Friday, July 31, 2009

Chocolate Cupcakes

I'd like to let you in on one vigorous quest I've embarked upon in the last few days. The quest to find a yummmy-licious chocolate cupcake recipe. A very very valuable and an important quest. The world is always a better place with more chocolate cupcakes.

In the span of two days, I baked three different types of chocolate cupcakes. One that used sour cream, one that used vegetable oil, and one that used butter. Once again, my electric hand mixer overworked itself but boy was this experiment fun. Excellent for my waistline.

As it happens on quests, I have learned many valuable lessons about myself and cupcakes. For one, my doubts about veggie oil in baking have been overthrown. I know that for veteran bakers this is more than obvious information but for me, this was a great relief. Veggie oil works. Two, it isn't only lasagna that tastes better the next day. Despite the numerous disclaimers that say that the cupcakes taste best the day they're baked, I've found that every cupcake that I've baked tasted better the next day. Third thing I learned is that I'm a bit of an arrogant baker. Considering the fact that I've only just started baking, I take wayyyy too many liberties with the ingredients. The sour cream cupcakes probably didn't taste right because I made too many changes. Lesson learned. Add 'humility' to my next quest.

A quest for an important recipe is not complete without 'quality' judges. So I gathered a panel of highly qualified judges to present my bakings. (These people are skilled eaters and have been eating their entire lives.) The verdict was this: the butter cupcakes were totally 'rockin' but were overshadowed by the veggie oil cupcakes which were deemed 'amazing' by the panel.

Here are some pix for your amusement.

As you can see, I'm very skilled at frosting cupcakes.
If you need any badly iced cupcakes, please. Give me a buzz.

So I present to you Veggie Oil Cupcakes

Official Name: Black Magic Cake
from the Hershey's site

  • 2 C sugar
  • 1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4C Hershey's Cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C buttermilk or sour milk
  • 1 C strong black coffee or 2 tsp powdered instant coffee plus 1 C boiling water
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • **I added about 2/3 C of chocolate morsels to the batter (folded them in at the end) but they all sank to the bottom of the cupcakes. It still tasted good and my judges loved picking them off the paper cups.
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour muffin pans
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (batter will be very thin). Pour batter into pans.
  3. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool and frost as desired.
I used vanilla whipped cream to ice the cupcakes which people LOVED. They look amazing together, too.

Vanilla Whipped Cream
  1. Beat 2 cups of heavy cream (fresh cream) in a chilled bowl until it thickens.
  2. Add 3/4 cups of icing sugar (confectioners sugar) gradually as you continue to beat the cream.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla essence and keep beating until soft peaks form.
  4. After you frost the cupcakes, if you're not eating them right away, make sure you keep the in the refrigerator as the cream will soften up and lose its form.

(Butter) Chocolate Cupcakesswiped from Joy of Baking (A genius site for baking and presented with very kind and detailed instructions)


  • 1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa owder
  • 1C boiling hot water
  • 1 1/3 C all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 C granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 C unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/3 confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line muffin cups with paper liners or butter them
  2. In a small bowl stir until smooth, the boiling water and cocoa powder. Let cool to room temp.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a bowl of electric mixer or hand mixer, cream butter, sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating until smooth. beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
  5. Fill muffin cups two-thirds with batter and bake for 16-20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Frost when the cupcakes have cooled.
  6. Makes about 12 cupcakes (I came out with 15)
  1. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool to room temp.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a handmixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 min). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2 min). Beat in vanilla extract. Add the chocolate and beat on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is smooth and glossy (about 2-3 minutes)
Life is great when you can have this much fun with cupcakes and chocolate. :)
Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy.


  1. So which one was your favorite? :) And don't worry, I work in a bakery and it took me a month to learn how to properly frost cupcakes!

  2. Hi eating plum! Thanks for stopping by! I loved both of them to be honest and will probably make both of them again. But my personal vote goes to the Hershey's recipe. It gave me more chocolate flavour. :)
    Thanks for your words about the frosting. Will def put in more practise.