27 Sep Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Pink Frosting

Have you ever traveled internationally? If you have, maybe you can relate to the combination of excitement and dread that starts to come over me when I think about boarding a 10 hour flight.

At first I get all excited thinking about what movie I’m going to watch because I know I can only stay awake for one. (I have this thing where I can’t stay awake on planes, dunno.) And obviously I look forward to picking out plane snacks – typically gummy bears, Mike & Ikes, Starburst, Ghardettos…what?? NO JUDGEMENT ZONE.

Then I really start to get giddy when I remember those adorable, miniature bottles of wine that they serve on long flights. You can pretty much drink as many as you want because they’re FREE. Well, kind of. I mean, international airfare costs A LOT, I might as well take a stab at drinking my $$$ worth, right?

It’s really all very exciting, I assure you. That is, until  about an hour into the flight. That’s when your foot starts to fall asleep. Another hour passes and you start to wonder if it’s possible for your  butt fall asleep. An hour later, you realize it is DEFINITELY possible. And then there is the fact that the air is recycled and has that weird, inescapable airplane smell.

By the time I get off the plane I feel like I haven’t showered in days, slightly disoriented from the time change and lack of movement (or maybe it’s the wine?), AND I can’t wait to eat something that doesn’t taste like teryaki cardboard.  So you see, it’s not so glamourous after all?

Anyway – lets talk cupcakes. I should start by telling you that I don’t really like chocolate cake. In my mind, brownies are far superior. I do however, LOVE this chocolate cake. Ina Garten is a genius, ’nuff said.

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Chocolate Cupcakes:

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s “Beatty’s Chocolate Cake”

1 3/4 c flour
2c sugar
3/4c  cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 c buttermilk, shaken
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c freshly brewed hot coffee

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & begin brewing your coffee, if needed.

2. In a large bowl, sift  flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder & salt.

3. Add sugar and mix ingredients thoroughly.

4. In a large measuring cup, combine butter milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and eggs.

5. Slowly add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, while mixing on low speed.

6. Slowly add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Batter will be VERY thin.

7. Pour cake batter back into large measuring cup and pour into lined cupcake pans. Makes 24-36 cupcakes.

8. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Test cupcakes with a toothpick after about 15 minutes. If it comes out clean, they’re ready to come out of the oven.

Hot Pink Frosting

1 8oz block of cream cheese, softened

1/2 c butter, softened

4-5 cups powdered sugar

1tsp vanilla

pink food coloring (I used Wilton, oil based in Pink)

Optional:

sprinkles of your choosing

disco dust

pastry bag (a gallon sized zip lock works in a pinch)

large star decorating tip

1. Cream together butter, cream cheese & vanilla until light and fluffy.

2. Add powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments until desired sweetness and consistency is reached.

3. Add in pink coloring and mix thoroughly.

4. Cut the tip off of your pastry bag and insert the star tip (if you want to use a coupler here you can, but I’m keepin’ it simple).  This short clip is really helpful. Use a spatula to spoon the icing into your pastry bag. If you’d like, spread some wax paper on your counter and practice making designs.

To frost your cupcakes, start out the outer edge of the cupcake and make a circle around the border. When you reach the point where you started, begin closing in the circle until you reach the middle. Viola!

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