Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Buttercream

from scratch chocolate cupcakes with fudge buttercream

This recipe has to be my all-time favorite for cupcakes that are super moist, but not too rich.  The buttercream pairs with them perfectly, and isn’t that cloyingly sweet buttercream you get in the standard grocery store cupcakes.  It is dense and fudgy (hence the title) and eaten with a bite of the cupcake is a marriage made in foodie heaven.  I’ve made these full size cupcakes and mini cupcakes, which really are the quintessential bite.  Hope you can give them a try, too!

What you will need:

1 large mixing bowl (yep…that’s it.  Everything is in one bowl, making this tasty AND easy as pie)

1/2 Cup white sugar

1/2 Cup brown sugar

3/4 Cup and 2 Tbs all purpose flour

1/4 Cup and 2 Tbs cocoa powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt (I’m a big fan of celtic sea salt, but anything will work, I suppose)

1 large egg

1/2 Cup of milk (I use whole, but again…anything will do)

1/4 Cup of vegetable oil

1 tsp of good vanilla

1/2 Cup of very hot water

How to get these things baked off so you can enjoy them:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 12 – 15 muffin tins with paper muffin liners (yes, I said 12-15.  Depending on the level you fill your muffin cups, you may have a little batter left over for a couple extra “taste” cupcakes)

Here is where it gets fun — even Miss 6-year-old and Miss 4-year-old can do this.  Everything (except the hot water) gets dumped into the bowl together and mixed until smooth.  It will sort of look like a good brownie batter, and part of me wonders if maybe I should bake it like a brownie batter at this stage just to see (hmm…), but those cupcakes are worth it.  Once it is smooth, add the super hot water and whisk it in slowly or it will splash all over the place.  Um, not like that has ever happened to me before.  At this point, your batter will be really liquidy and you will be thinking, “There is no way this is going to work.”  But, trust me…it will and it will be magical!

I use a ladle and fill the cupcake liners equally, to about 3/4 full.  Pop ’em in the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of one of these beauties.

Let them cool for about five minutes, then pop them out and let them cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Speaking of frosting, here is what you need to make that heavenly buttercream I mentioned earlier:

4 Tbs of butter, softened
Cocoa powder (between 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup, depending on how chocolatey you want it)
1 Cup powdered sugar (and more if it needs to tighten up)
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 Tbs of milk
How to make this frosting:
from scratch super moist chocolate cupcakesCream the butter in small mixer bowl, and slowly add the cocoa and your  powdered sugar alternately with a little of the milk. Beat to spreading consistency (additional milk or powdered sugar if needed). Blend in vanilla.  Beat this stuff for a LONG time to get the sugar to completely dissolve in the butter, which makes it a smooth and fluffy frosting.  I would say, it isn’t unheard of for me to beat this at a pretty high speed for almost ten minutes.  Yep — you may want to bust out your kitchenaid for this one!
You should have about 2 cups of frosting in the end, which you can spread or pipe on your cupcakes, or just dip a graham cracker in it and eat straight from the bowl.  Again, not like this has ever happened in my kitchen.


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