Tuesday, September 23, 2008

old-fashioned chocolate cupcakes with coffee butter frosting

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cupcakes with Coffee Butter Frosting (large)

On Saturday afternoon, my apartment bore all the signs: The blinds were shut tight and the TV was off. There was a stack of dirty dishes in the sink, a pile of rumpled clothes on the floor, and I was planted face down on the couch, surrounded by a smattering of tissues -- clear evidence of a dating situation gone wrong. With my head buried ostrich-style between the cushions (because that obviously makes the real world go away), I wondered how I could have so grossly misjudged someone who was clearly not worth the space he takes up on this earth. For the next day, from that same relative position on the couch, I tried to understand how my sure-to-be-a-good-thing chef could have actually been a sure-to-be-going-straight-to-hell jerk. (I also pondered whether my dates were beginning to parallel the financial markets; the jury is still out on that one.) Finally, at some unknown hour on Sunday evening, I pulled myself up off the couch, washed the mascara stains off my cheeks, and started to clean up my disaster area of a living space. And as my pity party began to morph into a pissed-AT-him party, I did what any self-respecting baker would do: I made cupcakes.

(...and hoped that he'd accidentally shut his nether regions in the oven door.)

A simple description today for some simple cupcakes. I think, to date (no pun intended), I've tested out 3 different chocolate cake recipes on this site, and this one is, by far, my favorite. It is distinctly chocolately and exceptionally moist. Be careful, though, not to be overly generous when dispensing your batter into the cupcake liners. These cupcakes will nearly double in size in the oven, so failure to remain within the recommended fill level will result in an oven full of overflowing cupcakes. (Let's pretend, for my ego's sake, that I did not learn this the hard way.) Though both the cake and the frosting contain coffee, only the frosting carries the flavor, so even if you're not a coffee lover, the cake is worth a try.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cupcakes with Coffee Butter Frosting
Makes 24 cupcakes

Recipe from Cheryl at Cupcake Bakeshop
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cocoa powdered, sifted
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Coffee Butter Frosting
Recipe from Cupcakes by Susannah Blake
3 sticks plus 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
6 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
8 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso, dissolved in 4 tablespoons boiling water
Grated bittersweet chocolate for garnish

To Make the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and espresso powder in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

In a separate small bowl or measuring cup, combine the milk and vanilla. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each addition.

Add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl in 3 additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour. Ensure that the batter is thoroughly combined, but do not over mix.

Fill your cupcakes containers of choice 1/2 to a scant 2/3's full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting or decorating as desired.

To Make the Frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter, dissolved coffee or espresso, and half of the confectioners' sugar until combined. Add the remaining confectioners' sugar and beat until light and fluffy.


  1. ooooooooooh
    i'm glad you have fab-o cupcakes to help you through this :)

  2. That made me sad, I'm sorry you had a crappy cupcake inducing experience. Cupcakes always make people feel better though, especially as pretty as you make them.

  3. Thanks! I'm over it now. Two days of pity party is all I'm willing to devote!

  4. I just stumbled across your blog and I love it! Your humor/sarcasm is very much in line with mine oh, yeah, and your recipes look good too ;o)

    I plan on making these with my toddler boys tomorrow. My almost 3 year old is obsessed with cooking (he sleeps w/ his pretend stand mixer) so he'll love to help. I've bookmarked half of your recipes so far!

  5. Thanks, Robin! I smiled wryly when reading your comment and then rereading the associated post. I'm in the midst of another dating situation that will probably meet its demise sooner rather than later. Fortunately, this guy isn't a jerk so it won't be so bad.

    More fortunately, I am, at this moment, writing a post for Snickerdoodle Cupcakes. Stay tuned!

  6. Hi Dana,

    I'm currently making the batter and just realized that I didn't preheat the oven. I don't see a temp in the recipe. Should I assume 350?

    Sending good thoughts your way on the love connection ;o)


  7. Yep, 350 degrees. Fixed that -- thanks for catching the error!