Regardless of whether your candidate won or lost, you deserve a cupcake. A double-chocolate cupcake. With buttery chocolate frosting. The cupcake can be a celebration, or a consolation. Either way, this cupcake will be tasty and you will sigh and smile. Perhaps one more might be even better…you deserve it.
And this is no ordinary cupcake. This is a killer cupcake. Moist, sweet and with a wallop of dark chocolate, this is the kind of cupcake you get at the best bakeries (after you waited in line). And that is where the recipe comes from. The recipe is Carolyn’s adaptation of a cake recipe from the Miette cookbook. Miette is a small chain of bay area bakeries that features world-class cakes, cupcakes and confections. The Miette cookbook is a favorite in our kitchen, not only for the recipes, but some of the techniques that make for moist and flavorful cakes. The “Cake-Baking Essentials” section of the book should be required reading for bakers who want to take their cakes to the next level. Some of the “essentials” are a bit fussy and exacting, but with baking, “fussy” is what often makes the difference.
And this recipe uses a few of these techniques for a better cupcake. The recipe uses oil instead of butter, as butter has extra water content that evaporates and makes for a dry, crumbly texture (we love butter, but it is better for crispy, rather than tender baked goods). Oil keeps the cupcake moist. The recipe uses both melted chocolate and cocoa power for deep chocolate flavor. And the recipe has you sift dry ingredients, very lightly mix the batter and then strain the batter through a mesh strainer to avoid lumps, and minimize mixing and gluten formation. In the end, you have a little extra work, but a very moist and flavorful cupcake.
Otherwise, the basic steps for making the cupcakes are familiar. Line your muffin tin with cake cups and preheat the oven. Sift and mix the dry ingredients. Melt the chocolate and prepare the wet ingredients. Whip the eggs in a mixer, then add the oil, chocolate and other wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients, mix lightly and run the batter through the mesh strainer. Then put the batter in the cake cups and bake. After about twenty to twenty-five minutes you will have cupcakes. Then you have to wait for them to cool…and those minutes can be painfully slow.
But while the cupcakes bake and cool, you will have time to “gild the lily” and make the chocolate frosting. The frosting is a simple combination of melted chocolate, whipped butter and sugar (and a touch of milk). Other than using a stand mixer and good chocolate, there is no special equipment or technique required. The chocolate, butter and sugar can stand up for themselves. And when you combine this sweet, creamy chocolate frosting with the moist, chocolatey cupcake you get a double-chocolate cupcake worth celebrating. It certainly has our vote.
(Adapted from the Miette Cookbook)
Notes Before You Start:
- You can use this cake recipe for full-size cakes. Miette suggests 2, 6-inch pans, but you can use one larger cake pan, if you like.
- The recipe suggests “natural” and not Dutch-processed cocoa powder. The natural cocoa has deeper flavor.
What You Get: Moist, flavorful chocolate cupcakes. Happiness.
What You Need: A stand mixer is required for this recipe but is a key tool for any baker and a worthwhile investment. A medium mesh sieve or strainer is also required.
How Long? 1 to 2 hours, with about 30 minutes of active time. You need a chunk of free time to bake a cake.
(Makes 2 dozen cupcakes)
- 1 and 1/2 cups (7 and 1/2 oz.) all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/4 cups (4 and 1/2 oz.) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 oz. 70% cacao dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 and 1/4 cups (16 oz.) sugar
(Frosting for 3 -4 dozen cupcakes)
- 2 pounds unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 and 1/4 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons 2% milk
- Line two muffin tins with paper liners. Position racks in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
- Placed the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over it and whisk until the chocolate melts. Let the chocolate cool for 15 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla. Set aside.
- Fit your stand mixer with whisk attachment. Put the eggs in the mixer’s bowl and whisk at high-speed until foamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer’s speed to low and slowly pour in the oil until combined, about 30 seconds. Then raise the speed to medium and whisk another 30 seconds or until the oil is fully incorporated.
- Reduce the mixer’s speed to low and slowly pour the cooled chocolate into the egg mixture. Then slowly pour in the buttermilk and vanilla mixture. Add the sugar and whisk until the mixture is smooth and liquid, about 2 minutes.
- Stop the mixer and move the mixing bowl to a counter. Add the dry ingredients and mix, folding gently by hand, until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and gently mix again. Stop mixing, even if a few lumps remain.
