Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
Step 2: With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add vanilla.
Step 3: In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk. Gently fold in blueberries. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
Step 4: Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cupcakes comes out dry.
Step 5: Completely cool cupcakes in pan before frosting with lemon buttercream frosting.
My ol' trusty favorite chocolate cupcake recipe is Rose Levy Beranbaum's Devil's Food cupcake. The cupcake has a very tender cake crumb and wonderful rich chocolate flavor but it is just ever so slightly dry. As usual, I was in search of a more perfect moister chocolate cupcake and I found the recipe below in a stash of old recipes that I had tucked away in a remote corner of my bookcase. This recipe uses oil in addition to melted butter and it makes the moistest chocolate cupcake I have ever had. The best part of the cupcake is the rich and intense chocolate buttercream. For the buttercream, I adapted my favorite white chocolate vanilla buttercream recipe by substituting unsweetened chocolate and cocoa for the white chocolate. Then I added some heavy cream to give the buttercream a light and airy texture. The buttercream is full-proof too - you just can't mess it up. Just remember to beat the hell out of it. I’m so glad I decided to switch it up a bit because this new recipe is fabulous and it is my new favorite chocolate cupcake.
Makes 22 to 24 cupcakes
1 cup water
Step 1: For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two standard cupcake pans with liners.
Step 2: In a small saucepan, bring water, vegetable oil, butter, and cocoa powder to boil. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and add semisweet chocolate. Whisk to combine until chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool.
Step 3: In a bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Slowly add cooled chocolate mixture to egg mixture.
Step 4: Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture until just combined.
Step 5: Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle of cupcakes comes out clean.
Step 6: For the chocolate buttercream: Melt chocolate in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.
Step 7: Beat the butter, cocoa, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. You can not overbeat so continue to beat until it's light and fluffy.
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, Published March 1, 2001.
Makes 22 to 24 cupcakes
Step 1: For the Cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Step 2: Beat egg whites and whole egg in large measuring cup with fork to combine. Add cream of coconut, water, vanilla, and coconut extract and beat with fork until thoroughly combined.
Step 3: Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on lowest speed to combine, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running on lowest speed, add butter 1 piece at a time, then beat until mixture resembles coarse meal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, 2 to 2-1/2 minutes.
Step 4: With mixer still running, add 1 cup liquid. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds. With mixer still running, add remaining 1 cup liquid in steady stream (this should take about 15 seconds). Stop mixer and scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then beat at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds. (Batter will be thick.)
Step 5: Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filing each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 17 to 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
Step 6: For the lime filling: Start the lime filling by combining the lime juice and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts.
Step 7: Meanwhile, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in small bowl. Combine eggs in another bowl. Whisk sugar mixture into eggs until smooth. Slowly drizzle the lime juice mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly. You need to pour slowly or the eggs will scramble.
Step 8: Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook until thick, 8 to 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in vanilla. Place filling in bowl; press plastic wrap on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill completely.
Step 9: To assemble the cupcakes: When cupcakes are cool, cut an upside down cone shape out of the top of your cupcake. Add your lime filling to a pastry bag and squeeze filling in the cupcake using a plain round pastry tip.
Step 10: Frost cupcakes with coconut buttercream and sprinkle cupcakes with coconut.
Anyone who knows me even a little, knows how crazy I am about chocolate and peanut butter. So it’s no surprise that these cupcakes would be in my top 5 all time favorite cupcakes in the entire world. These rich, velvety, chocolate cupcakes, filled with a creamy peanut butter buttercream and frosted with that same creamy peanut butter buttercream, really are exceptional! In fact, they are so exceptional that heaven to me would be swimming in a pool filled with these cupcakes.
Cake recipe adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Rose's Heavenly Cakes
Makes 20 cupcakes
Step 1: Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line twenty 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups.
Step 2: In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Step 3: In a 2-cup glass measuring cup combine milk and limoncello; set aside.
Step 4: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 5: In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and lemon peel; beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.
Step 6: Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.
Step 7: Bake about 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.
Step 8: Up to 1 hour before serving, generously spread or pipe frosting on each cupcake.
Make-Ahead Directions: Store unfrosted cupcakes in a single layer in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or store unfrosted cupcakes in a single layer in an airtight freezer container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw cupcakes at room temperature before frosting.
Makes 18 cupcakes
Step 1: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
Step 2: Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
Step 3: Heat milk and vanilla-bean pod and seeds (or 1 teaspoon vanilla) in a small saucepan over medium heat just until bubbles appear around the edge. Remove from heat.
Step 4: Whisk in butter until melted, and let stand 15 minutes. Strain milk mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, and discard vanilla-bean pod.
Step 5: With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together whole eggs, yolks, and sugar. Set mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk by hand until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm, about 6 minutes.
Step 6: Remove bowl from heat. With an electric mixer on high speed, whisk until mixture is fluffy, pale yellow, and thick enough to hold a ribbon on the surface for several seconds when whisk is lifted.
Step 7: Gently but thoroughly fold flour mixture into the egg mixture in three batches; stir 1/2 cup batter into the strained milk mixture to thicken, then fold milk mixture into the remaining batter until just combined.
Step 8: Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until centers are completely set and edges are light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
Step 9: For the coffee Marsala Syrup: Stir together coffee, marsala, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.
Step 10: To finish, brush tops of cupcakes evenly with coffee-marsala syrup; repeat until all syrup has been used. Allow cupcakes to absorb liquid 30 minutes.
Step 11: Dollop frosting onto cupcakes; refrigerate up to overnight in airtight containers. Dust generously with cocoa powder just before serving.
