Buttermilk Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

buttermilk cupcake

I was looking through my cookbooks for a recipe with buttermilk, since I had some in the fridge. This seemed like a simple recipe. I baked them and was picking out a frosting when I realized that I previously made this recipe a few months ago.   When I ate them, I realized why I didn’t remember making them, they are very forgettable. I didn’t even remember to blog about them.  They have a nice texture but very little flavor.  I think these would be better with a filling and a strong frosting.  Or they can be a base for additional flavors.  I actually got sixteen cupcakes.  The frosting was used in Surprise Cookies which were a chocolate cookie base, with a marshmallow and a chocolate frosting to hide the marshmallow and make it a surprise.   This frosting is very thick and a little sweet.  If I made it again I would use less confectioners sugar and this would still have enough thickness but it would be a little less sweet.

Buttermilk Cupcakes

adapted from Cupcakes: Luscious bakeshop favorites from your home kitchen by Shelly Kaldunski

makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tbl vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Chocolate frosting

adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies

3 cups confectioners’ sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup plus 1 ½ teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch-processed)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Put confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Melt butter with the cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Add butter mixture to the confectioners’ sugar. Whisk in the milk and vanilla.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

one-bowl chocolate cupcakes
A friend invited herself over to help make cupcakes because she has been disappointed in the cupcakes she has been purchasing in stores.  I can understand, I think I make better cupcakes than I can purchase!  She helped my by purchasing the cupcake liners and putting the cupcake liners into the trays.  She also helped me sample the cupcakes.  That’s always very important.  I suppose it was nice she volunteered to help, but it wasn’t much help.   I took them to a blue themed party and thought the blue cupcake liners worked well with the dark color of the cupcakes.   The cupcakes are from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes with some modifications.  Martha decorated them with gumdrops, which seemed unnecessary and doesn’t match my simple style. I added Chocolate Extract to enhance the chocolate flavor.    The recipe also calls for dutch-process cocoa powder, but I don’t think it makes a difference for this recipe, especially since it uses buttermilk which makes the recipe even more acidic so the extra acidity from the natural cocoa powder should be minor.  This was a very liquid-y batter and needed to be poured into the liners.  The cupcakes come together very easily with the one bowl.  The cake was very moist from the oil but I feel like I missed the extra something that butter adds.  I used a simple cream cheese frosting that is not overly sweet.  This is from Alton Brown’s Good Eats television series and is different from the one in his cookbook I’m Just Here for More Food: Food x Mixing + Heat = Baking with a higher cream cheese to butter ratio.  I used half the recipe for the cupcakes and it wasn’t quite enough, I would might 3/4 a recipe next time.

One-bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes
makes 18

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder (natural or dutch-processed)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sal
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract
3/4 cup warm water

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line standard muffin tins with paper lines. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk toegher flour cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Reduce sped to low. Add eggs, buttrmilk, oil, extracts, and water; beat until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

2. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months in airtight containers.

Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted from Good Eats
yield: 2 cups

8 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 ounces powdered sugar (sifting is optional)

In the bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium just until blended an very smooth. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. With the mixer speed on low, add the powdered sugar in 4 batches and beat until smooth between each addition. Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using.