Monday, April 4, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting. So Good.

This past weekend, I made my first ever batch of homemade cupcakes and also my first batch of buttercream frosting! It was surprisingly easy too. I have two co-workers who are amazing bakers and bring goodies all the time (bonus!). They make their own frosting and I thought that sounded too crazy for me (to my surprise, it was the easiest part!). I talked with one last week and she told me that Williams Sonoma has an easy starter recipe and gave me a few tips. 

I used THIS recipe for the chocolate cupcakes and THIS recipe for the buttercream frosting. My directions below are a bit modified as I made a few changes. I got brave this weekend and tried the recipes, and even broke out a new kitchen appliance. It was a success all around! Now my mind is spinning with what types of combos I can experiment with. My co-workers have brought banana + cinnamon frosting, Boston cream pie (filled with pudding!), snickers (filled with caramel + nuts) + caramel frosting, and other more traditional flavors. The possibilities are endless :)

My first batch was a simple one but SO GOOD! I'll start with the cupcakes...

Chocolate Cupcakes

2/3 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (I didn't add this since I used salted butter)
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
11 tbs unsalted butter, cut into pieces (I forgot and used salted and it was fine - will try unsalted next time to compare)
3/4 cup plus 2 tbs sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin pan with liners.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Place the chocolate and butter in a microwaveable bowl, and microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and microwave in 15 second increments until it is melted and smooth (careful not to overcook). Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, 10-15 mins.

Using a wooden spoon, stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour mixture until no traces of flour remain; do not over mix.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each one about 3/4 fill. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 22-24 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes and transfer the cupcakes to the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Quick Buttercream Frosting

6 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
16 tbs (2 sticks) unsalted butter (again, I used salted, it was fine but I'll try unsalted next time to compare)
4 1/2 tbs milk, plus more if needed
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt (I didn't use this since I used salted butter)

Have all ingredients at room temperature

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with flat beaters, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, 4 1/2 tsp milk, and the vanilla and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes (mine wasn't quite "fluffy", but was creamy and looked good to me).

If the frosting is dry, add more milk 1 tsp at a time until it's creamy but holds peaks. Tint with food coloring as desired. Makes about 4 cups. For 12 muffins, you could really cut the recipe in half. I had a lot extra, so have been snacking on graham crackers with the icing and added icing to last week's batch of sugar cookies :)

I hadn't used my stand mixer yet, but it was wonderful! (Thank you, Diane!) It gives my wimpy arms a break from stirring, plus I'd never get it to that consistency with my arms.

To frost the cupcakes, I used a ziplock baggie, cut one of the corners off, filled it with frosting and it worked really well!

Seriously good. To Nick and I, these chocolate cupcakes taste like brownies :) MmMmm good.

What's your favorite cupcake/frosting combo? Or what sounds like a good combo to try? Maybe I'll give it a whirl!


Mrs. Ersland said...

I stumbled upon this a few months ago and they were TO DIE FOR. Oh my goodness. Especially for a chocolate / peanut butter fanatic like myself.

Maggie said...

those sounds awesome! and you made them look so cute too:) i think the banana/cinnamon combo sounds pretty yummy...maybe i'll give them a try.

oh yeah, and i tried the chocolate and caramel cookies and they turned out delish. although yours looked better:)
i didn't comment yet on your last post, but since i'm here, i just wanted to say YAY for feeling better!!! i have been praying you would find some relief in all of this and i will keep praying that you will continue on the road to recovery. love you so much!!

Marissa said...

Amy, thank you so much for the recipe! I had leftover frosting, so I baked the cupcakes in that recipe, they look great (haven't tried them yet!). Now I need to try that frosting... :)

Maggie, thank you so much for your prayers. I have been feeling a lot better, it's crazy really :) glad you liked the cookies, I love those ones! And I think you should try the muffins too :) I'm thankful for you!

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