel, I forget the exact substitution, but I know you can use some sort of vegan milk (soy, rice, coconut and/or hemp, I forget) and add lemon juice or vinegar to it to sour it and mimic buttermilk. Use 1 tsp. of the lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of the milk. You can actually do the same to regular milk to make it sour and mimic buttermilk as well. :)

    I do make the flowers myself from gum paste. These are some very simple flowers to make if you have a few necessary tools. I just bought some more gum paste mix and a nice set of gum paste/fondant tools, so I plan to sit down and make a TON of different flowers when I have time. These are great because as long as they are stored in a cool, dry place they last indefinitely! Perhaps I'll try to post a little tutorial of sorts soon.

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  8. They are beautiful! Really amazing. I'll have to make them soon.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  9. Love, love, love these cupcakes! So pretty and I bet they taste wonderful. I would love to know how you make the adorable flowers.

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  10. My mouth waters seeing how dark that frosting is. I bet it was divine.

    And holy crap! We live in the same city!

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  11. Absolutely stunning, what tip did you use? Oh and how did you make the little flowers? I am testing cupcake recipes in search of a signature one for my niece's upcoming bridal shower that we (aunts) are hosting and posted about it yesterday. This one looks like a keeper and will have to add to the mix when choosing. Thank you for sharing!

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  12. INCREDIBLE!!
    The icing is so dark! like a "midnight" chocolate! :)

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  13. that look so delish!!! Yummy...

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  14. pretty! how do you get the ball in the middle of the flower to stick? thanks for the recipe too!

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  15. @ vertigoxcured, for the center of the flower, I used a sugar pearl and affixed it with a "glue" of 1 tablespoon meringue powder mixed with 1 tablespoon water.

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  16. thank you very much! i googled how to make gum paste flowers and it came up with ALLL kinds of crazy flowers. you are just so simple and elegant! thanks again!

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  17. I have just about twisted my fingers in a knot in my haste to join your facebook fans! Fab post, gorgeous looking cupcakes...really looking forward to exploring the rest of your blog xxx

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  18. another quick question...i made the frosting today and i doubled it....is its supposed to be really thick? almost like paste. its ALMOST too thick to squeeze out of the pastry bag.

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  19. What kind of tip did you use for the cupcake?

    Thank you!

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  20. Thanks for sharing this! I made them myself this week. My only concern is, I filled 12 full-sized cupcake cups, but they ended up much taller than they look in your pictures! I'd never tried baking cupcakes from scratch before--did I do something wrong?

    In any case, they were delicious, though. :)

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  21. @ vertigoxcured, the frosting is very thick--almost like fudge, hence the name. It's been a while since I made these so I can't remember, but I may have added an extra splash or two of milk to help thin it out for piping. Frosting is usually pretty forgiving and, with most recipes, you can add more milk or heavy cream for a thinner consistency and more powdered sugar for a thicker consistency.

    @ Yasmin, I used the Wilton 1M tip for these mini cupcakes (this is a large star tip).

    @ Shiromisa, I usually fill my baking cups about 1/2 full or just a bit more. For these mini cupcakes I would have measured exactly 1 tablespoon of batter into each baking cup. For regular size cupcakes I would use 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of batter per baking cup. Most folks aren't quite this exact with measuring their batter for cupcakes (which is perfectly fine), but I like to measure for consistency. Usually I use the yield of a cupcake recipes as a guide, but will always follow these measurements and I do sometimes end up with more or less cupcakes than a recipe yields. That said, next time you may want to fill your baking cups less if they baked taller than you wanted. I think this recipe made the exact amount of the yield for me, so there is a chance that maybe you measured something a bit wrong. One thing that new bakers often measure incorrectly is flour. When you are baking, unless the recipes instructs otherwise, always use what is called the "scoop and sweep" method of measuring your flour. To do this, simply take a spoon and stir around you flour to loosen it, then spoon the flour into the measuring cup and use the flat edge of a knife to level the top. Flour often settles and this method of measuring helps insure that you're not ending up with more flour than what a cup should actually be. That said, you may not have done anything wrong at all! There may have been differences in ingredients that led to your cupcakes baking up taller. Baking is like chemistry and when you're new to it there is a lot of trial and error and along the way you'll figure out bits and pieces of the chemistry and you'll be able to better predict what result you'll get from your ingredients and recipe. I have only been baking casually for a couple of years and I really love the process. I hope you find that you enjoy it as well!

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  22. Thank you for your advice! I've found I like baking from scratch better than from a box, and the results are much yummier than the box cupcakes. Next I think I want to try your pink velvet cupcakes. Yum!

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  23. I made these cupcakes... umm YUMMMMM!!! I did fill them with a chocolate cream and frosted with a whit buttercream though. The cupcake cake itself is delicious! Thanks for the awesome recipe...

