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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Channukkah gelt cupcakes

Last year I wanted to make a Channukkah treat.  I had thought about what to do, and ended up deciding that simply using Channukkah gelt (chocolate coins) would be enough to make a treat festive for the holiday.  It didn't help that I was obsessed with the chocolate coins from Trader Joe's -- they're way better than other chocolate coins I've had before, and they come in super cute packaging to boot.  So last year I bought a ton of chocolate coins from Trader Joe's....and then ended up not making anything with them.  So this year, when the coins were back on the shelves, I bought (a ton) more!  This year, I actually got around to baking something with them!

So, I may have gone a little overboard with the pictures of the chocolate coins.  OK, I went A LOT overboard with the pictures.  And these are only some of them.  But look at how cute the packaging is!  But I digress.  The cupcakes actually turned out pretty cute:

For the cupcakes, I went with my go-to yellow cake.  I've used it a ton of times before, most recently for those cute moustache mini cupcakes for Movember.  I went with a white (vanilla) icing, because I really wanted the chocolate coin(s) to stand out on the cupcake.  Of course I had saved some of the remaining chocolate malted buttercream from those cupcakes, so I decorated a few cupcakes with that icing, too.  I have to say that the coins stood out pretty well on those, too.  So next year, maybe I'll make an assortment of cupcakes :)

Chocolate Gelt Cupcakes

Other ingredients you need, besides those listed below:

-Cupcake liners
-Chocolate coins, any variety, about 16-24, depending on how many you use per cupcake, and how many cupcakes you make
-Piping tips for icing

Cupcakes (from none other than Smitten Kitchen):

Yield: This recipe makes A TON.  I halved it and ended up with 16 mini cupcakes and 12 regular-sized cupcake, and ended up throwing a little bit of the batter away.


4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (480 grams) cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
2 sticks (1 cup, 1/2 pound or 225 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk (475 ml), well-shaken


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter cake pans and line with parchment paper, then butter parchment. (Or, use paper cupcake liners, or you can use a cooking spray.  I used Pam for baking and was very impressed with the results.)
Sift together the dry ingredients EXCEPT for sugar in a medium bowl.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition.
At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled).
Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

Bake until golden on top and cooked throughout (the mini cupcakes took about 10 minutes, give or take a few).

Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan.
Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Originally from SavorySweetLife, as seen a few time before on JulieBakes, for instance here

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened (but not melted!)
3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED (I used 3 .5cups)
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream (I was out of cream and my milk was bad (even though it wasn't the sell-by date), so I just left that out this time.)
Food coloring, optional


Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed.
Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn mixer to the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter.
Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of cream and beat for 3 minutes.
If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.


After cupcakes have cooled, pipe icing onto cupcakes, mounding it up a bit on the center.
Peel the foil off of chocolate coins and place on the cupcakes.

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