Smarter Than Pancakes

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Chocolate Cupcakes with Fake Buttercream Frosting

Cupcakes AGAIN? Yes, I happen to like cupcakes! And these cupcakes remind me of the Hostess cakes of my youth–only better because they’re from scratch!

My father-in-law is up visiting us from Charleston, and he reminded me that we completely missed his birthday last month. Last night we all went over to my husband’s niece and her husband’s house for dinner, so I asked fil what kind of cupcakes he’d like to have for his birthday cake. He chose chocolate, so here you go!

Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes with Fake Buttercream Frosting
(makes 24 cupcakes with a little batter left over)

2 cups cake flour (I weighed and used 260 grams)

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup butter, melted (2 sticks)

4 large eggs

1 t. vanilla

3/4 cup water

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line your cupcake pans with papers. (Only preheat to 325° if you have dark pans. One of my pans is non-stick, and they always cook faster in that pan than in my shiny pan.)
  2. Sift all of the dry ingredients (flour through salt) into a large-ish mixing bowl.
  3. Put all of your liquid ingredients (buttermilk to water) in another bowl and combine well.
  4. Mix your liquid ingredients into your dry ingredients, and then continue to mix on medium for about three minutes.
  5. Fill your cupcake papers. (I used my new, handy-dandy ice cream scoop so mine would all be the same size.)
  6. Pop them into the oven, and bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the middle comes out clean. (Rotate the pans if your oven has hot spots and don’t overcook them or they’ll dry out.)
  7. When they’re done, take them out of the oven and cool them on racks. (The longer you leave them in the pans, the longer they’ll continue to cook and also possibly dry out.)

For the frosting:

1 cup butter (Since this recipe uses a whole pound of butter between the cake and the frosting, do yourself a favor and go out and get a new box of the freshest butter you can find. If your butter is freezer burnt or has absorbed odors from your fridge, you’ll really be able to taste it in this frosting.)

5 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1/4 tsp salt if you use salted butter–throw in a little more if you use unsalted butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp lemon juice (NO fake stuff from the plastic container! Use fresh squeezed or you’ll be sorry.)

1 Tbs. milk or cream (I used half-and half.)

  1. Throw your butter into your stand mixer and beat until it’s creamy. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, let it come to room temperature before using a hand mixer.)
  2. Gradually add your powdered sugar (or you’ll wear it.)
  3. After you’ve added about half of the sugar, throw in the liquid ingredients, then add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix well.
  4. If it’s too thick, add a little more milk or cream. (Or half-and-half as it were.)
  5. Use this to frost your completely cooled cupcakes.

Stick them on a plate and take a picture for your blog. . .wait, that’s just me. 😉

The reason I call this “Fake Buttercream” is because REAL Buttercream is much more involved, and there are several versions that you can make. This one is tasty and much easier, so that’s the way I went.


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