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  24. Your photos are amazing. You may want to look into food photography, or what I like to call food porn : )

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  25. OH MY GOD! These cupcakes are to die for! I made a batch and my kids can't seem to get enough. Before I knew it, they're all gone. I can't wait to make more. I love your blogs, especially the cupcake ones. I will try your pink velvet ones next time. Again, thank you. You opened my eyes to making cupcakes from scratch instead of from the box. =)

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  26. I guess this is pretty late for me. This could have been a hit last Halloween. Well, anyways there will always be another time.

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  27. Just made the frosting (for maple cupcakes). This is a delicious frosting! I used Dagoba which has cocoa nibs. Especially yummy.

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  28. I am trying your frosting today!

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  29. Just started my own blog, going to use your frosting for a cake I'm featuring in one of my first posts! It looks soooo yummy can't wait to see how it comes out!

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  30. I made these and they were a hit! Thanks for sharing. Your photos are beautiful, and you've inspired me to try making my own gum paste flowers!

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  31. HI
    thanks so much for this recipe.... i tried it a few days back, n they are so awesome!!!!!! finally i found a fool proof chocolate cupcake recipe!

    thank you!

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  32. Hello,
    I just tried this recipe and the cupcakes turned out perfect! So moist and chocolately! It's my new go to chocolate cupcake recipe.
    Thanks so much for posting!

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  33. Thank you for this awesome chocolate cupcake recipe idea to celebrate Spring. I love chocolate!

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  34. I am in love. My husband has a rival! Your cupcakes lol... Fyi I used one of your pictures (that's how I found you) but I did credit you so that people can come visit your blog and check out all of your amazingness! Blessings to you, Res

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  35. this is the best chocolate frosting i have ever tasted.

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  36. I made these cupcakes today and found the recipe to be very easy to follow and quick to prepare. However, after tasting the cupcakes I found them to be slightly bitter. They are quite strong on the cocoa flavour without having enough sweetness to balance it out. Since everyone else has raved about these cupcakes, I'm thinking it must be down to personal preference! But I absolutely loved the frosting - it was so delicious!

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  37. I was thinking - could the bitterness be down to the amount of baking soda? I did think that 3/4t was quite a bit considering there is only 1 1/4c of flour. But no one else seemed to have a problem - so I'm not sure! I did use dutched cocoa, not natural cocoa, so it shouldn't be a problem with the cocoa. Do you have any suggestions?

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    1. My first thought would be that it's all preference on sweetness. It's been a while since I made these, but I remember them being plenty sweet for my liking; however, the dutch-process cocoa (especially a dark one like the one I used) will certainly give a dark chocolate flavor much deeper and less sweet than most run of the mill chocolate cakes. I don't think the baking soda would affect the sweetness at all. Perhaps in the future you could try adding a bit more sugar or using a lighter cocoa in the cupcakes and/or frosting.

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  38. Thank you so much for the help! They are not very bitter today - so they have improved since yesterday (as most baking does). I will change a few things next time by adding in more sugar to enhance the sweetness and doubling the amount of chocolate chips to add some more sweet chocolatey flavour. Thanks so much for the recipe though, its so easy to follow and the muffins cook and rise well which is awesome :)

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  39. wow that frosting recipe is awesome. extremeeeeeeely fudgey and thick just the way i like it. and bittersweet...more on the bitter side mmm-mm. :D

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  40. Can you make the icing in advance? How do you store it? Thanks!

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    1. I've never made it in advance myself, but I'm sure you could. I'd put it in an air tight container and store it in the fridge (it would probably be fine up to a week) or the freezer (for a couple of weeks). You'll need to let it warm up at room temperature and will need to reprocess it a bit to get the texture back before frosting.

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  41. This picture inspired me to make my first gum paste flowers :)

    Amber

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  42. How many cupcakes did the recipe make? The top says 12 servings but later on you said it made 24 mini and 6 regular. I make regular sized vanilla cupcakes with the same amount of flour so 1-1/4 cups seems like alot for only 6 cupcakes...

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    1. The recipe makes 12 regular size cupcakes as stated. I made 6 regular cupcakes and 24 minis from the recipe (mini cupcakes take approximately 1/4 the amount of batter as a full size cupcake). If you made all minis from the recipe, you'd end up with 48.

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  43. Hello, I did it, and I want to tell you this recipe is fantastic, thank you for share. Hugs,

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  44. I am a Gluten Free baker, I thought, until now, that I had the best Chocolate cupcake recipe until I made yours. I substituted the wheat flour with Gluten Free all purpose flour. OMG fabulous! Thanks for sharing!
    Joanne's Gluten Free Goodies, LLC

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