Can I say that I find any opportunity to bake?
St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to make a batch of cupcakes! Chocolate cupcakes are one of H’s favorites. I felt like I should make Guinness chocolate cake, or at least buttercream flavored with Irish Cream. Honestly, I had none of those in my pantry, and these had to be kid-friendly, so I went with my standard tried and true chocolate cake recipe. If you do have Irish Cream on hand, feel free to swap out the milk or whipping cream for it! I really must add a bottle to my shopping list!
These cupcakes are everything you would expect: intense chocolate flavor, fudgy, moist and perfectly sweet.
While we dislike sugary-sweet frostings, chocolate cupcakes need a regular buttercream. The intense bittersweet chocolate paired with this type of buttercream is perfect.
I thought about tinting the buttercream green, but I personally didn’t think they would look appetizing. I try not to use too much food coloring, and I would hate to confuse anyone who might think they were mint flavored. We are obviously not fans of mint!
The vanilla buttercream is my standard recipe. It has the perfect ratio of 1:3 (butter:icing sugar). Duff Goldman also uses the same measurements.
Enjoy; you will not be able to stop at eating just one!
My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes
Adapted from foodnetwork.com
Makes 28-30 cupcakes
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
- 2 ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk (see kitchen notes)
- ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee or 1 cup boiling water mixed with 1 tsp espresso powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place cupcake liners in your cupcake/muffin pans.
- 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.
- Fill each liner 2/3 full.
- Bake 22-25 minutes (depending on your oven). Insert a toothpick randomly, it should come out clean.
- I find it helpful to pour the batter (it will be thin) into a large measuring cup.
- Make sure each cupcake liner has the same amount of batter, otherwise you will end up with some cupcakes that are baked, and some that are not.
- If you do not have buttermilk on hand (I never do), fill a measuring cup with 1 tbsp vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Add milk to equal 1 cup, stir and let sit for a few minutes.
Classic Vanilla Buttercream
Adapted from foodnetwork.com
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 cups icing sugar, sifted
- 1-2 tbsp milk or whipping cream (or Irish Cream)
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together butter and icing sugar on low speed until well blended. I tend to rock the switch on my mixer between off and number 1, back and forth to avoid splattering the icing sugar everywhere.
- When the icing sugar is incorporated, increase speed to medium and beat for another few minutes.
- Add vanilla extract and milk or cream and continue to beat on medium speed for a few more minutes.
- Add additional milk or cream if needed (in very small amounts), to your desired spreading consistency.
- If your kitchen is warm or the butter is too soft, place it back in the fridge for a bit. Don’t worry, when you whip the butter, it will come together.