Sunday, May 16, 2010

Happy Birthday to ME! Cupcakes

Since I am silly and decided to work on my birthday this year I thought it would be fun to bring in cupcakes to share. I work PRN or "As needed" and a place I work for needed me on my birthday I said yes and was mad that I did since it was the warmest nicest day of the year so far. Murphy's law I guess. Ha ha. I decided to bake up some yummy buttery vanilla cupcakes to go with a NEW chocolate frosting recipe. I have a bout 4 different recipes and they are all GOOD just not the "ONE". Well neither was this one. It tasted great, but it was a lot more work for what the end result was AND I ended up having to alter it to get it to be stiff enough to hold a piped form and not melt and ooze all over. One of my favorite baking sites, Our Best Bites, posted about a new Chocolate Frosting Recipe, and I was really excited to try it. Different technique than my other frosting recipes that I have used in the past.

I started with my basic buttery vanilla cupcakes and doubled the recipe to make 24. Being that I am nearing the end of my second pregnancy I have full on pregnancy "brain" and forgot to take pics of the cupcake baking process except for this one..
Fresh out of the oven buttery vanillaey goodness.

But I did take LOTS of pictures of the frosting making process since it was so NEW to me. Our Best Bites also shows step by step but since I like to do that on my blog I did too!

Ingredients set out. Flour, sugar, cocoa ( I used GOOD cocoa too, Droste) butter, melted and cooled chocolate chips, milk

Milk, flour, water in a saucepan and bring to a boil constantly whisking until it gets to a consistency of a thin pudding. Or not. Mine NEVER boiled and when from liquid to THICK before I could even say " I just wasted good cocoa powder" ha ha

Way too thick BUT I think I can save it...

My straining the chocolate station. On the left the pan I cooked the frosting in, you can see the mixture stuck to the pan, the middle my strainer set over a bowl and my spatula, on the right my bowl and spatula used for scraping the chocolate mixture off the bottom of the strainer into the small bowl on the right. My arm was sore after 15 minutes of scraping. I had to add a little milk to thin it out so I could get all the chocolate scraped through so no solid parts were in the frosting. 

Still a little thick and tasted JUST like chocolate pudding

Adding the mixture to the creamed butter

After mixing and adding in the cooled melted chocolate. The taste was AWESOME. Consistency well sucked. Like pudding. No WAY was it going to hold up to being piped. And I had made a bunch of fondant flowers as decors and wanted them to sit on top of pretty frosting swirls. So I added in more cocoa powder, some meringue powder and since the frosting wasn't overly sweet I added in a cup of powdered sugar. I just didn't want too sweet frosting. I then chilled it for a while to see if it would set up. It did BUT as I was piping it started to get back to that pudding consistency really quickly as it got closer to room temp. Surprisingly it held shape but you could tell it wouldn't hold up at anything warmer than 68 -70 deg. These were a frost and eat immediately cupcake.
This is the chilled frosting piped on. It didn't harden up like most buttercreams do when chilled so I could still pipe with ease.

With my fondant flowers I made the day before I baked. I used two of my 5 petal flower cutters and dried them in small painters pallets. They work great to hold the cupped shape. Let them dry out and then painted a little hologram disco dust on them

They looked pretty and tasted good, but the frosting was just TOO soft. So next time I make chocolate frosting I won't be making this recipe again. Sorry Our Best Bites!! I love you and make tons of your recipes sweet and savory but this one just didn't work for me!

Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
from my files

Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
Makes 12 – 14 cupcakes


1 ½ cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temp
 2 large eggs, room temp
1 ½ tsp vanilla
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup sour cream
1 vanilla bean ( optional)

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 deg F. Line a standard cupcake/muffin pan with paper or foil liners

In a bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder. Set aside

In another bowl measure out the sugar and scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the sugar. Work the sugar and seeds between your fingers until the seeds are well mixed in and the sugar is very fragrant.

Cream butter and sugar in stand mixer on med speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Bead it vanilla and sour cream.

Alternate the flour in 3 additions with the milk in 2 additions. Not waiting til all the flour is mixed in before adding the milk. Beating on lowest speed until just combined. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix on med speed for 30 seconds until no traces of flour remain.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake cups, filling each about ¾’s full. Bake until lightly golden, when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or the top bounces back when lightly pressed. 16-20 min. Let the cupcakes cool in pan for 5 min then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting, at least an hour. 

Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Chocolate Frosting
Recipe adapted by Our Best Bites from Sugar Plum

2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup milk
1 cup real butter, softened
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Optional: Additional cocoa powder as needed

Melt your chocolate chips if you haven't already and set aside to cool.

In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, salt and milk; bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Boil 1-3 minutes or until thickened like a thinned pudding.  Remove pan from heat and strain mixture into a small bowl. Cool completely in the refrigerator or freezer.

When chocolate flour mixture is cooled, beat the butter until creamy, about 1 minute.  Beat in the cooled chocolate mixture until well combined fluffy, about 1 minute.  Finally add in melted chocolate and beat again until well combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  If desired, add additional cocoa powder to taste, up to 4 tablespoons.  Spread or pipe frosting on to cupcakes or cake.

Makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes.

Storage:  Store unused frosting in fridge and bring to room temperature before using again.  If needed, beat with an electric beater before using. 


  1. wow these look so nice! Happy Birthday !

  2. is this the only vanilla cupcake recipe you have on here? just wondering. i am going to make vanilla cupcakes this weekend and would love to try one of yours. also can i half the recipe or should i just leave it the way it is?