Monday, April 29, 2013

Husband's *Favorite* Chocolate Cupcakes

The husband celebrates one more lap around the sun tomorrow, and when I asked him what he would like as a treat to celebrate such a milestone, he responded with, "chocolate cupcakes with coffee buttercream!" I didn't really need to ask, because the answer is the same every year. He loves this cake so much that I instinctively purchase the ingredients every April. I wish I could say that I am to credit for the recipe of his FAVORITE dessert, but alas, I am not.

When my husband and I were first married I looked far and wide for a chocolate cake recipe for his birthday. I wanted to wow him with my baking skills AND put to work my new Kitchen Aid stand mixer that I was able to purchase with wedding gift cards (thanks to awesome friends and family). I stumbled upon Barefoot Contessa's Beatty's Chocolate Cake recipe and haven't looked back. It's a winner EVERY time, and it's ridiculously easy (so much for showing off my skills)!

I don't even eat chocolate (GASP-- I know, what kind of a woman doesn't eat chocolate?  But if you suffered from severe migraines due to food allergies, you wouldn't be eager to eat chocolate either-- I'm
happy avoid it!), so when I make this recipe I freeze about 1/2 of the cupcakes/ cake for future events.

**Fun fact-- the first time I made this cake my husband ate so much of it in one day that he made himself sick-- really, I'm shocked he even still likes it**

Usually I follow Ina's recipe exactly... sometimes I will add a little a little ceylon cinnamon to add a little spice.

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup good cocoa powder (I use the special dark because my husband LOVES dark chocolate)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (shaken)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra large eggs (room temperature-- you don't want cooked eggs in your cupcakes!)
  • 1 teaspoon pure (good) vanilla extract-- I use Madagascar vanilla from Green Man Gourmet in Avondale-- they are awesome!
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (brings out the rich flavor of the chocolate-- cake doesn't taste much like coffee believe it or not)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tins. 
  2. In your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix: flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa on low until combined.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla. 
  4. With the mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. 
  5. Add the cup of hot coffee and stir only to combine (make sure to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl). 
  6. Pour batter into a glass measuring cup with spout (this will make pouring batter into muffin tins easier-- batter is very thin). Fill each muffin tin 1/2 full (no more or cake will spill over). 
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. 
  8. I swear it is just that easy!
**I usually make 1-2 dozen cupcakes and then pour the rest of the batter into small rounds, bake for about 25-30 minutes, and freeze for later occasions**

 Vanilla Coffee Buttercream
It's taken me a few times to perfect my attempts with coffee buttercream, but I do believe that this recipe is my favorite so far! I used the base of the recipe from The Kitchen is my Playground and then just made it work with what I had in my kitchen. I didn't have instant coffee, so I adapted the recipe using fresh brewed and then chilled coffee. 

  • 4 Tablespoons freshly brewed and chilled coffee 
  • 1 Tablespoon real Madagascar vanilla extract
  • 3 sticks unsalted (softened) butter
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  1. Beat softened butter in bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed for about 1 minute or until fluffy.
  2. Turn speed to low and add confectioners sugar one cup at a time (scrape down sides and make sure it is fully incorporated).
  3. Increase speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add coffee and beat on low speed to combine. Scrape down sides and increase speed to medium and beat for about 4 minutes. 
  5. Fill pastry bag and have fun piping away! I added a little dark chocolate chip to the top just for a little extra decoration.
**should make enough to frost 24 cupcakes**

Happy 31st birthday to the best husband in the whole entire world. Doodle Bug and I are so lucky to have you!

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