Monday, June 29, 2020

Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe, High Altitude Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate Sprinkle Cupcakes, Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes
When was the last time I shared a cupcake recipe?  It's been a while, I'll admit.  I mean, layer cakes are my thing, and it's what I love to bake and decorate the most.  But cupcakes are pretty special, too.  They're so little and cute and perfectly sized, with that generous swirl of frosting on top for a frosting-to-cake ratio that's much more equal than what you generally get with a slice of cake.  Not to mention, cupcakes are quick and fun to decorate, easy to serve, and who doesn't love a cupcake?  A rich, moist chocolate cupcake is always a crowd-pleaser.

One of the most frequently asked questions about cake recipes is, can this be made into cupcakes?  The answer isn't always straightforward, because some cake batters simply bake better in cake pans than they do in individual cupcakes.  And for high-altitude bakers, the answer can be even more uncertain.  So to answer this question about my favorite, from scratch chocolate cake recipe, I baked it into cupcakes.  And just as I thought, the batter baked into the most beautiful, perfect chocolate cupcakes that were just as fantastic as the original cake.

A good chocolate cupcake depends on good cocoa powder, and I've been through several brands lately, but am currently using Rodelle Dutched Cocoa Powder.  It's not quite as dark as Hershey's Special Dark (old formula, not the new formula, which is why I stopped using it), but the flavor is rich and deliciously chocolatey.  You'll also note that I include a couple teaspoons of espresso powder in the ingredients for this recipe - it doesn't make the chocolate cupcakes taste like coffee, but the espresso powder simply enhances the chocolate, making it richer and more flavorful.




Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe, High Altitude Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate Sprinkle Cupcakes, Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe, High Altitude Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate Sprinkle Cupcakes, Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe, High Altitude Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate Sprinkle Cupcakes, Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes




One of the best things about these cupcakes is how moist they are, which means they can be made a day or two in advance, if needed, without fear of them drying out.  Whole milk, sour cream and vegetable oil add moisture and richness, and the result is a beautiful cupcake with a tender crumb that stays soft for days.

It's not always easy to make cupcakes or cake from scratch that tastes as good as what you can get from a box mix, but trust me that these are so much better.  The batter is quick and easy to mix up with a bowl and whisk, and the recipe is pretty much impossible to mess up.  Topped with fluffy chocolate frosting that's based on my Perfect American Buttercream Recipe, they are completely irresistible.


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Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe, High Altitude Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate Sprinkle Cupcakes, Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe, High Altitude Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate Sprinkle Cupcakes, Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe, High Altitude Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate Sprinkle Cupcakes, Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes





Baking Notes.
  • All of my recipes are tested for high altitude, so be sure to read my Baking FAQs to achieve your own perfect results.
  • These can be baked and frosted up to two days in advance; store in the refrigerator in an airtight container, and then bring to room temperature 1-2 hours before serving.
  • The chocolate frosting recipe makes enough to generously pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, but if you like less frosting, the recipe can easily be halved.


Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder (optional)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Buttercream.
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk or cream (if needed)
Cupcakes.
Preheat the oven to 350, and line a cupcake/muffin pan with paper liners.  (If you only have one pan, you can bake 12 cupcakes at a time, while letting the remainder of the batter rest in the bowl.  Without stirring the batter up after resting, gently scoop the batter and re-fill the pan to bake the remaining cupcakes.)

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sour cream, oil and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until well combined, about 1 minute.

Use an ice cream scoop to evenly portion the batter into the pan, filling the cups about 3/4 full.  Bake the cupcakes on the center rack for about 19-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool several minutes in the pan, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Buttercream.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until smooth.  With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, meringue powder, salt and vanilla.  Increase speed to medium-high and whip for 4-5 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally, until very light and fluffy, adding the milk as needed for desired piping consistency.

Pipe the buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes and garnish with sprinkles.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen
Yields about 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes

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