Sprinkles make everything better. Don’t you agree?
And sprinkles on chocolate cupcakes…well…
I think they could stop wars, rescue friendships, solve the bed bug crisis.
Okay, maybe not that last one. If I remember right the only way to get rid of bed bugs is to weep for days then burn everything you own. I swear I read that somewhere.
But back to the chocolate cupcakes.
January to May is birthday season in our family. Between the Mr. and I, we celebrate a total of 11 birthdays in those 5 months, and we only have a total of 16 people in our immediate family.
In March, the birthday season reaches fever pitch, with a total of 5 birthdays.
Most of the family is getting to the age now when birthdays get combined with each other and with other holidays. I know you know what I’m talking about. If you’re past the age of 18 and your birthday falls remotely close to another family member’s birthday or a major holiday, you’re getting the combined party.
Happy 29th birth-mother’s day-60th! Try finding a balloon for that party.
The upside to all this birthday madness is that there are plenty of excuses to eat cake.
I made these chocolate cupcakes for my niece’s 13th birthday (13 still deserves it’s very own party after all–it is a special year). Somehow, SOMEHOW, we managed to pull off a surprise party for her. This may not seem like a huge feat, but for my niece, it is. This girl has a Sherlock-like sense of anything out of the ordinary. Trust me, you don’t want to play Clue with her–she will destroy you. But somehow, we pulled it off. And the Mr. and I even made it in time to be part of the surprise. It really was a miracle.
The other miracle? These cupcakes.
Wowza. This is one doozy of a cupcake. Deep, dark chocolatey goodness with a chocolate buttercream frosting. It’s for those who truly love chocolate. (which is every normal person in the world). If you like cupcakes with just a hint of cocoa flavor, these are not for you. These are super rich, but somehow manage to remain light and fluffy. I credit the rich yet light flavor to using two different kind of chocolate, a splash of fresh brewed coffee, and a couple cups of buttermilk.
My hunt for chocolate cupcake perfection ends here. These were the bomb.
The only thing that could make them better? Sprinkles. This is my favorite method of decorating cupcakes because A) It’s the easiest thing ever. B) It’s the cutest thing ever AND C) It’s the tastiest thing ever.
Wanna know how this goes down? Slap a spoonful of frosting on the top of the cupcake, smear it to the edges then dip it in the sprinkles. Give your wrist a twist to make sure it’s evenly covered then bring it out. That’s it. Dip and twist. You’re in chocolate cupcake sprinkle heaven.
This post is linked up at this month’s Chocolate Party featuring chocolate and buttermilk. Check out the other fantastic recipes over at Roxana’s blog.
- 3 oz. semi sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1½ cups fresh brewed coffee
- 3 cups sugar
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 heaping teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cups vegetable oil
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- Pinch salt
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon coffee (if you have it leftover from the cake--it's not totally necessary, but I feel like it cuts the sweet of the powdered sugar nicely)
- 6-8 Tablespoons half and half (or milk or cream)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line your cupcake pans with liners (this makes 36, so if you have three pans, use them. Otherwise, they'll have to take turns.)
- Place chopped chocolate in a bowl and pour hot coffee over it. Stir and allow to sit until melted, stirring occasionally.
- In a large bowl sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs until they're thickened slightly and pale yellow (about 3 minutes). With the mixture on low speed, slowly pour in oil, buttermilk, then vanilla, then melted chocolate mixture. Turn the speed up slightly, beating until well combined.
- Add the flour mixture in three separate additions, beating well after each addition.
- Divide cupcake batter evenly, being sure to fill no more than ⅔ full. I have a terrible habit of overfilling cupcakes and these raised a lot so all of mine overflowed. (It's so painful to have to tear off the overflow edges and eat them...it's the price the baker has to pay).
- Bake cupcakes for 25-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans then remove. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on half power until melted, stirring every 45 seconds. Set aside to cool.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and salt together until light and fluffy. Add about half of the powdered sugar and beat on low speed until well blended, turning the speed up once you're out of the "giant puff of sugar" zone. Add the vanilla and half the milk and beat well. Slowly pour in the cooled melted chocolate and beat until thoroughly blended, scraping the sides as needed. Add the remaining sugar and milk alternately until both are thoroughly blended. Beat the frosting until light and fluffy.
- For these cupcakes, you won't be piping the frosting so it doesn't need to be as thick as normal. I thinned mine out with extra milk to make it easy to spread across the cupcake. Try spreading a little bit on the cupcake. If it pulls or tears at the surface of the cupcake at all, add another Tablespoon or two of milk until the frosting spreads easily.
- Place your sprinkles of choice in shallow bowl. Using a knife or offset spatula, spread a good sized dollop of frosting over the top of the cupcake. Don't worry about how it looks. Dip the cupcake into the frosting turning it 90 degrees to make sure it's well coated. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. These stay nice and moist for up to 4 days in an air tight container.
Cupcakes adapted from Orangette who thanks Epicurious
Frosting adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook