Celebratory Chocolate Cupcakes!

Happy Birthday to Idiot’s Kitchen.

We turned 2 yesterday!

2 years, 194 recipes, several cat photos, and many many nice people like you reading, trying, and suggesting great recipes.

Let’s celebrate with some awesome chocolate cupcakes!

This recipe comes from my favorite restaurant in Minnesota, Cafe Latté in St. Paul. You know it’s my kind of place when the first thing you see when you walk in the door is a HUGE case of desserts. It’s probably not a surprise to those of you in Kansas City that André’s is my favorite restaurant there….another big case of desserts right inside the door….I see a theme…

At Cafe Latté, they make a  giant chocolate cake, German Chocolate Cake, and  Turtle Cake (amazing!) with this basic recipe. I’ve made cupcakes because I don’t have the willpower to have a whole cake in my house right now. Besides, cupcakes are cute.

Here’s what you need:

Flour, Sugar, Hot Coffee, Buttermilk, Vegetable Oil, Unsweetened Cocoa, Egg, Baking Soda, Salt, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, Milk, and Butter

Click here for a Chocolate Cupcakes Shopping List

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Break one egg into a medium bowl and give it a quick whisk to break up the yolk. Add 1 cup of buttermilk…

and 2/3 cup vegetable oil like canola oil. Whisk the wet ingredients together and set the bowl aside.

In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, combine 2 cups of flour with 1¾ cups sugar.

Add ½ cup unsweetened cocoa (regular Hershey’s is unsweetened), 1 Tablespoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt.

Stir the dry ingredients together on low speed until they are well combined. With the mixer on the lowest speed, slowly pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until they are combined.

Pour 1 cup of hot coffee into the batter, turn the mixer up to medium speed, and beat quickly until well combined.

Coffee in Chocolate Cake! Are you surprised?

Coffee greatly enhances the flavor of chocolate. It’s the secret ingredient in many rich, chocolaty desserts.

I PROMISE you that this does not, in any way taste like coffee. I hate coffee…do not drink coffee…and actually had to figure out how to use Jim’s coffee pot for the first time to make coffee for this recipe.

Go ahead and pour in 1 cup of hot coffee. Trust. I would never lie to you about chocolate cupcakes.

Put little cupcake/muffin liners in a pan and fill them ¾ full of batter. I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup and it was just the right amount.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pans until they are stable enough to move without crushing and then cool completely on a wire rack.

This recipe makes 21 cupcakes but can also make a 2 or 3  layer cake or a sheet cake. You will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly for your pan shape and size.

When the cupcakes are COMPLETELY cool, it’s time for the icing:

The icing for these cupcakes is thick and fudgy – very similar to a chocolate ganache….that icing that is glossy and poured in a slick layer over fancy French desserts. It’s not the thick kind of icing that can be piped into a big swirl on the cupcake. If you want a swirly top, you’ll need to use another recipe.

THIS icing, however unswirly, is delicious and easy to make.

In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup whole milk.

Add 6 Tablespoons of unsalted butter and heat over medium high heat, whisking constantly until the butter melts and the liquid comes to a rolling boil.

When the liquid is boiling, take it OFF the heat and stir in one 12 ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Whisk the chocolate until it dissolves and thickens slightly. To get a more spreadable consistency, let the icing cool in the pan, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. The top of the icing in the pan with get a little cracked looking but should stir back together easily.

When the icing has had a chance to thicken a bit (it will still be quite a bit thinner than other icing that you might be used to) use a knife or spatula to spread it over the top of each cupcake. If a little runs down the side, all the better!

It is important to refrigerate these cupcakes for 1 hour to let the icing firm up. For the best flavor, when you are ready to eat, take them out of the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to let them come back up to room temperature.

If you were here, I would give you a cupcake and say a HUGE THANK YOU for reading and cooking along with me for the past 2 years. Without you, I’m just a crazy cat lady taking pictures of her dinner.

Thank you!

Here’s the recipe:  Adapted from Cafe Latté

Chocolate Cupcakes

P.S. To Wes – look who finally figured out how to make the French é? It only took me 2 years after you told me how. I even found some proper looking fractions. What will next year bring?

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4 Responses

    Very good cupcakes and awesome with a nice strong cup of coffee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I myself could not function without coffee in the morning and afternoon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Hot Black Tea (forget the Green Stuff) is good too!!! And a little Vino at night!!!!!!!
    Your website has been fun, inspiring and interesting! Keep it up. At least it got me to baking and using flour again after not doing so for a few years.
    You have enough recipes now to publish your FIRST (HANDS ON) COOK BOOK!

  2. Happy anniversary to you and your site!
    You are inspiring beyond words….yes, our balsamic glazed pork chops last night were delish!
    Would you believe I’m not a big dessert person? I mean, I am sweet enough. Right?
    BUT, the cupcakes here do look good!!!!

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