September 9, 2013

Chocolate-Buttercream Cupcakes

Why even bake other kinds of cupcakes?

This is what I ask myself after tasting this Best Cupcake Combo Ever this go-round.

And self, I really have no good response.
 Let me explain:

1. The Cake. Cake more moist and pure chocolatey than what comes from a box, 100x more moist than my other attempts to bake cake from scratch and 100 percent without the fakey-chemically taste that comes courtesy of a box.

2. The Icing. It's butter and cream (milk actually). And sugar and vanilla. The best thing that will ever go in your mouth, and the perfect butter-vanilla complement to chocolate cake.

3. The Garnish. Shaving chocolate is easy, looks fancy, and, of course, is chocolate.

So if someone has a birthday coming up or an unbirthday, wow them with these... unless of course they don't like chocolate. Then they don't deserve birthday sweets.

But beware, if you blink, they will disappear. All 33 of them.

Chocolate-Buttercream Cupcakes
adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who got it from Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Buttercream frosting (recipe below)
1 Chocolate bar, optional for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
3. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the tins for about 5 minutes. Remove and place on a wire rack to finish cooling.
4. Once cakes are cooled, spread prepared Buttercream Frosting on top of each cake. Grate chocolate over top of cupcakes garnish.
Yield: About 33 cupcakes
Buttercream Frosting
1 1/2  lb. (about 5 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
4-6 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine all ingredients with an electric mixer for one to two minutes or until creamy. Add milk if you want a thinner consistency.

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