Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cupcake it

Cupcakes are all the rage nowadays. A small yummy piece of heaven that you can customize to fit your occasion and get some great compliments as well. I find that this is the best dessert at bridal and baby showers and even weddings! Lots of boutique cupcake places are popping up all over the country- but they can be pricey. So here are some tips to make them yourself for half the cost ( and all the compliments:) Since Chocolate is a girl's best friend the recipe below is for chocolate cupcakes with butter cream frosting.

The Best Chocolate Cupcakes Ever (with chocolate mouse filling)
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Beat the butter until soft. Add sugar and beat about 3 min. add eggs and beat again.
In a separate bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small size bowl and whisk to combine. Add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat. Add about half the milk/vanilla and beat. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop the batter into cupcake cups about 1/2 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

While your cupcakes are cooking, prepare the chocolate mousse filling:

  • 8 squares semi sweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream, whipped
  • 2 tbsp butter (no substitutes)

In a microwave, heat chocolate, 1/4 cup water and butter until the chocolate and butter are melted. (Check on every 30 seconds). Cool for 10 minutes. In a small sauce pan, whisk egg yolks, sugar and remaining water. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture reaches 160 degrees (check with cooking thermometer) about 1-2 minutes (may need to cook a little higher).Remove from heat and whisk into chocolate mixture. Set saucepan in ice and stir until cooled (about 5-10 minutes). Fold in whipped cream.

When you cupcakes have cooled to room temperature it is time to fill with the mousse.
Spoon the mousse into a plastic bag or pastry bag.

If you have a pastry bag
with frosting tips:
Choose the sharpest point to use and gently stick tip into center of cupcake and squeeze mousse inside.

If you are using a plastic bag:
Squish the mouse to a corner of the bag and snip a small hole in the corner. Gently cut a hole in the top of the cupcake(don't worry the frosting will cover it) and squeeze mousse inside the cupcake. Replace the top.

Butter cream Frosting
I have tried a few different types of butter cream frosting recipes, including the famous magnolia bakery recipe. I have found that the easiest and best tasting one to use is from the book " hello cupcake" by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson:

  • 1 container (16 oz) marshmallow fluff
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar ( plus extra if necessary)

Spoon fluff into large bowl and beat with electric mixer on low. Gradually add butter pieces until smooth. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Add more sugar if necessary to adjust texture.

Decorating ideas
You can use food coloring ( check out Michaels if you want a unique color). Do polkadots by frosting the cupcake in one color and dotting in another. Or for Additional Decorating ideas check out:

Another Cute way to make your cupcake unique is by using special cupcake papers ( like the ones at

Also try placing them in a cupcake tree! ( you can find one at Michaels, Target or Bed bath and beyond.

Happy baking!

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