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
Makes 18 to 20 cupcakes
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
Step 2: Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Step 3: With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (cream up to 5 minutes). Reduce speed to low.
Step 4: Mix in peanut butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla.
Step 5: Gradually add flour mixture, beat until just combined. Mix in sour cream and peanuts.
Step 6: Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filing each three-quarters full.
Step 7: Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 22 minutes.
Step 8: Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Once cupcakes are cool, frost tops with peanut butter frosting. Decorated cupcakes will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days.
Makes 12 cupcakes
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.
Step 2: In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, 3 tablespoons of the sour cream, vanilla, and almond extract, just until lightly combined.
Step 3: In a food processor, process the pistachios with the sugar until finely ground but not to a powder.
Step 4: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, pistachio mixture, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom on low speed for 30 seconds.
Step 5: Add the butter and remaining sour cream. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Step 6: Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure.
Step 7: Place into cupcake papers, and bake for 16-20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean (no crumbs) in a 350 degree oven. Let cool on a wire rack.
Step 8: Frost with Italian Meringue Buttercream.
Adapted from Cake Love, by Warren Brown
Makes 36 to 38 cupcakes
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350˚ F with rack in center.
Step 2: Cream the sugar and butter together in a stand mixer (with paddle attachment) on low for 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add eggs and yolks one at a time, letting each incorporate before adding the next.
Step 4: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ground cloves, salt and allspice.
Step 5: Combine pumpkin, cream, honey, rum and vanilla extract.
Step 6: With mixer still on low, alternately add dry and wet ingredients to butter mixture, beginning and ending with dry. Scrape the sides of the bowl to the bottom, then mix on medium speed for 20 seconds.
Step 7: Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Step 8: Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Step 9: Frost cupcakes with pumpkin or dark rum cream cheese frosting and dust with cinnamon.
Red velvet cake is a southern tradition and since making these cupcakes, I've discovered that it is a favorite among many people, especially my Aunt Phil. I find the addition of vinegar in the recipe a little weird, and have always wondered why it's needed. I decided to go straight to the guru on all things about cakes - Rose Levy Beranbaum. Rose explains the reason for the vinegar in red velvet cake in her book, "Rose's Heavenly Cakes." This is an awesome cookbook and I would highly recommend buying it if you love to bake.
Vinegar, as we all know, is highly acidic. The white vinegar raises the acidity of the batter, and its addition intensifies the red color of the cocoa and of the cake. The buttermilk in the cake is also highly acidic - but its acidity is counteracted by the addition of baking soda (i.e. sodium bicarbonate). Rose adds that you can omit the vinegar if you substitute baking powder for the baking soda. Baking powder is a mixture of dry acid or acid salts (potassium bitartrate) and baking soda, with cornstarch or flour. The acidity from both the buttermilk and baking powder makes adding the vinegar unnecessary. The recipe below is your basic red velvet cake recipe using the vinegar. I plan to try Rose's recipe (without the vinegar) sometime and you should too.
Makes 18 to 20 cupcakes.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners
Step 2: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
Step 3: In mixing bowl of electric mixer, beat oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth and well blended.
Step 4: Scoop into cupcake papers, about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes of baking to ensure even baking.
Step 5: Allow to cool for one minute in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 6: Frost with cream cheese frosting.
I have been obsessed with salted caramel cupcakes and have tried many iterations of the basic salted caramel cupcake recipe. First, I tried using Rose Levy Berambaum's recipe for caramel cake and frosting it with a salted caramel Italian meringue buttercream. The cupcake was delicious (as expected since it was a Rose Levy Berambaum recipe) but the entire cupcake combination didn’t quite have the potent salted caramel flavor that I wanted. Next I found a triple salted caramel cupcake recipe on sprinklebakes.com. It had gooey salted caramel oozing out of the middle, and after I slightly adapted the buttercream recipe to my taste (I prefer an Italian, French or Swiss buttercream rather than an American buttercream), I thought it was exactly what I was looking for in a salted caramel cupcake until I found the recipe below. This cupcake apparently won on Cupcake Wars in 2012 and I can certainly understand why and agree with the judges.
The original recipe called for a pecan coconut brittle crumble and the first time I made these, I made the crumble as instructed and sprinkled a dusting on each cupcake. Many of my friends didn't like the coconut in brittle and to be honest I wasn't crazy about it either -- so the next time I made them I used a homemade chocolate toffee crumble. The chocolate toffee crumble woked perfectly with the flavor profile of the cupcake and it put this cupcake over the top for me. It's my new favorite salted caramel cupcake.
Adapted from the Food Network's Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Pecan Coconut Brittle Crumble and Caramel Swiss Buttercream
Makes 24 cupcakes
Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes (http://www.sprinklebakes.com/)
Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Rose's Heavenly Cakes
Makes 14 to 16 cupcakes
Step 1: Set 15 cupcake liners in cupcakes pans.
Step 2: Twenty minutes or more before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Step 3: In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites, 3 tablespoons of the milk, and the vanilla just until lightly combined.
Step 4: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and the remaining milk and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Step 5: Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Use a number 30 ice cream scoop or a spoon to place the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, smoothing the surfaces evenly with a small metal spatula. The liners will be about three-quarters full.
Step 6: Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wire cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean and the cupcakes spring back when pressed lightly in the centers.
Step 7: Let the cupcakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove them from the pans and set them on a wire rack. Cool completely. Ice with Raspberry or Strawberry Buttercream Frosting.
White velvet butter cupcakes with raspberry buttercream
White velvet butter cupcakes with strawberry buttercream