Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes

Our niece AC turned 7 on Thursday. For her birthday party, she requested chocolate cupcakes, so I came up with this recipe. The cake is really a red velvet cake (without the red food coloring), and the frosting is a simple chocolate buttercream made even better with the addition of almond extract. (Almonds and chocolate are delicious partners!) The birthday girl and her party guests really liked them. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cupcakes
This recipe makes 36 cupcakes, but it’s easy to half if you don’t need so many.
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. white vinegar
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk
Chocolate-Almond Buttercream Frosting

1. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla and vinegar. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients. Gradually add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scoop batter into lightly greased muffin pans.
2. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until done. Cool in muffin pans 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Spread cooled cupcakes with Chocolate-Almond Buttercream Frosting.

Chocolate-Almond Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup butter, softened
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
6 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. almond extract

1. Beat butter with a mixer until creamy. Combine powdered sugar and cocoa. Add to butter mixture with milk and almond extract. Beat until spreading consistency, adding an additional tablespoon of milk, if needed.

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