Don’t tell me chocolate doesn’t equal love.
Well, maybe not exactly but it’s obvious y’all know what I’m talking about; that moment when you take a bite out of your favorite chocolate bar and experience full on bliss. Listen, if that’s not the closest thing to love, then I don’t know what is.
I have been craving chocolate cake for the longest time. I tried several different pieces of store bought cake, hoping to fill the void. Each was just a dry and sugary mess; the direct opposite of what I wanted. None of them had the characteristic chocolate cake taste I was looking for.
I envisioned this towering, dense and moist chocolate cake, with the fluffiest chocolate frosting ever. I still dream of cutting into this masterpiece of a cake to retrieve a perfect two tone slice for myself. I swear I could taste the chocolate explosion in every bite. Except, I was tired of dreaming about this cake. I knew that the only way to fix this was to make it myself. The problem? My house is anti chocolate.
It’s actually pretty ridiculous. They’ll eat chocolate candy but don’t think for a second they’d eat chocolate cookies, or even a chocolate cake. Most of the time, it’s between me and my sister; though lately, it’s been a lonely party of one.
My solution to this problem was to scale the daydream down just a tad. Instead of making that towering masterpiece I dreamed of, I chose something in a smaller scale. Of course, I knew where to go, and found the replacement to my dream chocolate cake. It was the perfect size, with the best description of a “chocolate cake that is so loud, it drowns out everything else.” To make things even better, I turned this cake into cupcakes.
Despite the fact that I made them into cupcakes, each one definitely packed a chocolate punch; Deb was not kidding. Not only were the cupcakes insanely moist, but they were so deep and rich in chocolate taste. Granted, I didn’t have fancy pants Valrhona cocoa powder (yet; Hershey’s Special Dark did the trick), but the intensity was still there.
Then, there’s the frosting. Not only was it a piece of cake to make (in the food processor! Press a button and there’s frosting!), but it also packed it’s own chocolatey punch. It was fluffy and so fun to spread atop each cupcake. Paired with the most intense chocolate cake I’ve encountered to date, and the delicate pastel confetti quins: perfection.
I honestly expected to eat all 12 cupcakes by myself, but the majority managed to disappear without my help. Even the self proclaimed anti-chocolate people in my house ate the cupcakes! I must say, even though this was not the cake I was dreaming of, it definitely helped fill that void. Especially since that one chocolate loving holiday was around the corner, I had to figure something out. I mean, is there anything better than chocolate cake?
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoons cream or whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Confetti quins for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, and set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer), cream the softened butter and sugars until fluffy.
- Add the egg yolk, egg, and vanilla. Beat until combined, then add the buttermilk. Beat until combined as well.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the wet ingredients. Beat until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, give the bowl one last mix over, to make sure everything is incorporated (but don’t overmix!)
- Using a disher or a 1/4 cup measuring cup, distribute the batter evenly between the lined muffin pan. Fill each cup about half to a third of the way.
- Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for 18-22 minutes. Watch the cupcakes, as they may need more or less time. Test with a toothpick, making sure it comes out clean, to see if they’re done.
- Cool the baked cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Make the frosting:
- In a food processor, place the powdered sugar. Pulse for a few seconds to break up any lumps (look, no sifting!)
- Place the cooled melted chocolate, butter, salt, milk, and vanilla bean paste in the food processor.
- Pulse until frosting comes together.
- Frost the cupcakes as you please 🙂
Recipe adapted from the amazing Deb at Smitten Kitchen