Birthday Cupcakes!

My hubby’s birthday was this Saturday, and it’s not a birthday around here without some serious sweets!  I didn’t quite have the time to bake a cake, but these buttermilk cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting weren’t too shabby if I say so myself.

I got the new Martha Stewart Cupcakes book for Christmas this year, so here are two of the many fantastic recipes within the pages.  These cupcakes are going to be my new stand-by…the are the perfect consistency (not too firm, but not too crumbly) and the flavor will pair fantastically with any type of frosting.

Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes:

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5  large eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.  Line standard muffin tins with liners.  Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

With a standing mixer (or handheld) cream butter and sugar on medium-high sped until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium adding eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl after each addition.  Add egg yolks and beat until combined.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk.  Beat each addition until fully combined.  Add vanilla.

Divide batter evenly among cups, filling about 3/4 full.  Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, depending how full your 3/4 is, mine was overzealous.  Rotate tins halfway through (so 10-11 minutes in) the baking time.  Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Dark Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Hershey’s cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 pound best-quality semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Before you start, melt your semi-sweet chocolate so it has 30 minutes to sit and cool.  You can use a double boiler or just microwave it in a large glass bowl like I did.  Just be sure to microwave the chocolate in 30 to 45 second increments, stirring between each.  And stir the chocolate regularly for 30 minutes before you add it to the butter mixture, otherwise the frosting will be too soft to use right away.

In a small bowl, combine cocoa and boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved and forms a chocolate paste.  In a large bowl, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt with an electric mixer on high-speed until pale and fluffy.  Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined.  Beat in the cocoa mixture, and voila: buttery frosting heaven.

Slather your cupcakes with a generous amount of frosting, top with sprinkles and even little birthday present sticks, like mine, for a festive flourish!

They can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, but I’m fairly certain they will not last that long, they sure didn’t here!

If you ask the birthday boy, I’m pretty sure he was pleased with the result!

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One Comment

  1. Karen Burns
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Happy Belated Birthday Matt! These really look yummy! I have subscribed to Martha Stewart’s Magazine since it was conceived. I can not wait to have my new kitchen finally done so I can get bake to serious cooking and some baking. Thank goodness my husband is a good cook and works around the construction area with flair! As we are still roughing it, a typical weekend breakfast is homemade skillet cornbread and raspberry jam….I will share the recipe when I have a free second with my “Cheater Bite” friends,

    K.K.

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