- Pour the batter through a medium-mesh sieve or strainer into a large bowl. Press against the solids in the sieve to get as much batter as possible, then discard any remaining lumps.
- Pour the batter into the cake cups, filling them 2/3 of the way. Then place the muffin tins into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. When done, remove the tins from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack. Let the cupcakes cool completely in the pan. Then remove from the pan, frost and serve.
- Melt the chopped chocolate in a double boiler or gently in the microwave. Set aside and allow to cool.
- Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Whip the butter at high speed with the paddle until smooth and creamy, about 3 – 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the cooled chocolate and mix until incorporated, 1 – 2 minutes. Change the speed to low and slowly add the sugar. Finally add the milk until incorporated. Serve.
- After Eight Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting- Happy 4 months Sugar and Spice Baking…. (sugarandspicebaking.com)
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- Presto! Chocolate Cake (an “Every Day” Cake) (aprilandjoseph.typepad.com)
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- How To Make The Perfect Honey Cupcake (romancingthebee.com)
- chocolate cupcake madness. (sallysbakingaddiction.com)
- Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes (teacher-chef.com)
- Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Cake (thehappyhousewife.com)
Am too old to use this phrase, but OMG. Those look amazing and delicious. Great job on the photos.
Thanks! Carolyn has fun with the cake photos…lots of ways to make a cake look good..
Your frosting looks great! Mine needs some work! Thank you for linking to my blog!
Do you have any amazing cupcake recipes that do not require a wedding registry in my name so that I can afford a stand mixer? ha! I can dream though. This looks great, and I’m especially fond of the chopped chocolate!
Thanks! We will look for a non mixer recipe. Probably quite a few for the cake, but less so for the frosting…
Yum! Can I have two please?
Sure! (we did)…
Yum!!!! Carolyn has truly outdone herself.
The kitchen looked good. She gave most of these to kids at Sam’s school…lucky kids..
oh my … I don’t even go for sweets that often but these cupcakes look outrageous!
Thanks…cupcake photography is almost as fun as eating them…
Guys, what a great idea …. take a cupcake – now when you have put the world in Mr Obama’s hands. Love cupcakes … because they are so pretty – but when it’s down to eating them – I want them naked *smile … even if they more or less becomes a muffin then.
Sounds great, have to try these! I love how you always provide so much practical advise in your posts.
Thanks! Most appreciated…
how tempting !!! alas, even when I only look at them I gain weight !!!!!
Well, so do we, but if you are going to splurge, these cupcakes are worth it…
I’m sure they are !!!
Wow, that’s my kind of cupcake!
Thanks! (ours too)…
These looks luscious. I’m so done with the election- now if only the news would stop ‘analyzing the results’ all would be right with the world.
Thanks….we think you should ignore the analysis….maybe a cupcake instead?
Yummy, Yummy, and more yummy!
Thanks (and they were yummy)…
OMG, they look super yummy!
Yes! We all deserve a cupcake after this election — whether your person won or loss. I was worn out from it all a month prior to the election. Now I just want a nap… dreaming of those yummy looking cupcakes.
Thanks. We noticed that there is a bit less “noise” out there since Tuesday…time to get back to cooking!
I love the recipe for both cupcake and the frosting. Cupcakes are so popular these days! I’m interested in the cook book you mentioned, too.
Thanks! The Miette cookbook is worth a look. If you want techniques that make your home baking seem “pro” (without anything crazy) it is a great resource.
I flipped through the Miette cookbook a while ago in a bookstore but now I definitely have to take another look at it. The sieving step is intriguing and the final result looks amazing. Chocolate overload, I am OK with that!
Nothing wrong with extra chocolate!
The Miette book is a good one (and a visit to the bakery is even better!)
Yes, it’s definitely on the list the next time I am in San Francisco!
Hey – it’s your non baking friend. I want to make these as mini cupcakes for Miles 2nd B-day & wanted to know if I need to do anything different (except use mini pans & less batter in each). XO
Hola- Miles is 2, unbelievable. The basic recipe is the same- you will just need to vary cooking time. Minis will be 10-15 minutes at 350. But this is a big recipe so that will make a LOT of cupcakes (36 per dozen of regular). Just an FYI in case you want to halve the recipe…
Miss u guys…
Miss u all as well. Good suggestion on halving the recipe and thanks for the adjusted cooking time. I hope to do you proud! I have never baked cupcakes or a cake so this is going to be exciting.