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Monday, July 14, 2014

Dark chocolate cupcakes

I did something very un-JulieBakes for B's birthday party.  I actually baked the cupcakes a few days before and then froze them so that they were still fresh for the party.  See, the week and a half before B's birthday party were going to be overly hectic for me, and there was no way I wasn't going to bake for the big birthday party.  So I had to come up with a way to have homebaked goods but not pull a bunch of all-nighters before the party (because then what fun would I be at the actual party?).  The answer was pretty clear: bake cupcakes, freeze cupcakes, thaw cupcakes, make icing, ice cupcakes, and then decorate cupcakes.  I figured I could make the icing the day before, ice the cupcakes, and then decorate them, so that they'd be homemade, delicious, and fresh :) [more on the cupcake decorations and where I  "borrowed" the super cute idea for sprinkles from here.]

But I wanted a new chocolate cupcake recipe.  I don't really know why - I have a few chocolate cupcake recipes that I really like - but then I saw a recipe for dark chocolate cupcakes.  DARK.  CHOCOLATE.  CUPCAKES!!  With cocoa powder and chocolate!  I figured they were worth a try, and trust me, they are!  They're super delicious and rich and decadent -- even B, my self-proclaimed vanilla-vanilla cupcake guy, thought these chocolate cupcakes were amazing!  The original recipe has them served with a peanut butter icing, which sounds fantastic, but I was planning on sticking with chocolate and vanilla icings for the party, so I just went with my go-to vanilla and chocolate buttercream recipes.  Totally delish!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
From Brown Eyed Baker
Makes 12 cupcakes (I got 12 cupcakes plus 9 mini cupcakes)


8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used semisweet since the store didn't have bittersweet.  They're basically the same thing anyway).
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup sour cream


Preheat the oven to 350F (325F if using a nonstick pan).
Line standard-sized muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a medium heat proof bowl.
Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water, and heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted.
Whisk until smooth and combined.
(...or you could microwave the mixture at 50% powder, stirring every 30 seconds, until completely melted.  Which is exactly what I did.)
Set aside to cool until just warm to touch.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl to combine.

Whisk eggs in another bowl to combine.
Add sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated.
Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.
Sift about 1/3 of the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.
Whisk in sour cream until combined.
Sift the remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is thick and fully incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners.
Bake until a skewer inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.

Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on a wire rack until they are cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.
Place cupcakes on a wire rack.
Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes (this is the point where I froze the cupcakes for later use).

Choose your icings:
Chocolate Buttercream
Vanilla Buttercream

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