My first batch of cupcakes ever, blueberry lemon cupcakes (doesn't that sound light and refreshing and summery?!) tasted good, but everyone kept asking me if I had made muffins or cupcakes. Aside from frosting, what's the difference, really?
For my first try, I have to say, the frosting was exceptional; though I did cut the recommended sugar used in the frosting by at least half. I don't like my cake and frosting too sweet and, honestly, I could simply eat the frosting all by itself!!
Here's the link these delicious Blueberry Lemon Muffcake (you like that?!) recipe:
Not wanting to ever confuse the cupcake and muffin again, I decided that chocolate cupcakes would be the best way to make the distinction. Forget the light and summery fresh cupcake - go for the decadent indulgence of chocolate.
For my recipe, I followed Ina Garten's wonderful Beatty's Chocolate Cake recipe. It is the best cupcake recipe and, best of all, it was a super easy recipe. It had everyone in our family asking for more, even though I made over 45 cupcakes for 20 people!
Beatty's Cake recipe courtesy of Ina Garten and the Food Network:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line with cupcake pans with cupcake paper.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes.
Thuy's notes: This recipe yielded about 24 cupcakes. For other beginner bakers out there, buttermilk is usually something I don't always have on hand so I simply add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a cup of milk and let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes. In many baking recipes, you can also just use plain yogurt or sour cream instead of buttermilk.
Also, the cupcake mix will seem incredibly thin and runny after adding the coffee, but it's absolutely normal. This is why the cupcake is so moist.
Ina's recipe called for a chocolate buttercream frosting. Because I didn't want too much chocolate on a chocolate cupcake, I used my first recipe's frosting to create a lighter tasting cupcake. The result was phenomenal! The combination of the light cream cheese frosting and the chocolate was perfect.
1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted (add more to your taste)
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
As evidenced by M's happy face, this cupcake was a huge hit! As for me, I think I've got the cupcake bug now...Next cupcake recipe to try will be a red velvet cupcake. Yum!!
If you have any favorite cupcake recipes, please share because I've got to feed my new addiction for cupcakes!