Since yours truly loves cake, I thought it would only be appropriate that I start off with a cake recipe! Well, actually, it’s a cupcake recipe. But to-may-to, to-mah-to right?
It’s kind of embarrassing, because whenever we had guests over my mom would make me in charge of dessert and two things I usually made were either brownies or a pineapple soufflé dessert (the pineapple soufflé name is misleading and is actually super easy. I’ll be sure to make a post on how to make it in the future!) Anyways, I would usually make the brownies from a box mix (Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, and Pillsbury- I seriously owe you guys), and people would gush and say, “Oh these are so good!”, “You did a great job on those brownies!” and the like, and I would meekly accept their praise, feeling dirty because I had just dumped some brownie mix together with eggs, oil, and water.
Funny story: The very first time I actually baked something, I remember excitedly telling an older family friend (I was probably, like, 10 and she was maybe 16 or something), and she just kind of laughed and dismissed this huge moment in my life, saying “Yeah, but you didn’t make it from scratch.” Those words stung. I think that’s why I was so ashamed when people complimented my non-scratch baked goods. (I’m being dramatic and overanalyzing a very insignificant incident haha.)
Basically all of this meant I had to redeem myself. And redeem myself I did. Eventually. Because the first time I made chocolate cupcakes from scratch, I was thoroughly disappointed, and put cupcakes on the backburner for a while.
Until recently, when I found the one. (As in the perfect recipe…not as in the one as in a significant other.) And now I shall share that recipe with you. Use this recipe for good (and for getting back at anyone who ever doubted your baking skills).
Note: I included the recipe for the chocolate cream cheese frosting I used, but these will also go great with chocolate or vanilla buttercream frosting or Nutella frosting. If you like a little tanginess then use a cream cheese frosting.
Yields approx. 20 cupcakes
¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 ounces chocolate (doesn’t have to be specifically for baking)
2 eggs, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
½ cup + 1 Tb vegetable or canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp instant coffee powder (optional)
½ cup room temperature water
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Cream together butter and sugar with electric/stand mixer for 5 minutes, until fully combined. Should look like wet sand.
- Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler
- Once the melted chocolate is cool enough to touch, add it to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until just combined.
- Mix in eggs and egg yolks one at a time until just combined.
- Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream until just combined.
- Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, cocoa powder, and instant coffee powder into a separate bowl. Use a fork/whisk to ensure that the ingredients are mixed well after sifting.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three additions, mixing until just combined after each addition
- Mix in water until just combined
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full
- Bake for 18 minutes
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar (depends on how much you want it sweet)
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth
- Mix in powdered sugar, a cup at a time
- Mix in cocoa powder
Ø Try to make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature. However, the world will not end if they are not. But for the best results, try to do so.
Ø Don’t over mix your batter! Don’t over bake your cupcakes!
Ø BUT you can (and should) go (a little) crazy creaming your sugar and butter together to make sure they’re fully incorporated
Ø For the frosting make sure you use powdered/confectioners’ sugar. If you use regular, granulated sugar, your frosting will taste grainy (I speak from experience). If you don’t have powdered sugar, you can try to make it by pulsing granulated sugar in a food processor, but the texture can still be slightly grainy. Pick your poison.