Well, it’s been a chocolatey weekend, with Valentine’s Day and all, and my cakelets and I were just spending it at home with a warm fire (it’s was -8°F/-22°C), iPads, music, and all sorts of other around-the-house comforts. It seemed like a good day to make something super-simple and comforting, so I made a batch of these “Dark & Dreamy Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes,” which are essentially the darkest of moist, one-bowl chocolate cupcakes and topped with the glossy fudge frosting we all love to the moon and back.
Besides the gloriously intense chocolate flavour and and mind-blowing texture these simple cakes have, they are also one of my favourites because they are the perfect way to show off sprinkles. The contrast of those lustrous swirls of midnight chocolate frosting and pastel sprinkles is, quite frankly, what dreams are made of :).
You might remember that I recently made this Dark & Dreamy Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake, and these cupcakes are essentially the cupcake version of that cake. While that cake is very quick and simple to make, sometimes cupcakes–for many a reason–are the answer. You know?
And one of those reasons is cakelets! They love cupcakes. They just do. Dessert trends–macarons, cake pops, meringues and more–alway entice, but I’m convinced cakelets around the globe will always love cupcakes–it’s just the way life is. To make it a little more interesting, I baked these cupcakes in a jumbo muffin/cupcake pan, which is exactly the size of two standard cupcakes (and, incidentally, what I also refer to as a “cakelet”), so it yields a perfect 6.
In other news, cakelet Reese is almost 9! How is that possible? She was 3 1/2 when I started this blog . . .
As always, you can even let your cakelets loose to decorate these on their own, or you can fancy them up for parties and even weddings (think sparkly twinkles on these little towers of glistening yumminess–perfection!). I love this frosting because it is so wonderfully spreadable. While I do enjoy the intensity of a good ganache (that melted madness of pure heavy cream and chocolate), I find it looses its lustre and is just too heavy. Of course it just depends, but the velvety-ness of this frosting with the generous dollop of sour cream in there (as I’ve said before–you don’t taste it specifically, but rather relish in the mysterious glide and creaminess it offers) is like no other.
The addition of dark cocoa powder along with melted chocolate gives it a double boost of the good stuff, and together the whole darn situation is magical.
See what I mean? For the true chocolate lover, this as it is could be considered perfection, but of course it’s just screaming for sprinkles too. I left one special cupcake unsprinkled for my *gasp* anti-sprinkle cakelet who can’t eat anything with sprinkles (but we love her anyway). It’s a texture thing, which I totally get (I liken this to my raisin-in-muffins issue). The good news is she also refuses to eat candy of any kind, so I got lucky there. :)
I think the key is just adding a few sprinkles–enough to embellish, but not so many that you loose the visual of the notable gloss and splendid swirls. This, I might add, is not my strong suit!
Come on! Look at the inside of the sucker. And to think that cupcake takes less than 5 minutes to prepare, and 20 to bake. Now that is magic.
I really do. You guys are amazing, and I want to say thanks again for all of your kind emails and messages about my personal life–that means more than you know!
Here’s the recipe for these towers of dreaminess:
Super-moist, homemade dark-as--night chocolate cupcakes, frosted with swirls of glossy, creamy and super-dark fudge frosting and topped with pastel sprinkles.
- 3/4 cup (95 g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (170 g) superfine sugar (or regular granulated sugar, see Sweetapolita's Notes)
- 1/2 cup (60 g) extra dark OR dark Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) hot coffee OR boiling water
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (255 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (125 g) confectioners' sugar
- 1/3 cup (40 g) premium dark cocoa powder (I used Guittard Noir)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) hot water
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) sour cream OR plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I used Nielsen-Massey)
- Generous pinch of salt
- 5 ounces (150 g) premium dark (but not extra dark) chocolate, chopped or chips, melted (I used Callebaut Callets)
- Your favourite sprinkles (I used the Jersey Shore Sprinkle Medley from my shop)
- You will also need:
- 1 large pastry bag, disposable or reusable
- Large plain round pastry tip (I use Ateco #809)
- Preheat oven to 360°F (183°C). Line a jumbo muffin tin with the appropriate liners, or a standard cupcake pan with your favourite cupcake liners.
- In the large bowl, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, coffee, oil, egg and vanilla.
- Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide batter among the liners (about 1/2 full for jumbo and 2/3 full for standard).
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out with a only a few crumbs, about 23 minutes for jumbo and 18-20 minutes for standard size. Try not to over-bake. Let cupcakes cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then turn onto rack to cool completely.
- Add all of the ingredients, except the melted chocolate, into the food processor, and pulse until everything is incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and pulse until smooth.
- In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or with a handheld mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder. Reduce to speed to low, and add the confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, water, sour cream, vanilla, and salt and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 more minutes.
- Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Fit a large (I use 18") pastry bag with a a plain large round tip. Fill the bag with the frosting, push out any excess air, and twist and secure the top of the bag. Do a test dollop of the frosting back into the bowl to check for consistency--if the frosting is too loose, pop the bag into the fridge for a few minutes (not more than a few, or it will firm up too much). Once the frosting has firmed up just slightly, pipe a generous swirl of frosting atop each cupcake and top with your favourite sprinkles.
- Keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- As I’ve mentioned before, for the extra dark cocoa powder, I use Guittard Noir Cocoa Powder (I have this big tub because I go through it so fast), but you can also find Black Cocoa Powder on Amazon. You probably remember that I usually use a very dark (but not black) cocoa powder (Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder Extra Brute) for all of my chocolate baked goods, which also works very well, tastes amazing, and is quite dark in itself. The black cocoa powder just adds more of a midnight black effect, which I love. And, of course, the taste is also incredibly deep, dark and wonderful. And really, sometimes change is fun! :)
- I always use superfine sugar for baking–this just means that it is a finer granule of sugar, which distributes evenly and creates a consistent, small crumb. That all said, regular sugar certainly does the trick! You can purchase it superfine, but I buy regular granulated sugar and process it in the food processor for about 1 minute before putting the sugar in my canister for baking.
- I use this Jumbo Muffin Pan (again, it takes the equivalent of a 12-standard cupcake recipe batter).
- For this recipe, I used these Jumbo Brown Cupcake Liners.
- For the swirls atop of the cupcakes, remember again that the key is very soft frosting and an extra large round plain tip (I used Ateco #809). And, as always, if you make a mistake or aren’t totally pleased (never ;)) with your swirls , you can simply (but carefully) remove and try it again.
- The sprinkles I used on these cupcake are the Jersey Shore Sprinkle Medley from my shop, but as always–all sprinkles are wonderful!
- The “I LOVE YOUR MORE THAN SPRINKLES” toppers we made just for fun (my cakelets are obsessed with rolling and cutting fondant) with a simple heart cutter, rolled fondant tinted with a bit of AmeriColor Turquoise and this pretty awesome letter embossing tool.
- Oh, and for those who were asking via Instagram, Reese’s “Make Today Amazing” sweater in the photo above was from Target, but sadly they don’t have it anymore (I think we got that in Watertown back in early fall 2015).
Happy Baking! See you soon!