Chocolate Cupcakes

January 28, 2012

Yesterday was National Chocolate Cake Day. In other words, I found a good excuse to make an unnecessary treat. I came across a terrific chocolate cake recipe and thought I’d share it with everyone.

The recipe is slightly modified from a recipe by Ina Garten, whom I adore. If you don’t own one of her Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, you should. This one is my favorite. You won’t be sorry.

When I saw her chocolate cake recipe, I knew it had to be good. It wasn’t good. It was superb.

What makes this recipe unique is that it includes a cup of coffee in the batter. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but the cake turned out to be moist and delicious, with just a slight hint of coffee flavor.

Chopped Chocolate

I should note a sizable change I made to the recipe. It calls for buttermilk, I don’t keep buttermilk in my house regularly. This is a trick passed down from my great-grandma, whom we appropriately called “Cookie Grandma” for her grandmotherly kindness and perpetually stocked cookie jar. The tip? Use regular milk and add a little white vinegar to it. Don’t add too much because it will curdle. Play around with it. For a cup of milk, I’d add about a tablespoon of vinegar.

Ingredients (yields 24 cupcakes)

  • 24 cupcake liners
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fine granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken (or see my advice above)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way full.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on cooling rack.

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Chop the chocolate and place it in a glass, heat-safe bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. On low speed, add the chocolate to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cupcakes.


One Response to “Chocolate Cupcakes”

  1. […] you can see from the photos, I served chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting, chocolate chip cookies, and lemon bars. The recipes are linked if you are […]

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