Moist Chocolate Cupcakes...A couple of weeks ago, my sister-in-law asked if I had a really good chocolate cupcake recipe I could give her. My nephew's birthday was coming up, and because he loves chocolate.... well, chocolate cupcakes it would be. I emailed her this recipe...
The recipe actually comes together rather quickly...not a fussy recipe at all. Actually, kids can help too, if they want. It's mostly a matter of mixing some very basic ingredients... the dry ingredients gets mixed with the wet ingredients, and then it's simply poured in all sorts of tins...
When making these cupcakes for children, the recipe I posted will work great...but if you want an adult version, opt to use coffee for the water needed in the recipe as it will intensify the chocolate flavor. And if you love the combination of orange and chocolate, you can easily add some orange extract/peel to the cupcake batter... you could even add it to the frosting as well if you like.
I didn't post a frosting, as I wanted to focus on the cupcake itself. I made a simple ganache icing.... just by heating up a bit of cream and pouring it over some chopped chocolate( I usually don't measure this). Originally, I had wanted to decorate the cupcakes with some melted white chocolate.... like this....but eventually made my own designs:). But you can find a chocolate ganache glaze recipe there, if interested...or just make your own.
The chocolate cupcake with the ganache almost tastes like a Hostess cupcake (but better:)...well, at least I think so....even though I can't exactly remember how a Hostess cupcake tastes like, as I haven't had them in years. But it's got to be better homemade, no?:)
I know this recipe isn't new...it's actually a variation off of the well-known Hershey's chocolate cake(found on the back of the cocoa box). This version I'm posting is more of an adaptation of Ina Garten's cake recipe...with a few minor changes of mine. I ended up omitting the coffee, lowered the sugar and salt amount a bit, used a light olive oil, and made them into cupcakes rather than a cake. Baking time will differ for the cake...usually double the amount that of the cupcakes.
I find this recipe makes wonderfully moist, fluffy, and chocolatey cupcakes.... actually it's a winner of a recipe! You really don't miss the butter. So I thought I should post the recipe as I made it... just to have it here for future reference, because I think from now on, this is the recipe I'll be using...
Now, to find a good vanilla cupcake recipe... that's moist, fluffy, tasty, and just as easy:).
~Even though I prefer the egg/buttermilk version, I have included an egg-free/dairy-free option for making moist chocolate cupcakes below... budget friendly, too. The recipe makes a WONDERFUL option for those who have egg or dairy allergies.... or even if you don't have any allergies, but want to make some chocolate cupcakes and haven't any egg or milk on hand....sort of reminds me of the Depression era when folks would bake a cake with the simplest of ingredients. The frosting(not dairy-free) was just a quick stir of some melted chocolate with a bit of sour cream:)...nothing fancy.~
By the way, both sets of cupcakes freeze extremely well, so you could make them ahead and just frost the cupcakes the day you plan on serving them. Hope you enjoy...
Note: Cupcakes are best filled halfway or no more than 2/3 full. If filled more than 2/3 full you will get about 24 cupcakes, but the cupcake batter can overflow a bit as it rises, causing a "mushroom cap" ... especially so at high altitude.
I chose to decrease the amount of sugar in both recipes, but feel free to use the whole amount the original recipe asks for...
Tip: Use 6 Earl Grey tea bags steeped in the water called for in the recipe... for Earl Grey chocolate cupcakes/Cake
You will need: adapted from Ina Garten.
Makes about 24-28 cupcakes filled to about 1/2 or 2/3 full....
24-28 cupcake liners
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups sugar(or use 2 cups as per original)
3/4 cup good cocoa powder(I used Hershey's DARK)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup extra light olive oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Frosting or ganache glaze...sprinkles, etc..
1. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Heat oven to 350*F.
2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt....use a whisk to do this as it helps to sift the ingredients evenly.
3. In another bowl, mix eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla until combined.
4. With a mixer, on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients(step 3) to the dry ingredients(step 2). until combined.
5. With mixer on low, stir in the boiling water just until combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl so that everything is combined... but don't over mix. (the batter will be a bit thin, don't worry, this is right).
6. Fill liners 1/2 - 2/3 full with batter. ( It is easier to put the batter into a large measuring cup with a pour spout, and then pour the batter into the liners.)
7. Bake cupcakes for approximately 20-24 minutes....or until toothpick comes out clean. Check at 20 minutes... just to be sure... as it depends on your oven and how much you've filled your cupcake liners. Try not to overbake, as the cupcakes can get to be too dry....and don't under-bake as the cupcakes can fall in the middle.
8. Cool completely on wire rack before frosting....or freeze cupcakes unfrosted and defrost later.
Dairy/Egg-Free Version: adapted from Cuisine-at-Home's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake, but can be found HERE as well.
You will need: ~Makes 12 cupcakes or 1 (8inch) round cake~
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar (you could use 1 cup, if you like)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup hot water
1/3 cup extra light olive oil
1 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tsps instant coffee granules, optional
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 tsps orange peel, optional
orange extract/oil, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350 F with rack in the center.
2. Line cupcake pans with 12 cupcake liners... or grease 1(8 inch) round cake pan with oil and line with parchment paper.
3. Whisk dry cake ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
4. Combine water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee granules, and vanilla in a large measuring cup....it is at this point you can also add some extra flavoring in the form orange extract/peel....I ended up add 2 tsps grated orange peel and 1/4 tsp orange oil
5. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
6. Divide batter between the 12 cupcakes( filling them 2/3 full)... or 1(8 inch) cake pans , then bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (18 minutes for cupcakes....35- 40 min for cake).
7. Cool cupcakes/cake for 15 minutes on a rack.