Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Tell me, is there a happier subject than cupcakes? I think not. There’s just something fun about these little cakes with a generous swirl of frosting and sprinkles on top that makes you smile.

I was looking for a delish cupcake recipe to make for Easter a few weeks ago and after searching Pinterest and food blogs, I remembered this recipe that I got from a cupcake cookbook my sister brought with her while she was visiting (yes, I was quite happy to spend time with her new cookbooks…and her too, of course :p). It’s called “The Cupcake Diaries” and the lovely photos were simply calling my name.

I landed on a recipe for a two layer chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream frosting and decided to turn it into cupcakes instead. With the strawberry buttercream it seemed like the perfect “springish” cupcake!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting –

(Recipe adapted from “The Cupcake Diaries: Recipes and Memories from the Sisters of Georgetown Cupcake” by Katherine Kallinis and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne)

This cupcake recipe is seriously one of the best I’ve tried. The cupcakes came out super moist and chocolaty and the strawberry buttercream was rich and creamy; it complimented the cupcakes perfectly. I wasn’t quite sure how they were going to turn out because the measurements were a little … odd, shall we say. For instance, the frosting calls for 32 tablespoons of butter and 8 cups of powdered sugar (which is a whole bag, if you’re wondering)! Never have I used so much powdered sugar lol… needless to say, I was kinda covered in it (thank God for aprons!). And while the frosting did turn out rather sweet and a little bit stiff, once you add the strawberries in it makes all the difference!



(the cute cupcake liners & sprinkles my sister gave me :) )

I had to improvise on a few of the ingredients seeing as how my town is just not fancy enough to carry Plugra Unsalted Butter, Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, and Valrohna Cocoa powder lol. So I used regular unsalted butter, imitation vanilla, and Hershey’s Cocoa powder… cause that’s just how I roll. It worked fine; no need to be all fancy (except for I would splurge on the real vanilla if ya can).


After I frosted the cupcakes, to give them an “Eastery” touch, I shaved chocolate on top to look like a little nest and topped it off with mini chocolate eggs. But you can garnish these with just the chocolate shavings, fresh strawberries, or sprinkles. Happy cupcake baking!

Sidenote: This is the only recipe I’ve made from this cookbook and seeing as how it turned out so good, I was going to recommend it. It has lovely photos and stories from the sister’s of Georgetown Cupcake. Not to mention delish sounding recipes. But after looking at the reviews of this cookbook on Amazon, it seems the consensus is that majority of the recipes do not work. However I do plan to try out more of the recipes just to see for myself. All I know is that these cupcakes were really good, but just a heads up for all you bakers out there. :)

For the cake -
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons European-style unsalted butter, at room temperature (Plugra brand recommended)
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla (preferably Madagascar Bourbon)
1 cup Valrhona cocoa powder, sifted (may substitute another good-quality coca powder)

For the frosting -
32 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 salt
1 cup strawberries, diced and strained

Preheat the oven to 350. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt on a piece of parchment paper or wax paper and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium for 3 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.

Combine the milk and vanilla in a large liquid measuring cup. Add one third of the dry ingredients, followed by one third of the milk and vanilla, and mix. Repeat. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the last third of the dry ingredients, followed by the last third of the milk and vanilla. Add the cocoa powder, mixing slowly until just incorporated.

Pour batter into lined cupcake pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Let cupcakes cool completely (approximately 15 minutes).

Frosting -
Place all ingredients except for strawberries in a stand mixer and whip for 5 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy. Using a spatula, fold in the diced strawberries.

Frosting cupcakes and top with chocolate shavings, fresh strawberries, or sprinkles.

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