Saturday, July 13, 2013

Divine Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

There are days when chocolate makes everything better and with all the packing I've been doing lately, today was one of those days.  My mother was a definite chocoholic; on a scale of 1-10, she was a 10, which meant she ate some form of chocolate daily!  I'm somewhere a little below, probably an eight--a very high eight.  However, I think a good chocolate cupcake is about the best thing to have when that craving I whipped these up this morning.

I've started packing my kitchen and realized this may be the last posting (of something baked) until I arrive in North Carolina.  Don't worry, July's apron winner will be announced before I leave!  I have a mission, on my "to do" list, to use up all the ingredients that won't make it in a moving truck.  For these cupcakes, I used up some eggs, milk, bittersweet chocolate (actually that was for the buttercream) and the last of the strawberry jam in the refrigerator, which I used in the center.  I also lightened the load of flour, brown sugar, and cocoa considerably:-D

In just 2 weeks, 4 days, we will be leaving a home that we thought we'd live the rest of our lives in. However, life happens and losing Kelly, three years ago, made us rethink that notion.  Our family comes first and being closer will definitely fill our life with so much laughter and love.  Kelly said we were like the "Grizwalds" and we love every minute we share together. 

Image borrowed from internet
Divine Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream
1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Line 2-12 cup muffin pans with papers (this recipe makes 24 cupcakes.)

Begin with measuring the cocoa in a small bowl.  Slowly add the boiling water and whisk until combined.  Add the milk and vanilla to this mixture.

In a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugars thoroughly.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.  While mixer is running on low, slowly add the oil.  When completely incorporated, increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy.

Sift the flour and baking soda together.  Add alternatively with the cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat 1 minute more after scraping down sides.  

Scoop batter into prepared liners, filling 3/4 full.
 Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes--until the tops fill firm, but not "hard."
Allow to cool in the pan about 10 minutes, then, transfer to a rack to cool completely--about 1 hour.

Mix up Chocolate Buttercream:
10 oz. chocolate, chopped or use chips
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
18 T (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
Place the chocolate in the food processor.  On the stove, in a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream, light corn syrup, and salt to a low boil.  Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and process the mixture until smooth.
Add the sugar and vanilla and pulse several times to combine (about 30 seconds).  With the machine running, add the butter, one tablespoon at a time and combine until smooth and no butter chunks remain.  Transfer frosting to a medium glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until thick, then, remove and beat with a hand mixer until fluffy.  

Remove a center "plug" of cupcake and fill with favorite jam; I used up strawberry.

Ah...perfect amount left to fill!
Place part of the "plug" back over the hole, then, frost with the Chocolate Buttercream.
I added a few pearls to dress them up; even Julia would approve of that:-D

These worked out perfectly. I got my fix and when some friends came over to give my houseplants a new home and take our gas barbeque...I had dessert for them--and some to go. Enjoy!


  1. These look like the PERFECT chocolate fix for me. Nothing better then a chocolate cupcake! That move is coming closer everyday! I am so glad your moving. Life is very short and to live it to it's fullest and close to family is everything! PLUS you will be closer to me and that is pretty awesome!


  2. These look amazing and I'm in need of a chocolate fix, too. I hope your last few weeks on the left coast are filled with happy memories. I'm excited that you'll be closer to all your family and know that you'll love NC. Can't wait for your first post in your new digs! Have a safe trip to your new home! Lv, me

    1. Hi...I really want to try these in my ever continuing quest for the perfect chocolate cupcake. I don't know what granulated chocolate is? Sounds amazing, just don't know where to find it. :)

    2. Oh gosh! I MEANT TO TYPE GRANULATED SUGAR!! Thanks for catching that--my head is on straight now, at least today. Packing up a house takes a lot out of you!! XOXO

  3. These cupcakes look AMAZING with the perfectly piped frosting!

    1. I don't think I'm ready for Cupcake Wars, but the cupcake sure hit the spot...wish I had one right now, XOXO

  4. What lovely cupcakes Susan! The pearls on top are so sweet. Good luck to you and your family as you make your move to be closer to family. Family is everything to me, so I completely understand what being near them will mean to you. Take care and may everything go smoothly. xoxo ♥
    Martha Ellen

  5. Thank you Susan. How timely this is . I have had a "hankering" for chocolate cake for quite some time now. These look amazing. I may have to crank up the AC and get busy. It has been extremely hot and humid here but I love it except that baking does have to be postponed for abit.
    Good luck with the packing and the move

  6. Hi, Susan,
    Just catching up on your blog; my 6-1/2 year old grandson was here all last week; we baked every day, and I wore the lovely apron you sent me. Also, made your cherry vanilla bundt cake for a second time for the 4th of July. Have an easy move. Look forward to reading your blog from NC, once you have settled in.

  7. The cupcakes look divine. I think I need a dose of chocolate too! I don't have it often, but every once in awhile, I just crave it.
    Best of luck on the big move.... all good thoughts!

  8. Oh you are in the thick of it...these look so yummy. I'm sure that your friends loved them. They're going to miss you and your baking. Thinking of you as you close out your time there and set your sights on NC.

    1. I keep telling myself, "this is for the grands, this is for the grands, this is for the grands!" I'm leaving one of the most beautiful summers we've had here, my hydrangea bushes are so full they're tipping over, and then, there's all my friends. But, it will be a new experience and I always love that, XOXO

  9. Those cupcakes do look and sound divine! I'm definitely a chocoholic! :) Hope all goes well with your packing!

  10. I promised my favorite little chef (my 7 year old daughter Jessica) that this weekend, I would teach her to make chocolate cupcakes from scratch. I should not be surprised that this is the exact recipe you have just shared? Can't wait to try these with her. She's definitely a 10 on the chocolate scale, pretty sure I'm an 11 :-).

    Best wishes for your move... You'll still be far from me but at least now on the same coast. Driving is possible!!! Xoxox

  11. Yummy! I love the surprise in the centre!

  12. Susan, these chocolate cupcakes look so yummy. I must give them a try soon. Good luck on your move and enjoy your new home!

  13. Hello Susan
    Jeez! these cupcakes look so good.
    What would you recommend as a cool cool dessert other than fruit? Its so very hot here at present.

    Looking forward to seeing pics of your new of luck with the move!

    Meanwhile when you have a moment pop into my blog as I have a giveaway on the go :-)

    keep well

    Amanda :-)