I know a lot of people love cupcakes, but I have other cakes that I enjoy more. However, sometimes, you just need a cupcake. Rich frosting, fun decorations and of course, if you’re me, lots of chocolate.
I found this recipe on JoyofBaking.com. I found lots of different cake recipes by doing a quick search, but not too many frosting, and to me the frosting is what sets a cupcake apart, and a bad frosting means a cupcake is just a cake with a heap of unappealing sugar on top. This recipe had a frosting included and it looked promising, and it was. The use of unsweetened chocolate really made very chocolaty rich without being too sweet.
I also went a got a small cake decorating set cake decorating set from Wilson, and I was glad I did. It made it really easy to decorate and make them look good, and I have been missing having some nice way to use ganache and similar for other cakes so they look prettier.
Ingredients, cake: (original recipe on JoyofBaking.com)
- 50 g unsweetened cocoa powder (1/2 cup)
- 240 ml boiling water (1 cup)
- 175 g all purpose flour (1 1/3 cup)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 113 g unsalted butter, softened (1/2 cup / 1 stick)
- 200 g sugar (1/2 cup)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 120 g unsweetened (100% cocoa) chocolate (4 oz)
- 150 g unsalted butter, softened (2/3 cup)
- 160 powdered sugar (1 1/3 cup)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 375° F/ 190° C and line a 12 muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. Pour the boiling water over the cocoa powder and stir until smooth.
3. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Use an electric mixer to mix the butter and sugar until fluffy.
5. Add the eggs one by one, mixing after each one.
6. Add the vanilla extract
7. Mix in the flour, baking powder and salt mixture, taking care not to over mix. You can switch to hand mixing at this point.
8. Add the cocoa mixture and stir until you have a smooth batter.
9. Pour the batter into your prepared cups.
10. Bake for about 16-20 minutes, until firm and springy on top, and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
11. Cool on a wire rack. Do not frost until they are completely cool.
12. To make the frosting, start by chop and melt the chocolate. You can do this in a double boiler, or like I do in the microwave. If you use that method make sure to do short intervals and stir the chocolate as you go along.
13. Beat the butter until smooth with and electric mixer.
14. Add the sugar and mix until very fluffy. Then beat in the vanilla extract.
15. Mix in the melted chocolate on low speed.
16. Now you can either use a knife or spoon to spread the frosting on the cupcakes, or use a piping set. If you are, choose a tip and fill a piping bag. I used Wilson 1M star tip.
17. You can either decorate by making a top down ‘star’ or by swirling a round pattern, I prefer the latter. It was very easy to swirl it around the cake.
18. Top with sprinkles, if desired. Sprinkles are fun!
It was very easy to decorate the cakes with the piping tip, I was please with how they looked. The frosting was really great, even my husband who usually find cupcakes too sweet liked it. I think the cake itself could be more interesting, but I also did not use Dutch processed cocoa as the original recipe called for, maybe that would make the chocolate taste more powerful. However, there are lot of other cake recipes around, I might try this one next time.