June 11, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Mint Buttercream

Sadly, my oven broke about a month ago.  I'm a little back-logged on writing cupcake and other baking posts so I figured I'd do some catching up!

This batch dates back to my second-adventure-in-cupcakes: moist chocolate cupcakes with a fluffy creamy vanilla mint buttercream.  I loved the flavor of the chocolate cake in my Chocolate Cherry Cordial Cupcakes but I did not love the texture and crumb factor.  My goal with these cupcakes was to find the best moist chocolate cupcake recipe.  Googling ensued and I chose one from an experienced cupcake baker.  I did change up the recipe for the cupcakes a bit.  I did not have enough cocoa powder so I melted a few ounces of baker's chocolate with a 1/4 cup of butter and added that to the mix. 

I could have swarn I saved the recipe I used for these cakes but I can't seem to locate it.  Since they weren't my favorite I won't worry too much about it.  If you want to bake some exactly like this, sorry!  Whatever you do, invest in high-quality cocoa powder.  It is my next step into the baking frontier. 

The buttercream was adapted from both experience and reviewing several recipes:

1 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar (give or take)
1/2 tsp. mint extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

The trick with the buttercream was to spend some additional time whipping it.  With my first couple attempts at buttercream frosting I didn't spend enough time on this step and it was obvious with the finished product.  Whip, whip, whip and just when you think you cannot whip any longer- whip some more.  You won't be sorry, people will oooh and ahhhh at the frosting and then you will be very happy:)

I added mint and chocolate morsels to the batter for an extra dose of flavor.
These cupcakes were moist and fluffy and almost too soft to handle the buttercream.  That's such a catch 22 when it comes to cupcakes.  Do you bake a cupcake whose texture you prefer or do you find a recipe that can handle a mound of frosting?  The latter usually results in a dry, crumbly cake.  Perhaps we say "who cares?"  Grab the whole cupcake, squash it into a ball and shove it into your mouth; then the texture presents no problem.
The chocolate cupcake quest continues!

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