I thought for sure I was not going to be one of those brides. You know, one of those brides who go totally insane before her wedding. I swore I was not going to be the bride who is faint for a month due to subsisting solely off green juice, who goes nutso bridezilla because one of her bridesmaids got a haircut, or who blows a month’s salary on flowers alone. I was not going to be the bride who lost all rationality as the big day approached. Sure enough though, about two months before the wedding, I went off the deep end into cuckoo crazy bride-land. My fiance came home for lunch one day and I informed him that I would be baking the cupcakes for our wedding reception. We’ll save money, I said. We can customize them to our themes and tastes, I said. Ryan is a very patient and encouraging man, so he told me to go ahead and do it. We were tight on a budget, so why not save where we could. Plus, he added, it would be great blog material. So I embarked on something no bride has done before: baking insane amounts of sweets in the two months before the wedding. It’s a good thing my mileage is going up and I’ve been forcing myself to do something vaguely resembling strength training. It’s also a good thing I’m disciplined enough to balance all these cupcakes out with oats and salads and cauliflower.
So the insanity began: lavender honey cupcakes! champagne cupcakes! pumpkin cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting! Then my mom, who is also so patient with my insanity, reminded me that some people do not like complicated or fancy cupcakes. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? I thought, as I had been contemplating these banana bacon peanut butter cupcakes or recreating the chocolate stout cupcakes with boozy frosting I made for Ryan’s 24th birthday. Then I realized I really had gone crazy – how could I forget about basic chocolate, in all its rich and chocolately goodness? There’s a joyous simplicity of chocolate cupcakes with no fuss nor frills nor bacon. Of course, then I had to find the perfect chocolate cupcake recipes. Hours were spent on Pinterest and food blogs, because I am and will always be a researcher. Then I found it, or at least a perfect chocolate cake recipes, on one of my favorite food blogs. It had less butter than usual! It had coffee! Soft yet dense, rich and not too crumbly. I made a few tweaks – Ryan and I both have love for all things brown sugar – and ta da! The perfect chocolate cupcakes, complete with beautiful white frosting that is oh-so-perfect for a wedding.
- ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 heaping cup flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup hot coffee
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Scant 2 tbsp half & half (or heavy cream)
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- Tiny pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350*.
- Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 1-2 minutes. Add in egg and vanilla and combine. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa; add to butter mixture and mix on low setting. While the mixer is on low, pour in milk and coffee; combine. If the batter is too runny, add a small amount more of flour. Be careful not to overmix; turn off the mixer once the batter is smooth.
- Use an ice cream scoop to fill a greased or lined cupcake pan. This recipe will make 12 cupcakes, so fill the tins accordingly. Bake for 15-18 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool on a baking rack.
- While cupcakes are cooling, beat the butter in a mixing bowl (I used a hand mixer). Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating each cup in until it resembles frosting. Add cream, vanilla, and salt, and then beat until the frosting is thick and creamy. I like to beat this for a couple minutes, as it whips air into the frosting and creates a nice volume. Frost your cupcakes as desired - I used a Wilton 1M decorating tip.
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