Sunday, August 3, 2014

Chocolate Cupcakes + Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

As a companion to the previously made s'mores cupcakes, for the family members who are picky about their cupcake flavors, I made our family favorite of Hersey chocolate cupcakes. For frosting, I decided to try a recipe for vanilla buttercream.

As the s'mores cupcakes were baking, I turned my attention to the chocolate ones. The original recipe created 24 cupcakes, but I didn't need nearly that many, so I halfed the recipe, meaning the ingredient amounts in the pictures will be half to what they actually would be in the original recipe. Just as with the s'mores cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups of sugar, 1 3/4 cups of flour, 3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Unmixed dry ingredients
All nicely mixed and glorious
After that, you need to add 2 eggs, 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup vegetable (I used canola) oil and 2 teaspoons of vanilla to your dry ingredients. Beat that with a mixer (sadly, I had to use a hand-held mixer this time) for 2 minutes.
I'm not certain if this photo is just the previous step or the next one, but just use it for both just in case
The last step of creating the batter is to mix in 1 cup of boiling water. The batter will be quite thin afterwards, don't worry.
Finished thin batter; how fun!
Separate the batter, hopefully cleanly, into the 12 prepared muffin tins. If it wasn't clean, I would recommend that you just clean up the tin with a tissue to ensure that you don't have any little burned cupcake bits.
I am quite a messy person 
So clean, so beautiful
Nicely divided cupcake batter
Next, put the cupcakes into the oven for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the largest one comes out clean. Then, just take them out of the oven and cool inside the tin for 10 minutes. Take them out from the tin after that and let them cool on wire racks.
Lovely baked cupcakes
Such a nice close up shot of the cupcakes
After the cupcakes were completed, now it was time to make the vanilla buttercream. I used a recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen, which I found using some googling. Previously, when I've made vanilla buttercream, I hadn't whipped it enough which meant that, while it still tasted good, the sugar and the butter seperated after being put and removed from the fridge.
To start this recipe, which I actually succeeded in making, you will need to beat 1 stick of room temperature butter using a whisk attachment for 1 minute. I would recommend chipping your butter into smaller pieces before you start, as I did after that first picture.
Failing with my first attempt to whisk butter
Look at that beautiful successfully whipped butter
Then, you need to mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with the butter to combine. Be careful, as powdered sugar is known to burst up in a cloud when you try to mix it. That's why I was thankful for such a large bowl!
Mid whisking of the powdered sugar and butter
Add 1 tablespoon of milk and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat that on a higher speed for 4-5 minutes, or until the frosting is "impossibly light and fluffy". Be certain to scrape down the bowl as needed.
Finished tasty frosting
Look at those nice peaks
Once I had finished the frosting, I decided to try piping little swirls on top of the cupcakes. There wasn't enough frosting for the classic cupcake swirls, but I was able to do adorable little swirls using a sandwich bag with a tip cut off the end. It was my first time piping on cupcakes, but it was quite a lot of fun and I liked the finished picture.
Notice the lovely rainbow nailpolish?
Finally, I added a piece of Hershey's chocolate to the top of each of the cupcakes to add even more chocolate to them. Two of the swirls didn't succeed, so I just spread them flat. And the cupcakes were finished!
What a lovely little swirl
What a lovely collection of cupcakes
The cupcakes were lovely and moist (I only had half of one). There were many compliments on them, as well as on the frosting. We had to refrigerate some of the frosting for a later use, and it defrosted nicely. The cupcakes themselves freeze and defrost beautifully, so they're fine to save for over a week before you actually want to use them. I would recommend making the frosting on the day you're going to eat them, as it was safer to do that rather then trying to let it sit out or microwave.
Here's the link to the recipe for the chocolate cupcakes, but I'll include the ingredient list below.
And here's the link to the frosting recipe. The link includes a lot of other recipes for different types of buttercream, so I recommend you check it out. But the ingredients for the vanilla will be below.

Spoonful of Sugar from,
Your Friendly Teenage Baker

Hershey's chocolate cake ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable (I used canola) oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
Vanilla buttercream ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

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