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Monday, June 20, 2016

Celebration Cupcakes

I'm constantly on the hunt for the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe. I think this one comes pretty close to perfect! The cake is soft and fluffy. The flavor is rich, with the perfect combination of chocolate and coffee. They bake up round and don't fall when cooling. I think I've found my new favorite chocolate cake!

I've called them celebration cupcakes simply because they make me so happy! The fluffy, white marshmallow frosting paired with the shiny chocolate drizzle and colorful sprinkles make this cupcake the perfect one to bring to any special event. Even though they look like they took all day long, each component of the cupcakes comes together really fast! 

I made the cupcakes while my lunch was heating up in the microwave. The frosting requires a bit of attention to heat the eggs, but then you toss it in the stand mixer and walk away. The chocolate glaze is as simple and melt, mix and drizzle.  Trust me, you can make these treats in under two hours. If you have helpers, you can probably knock them out in an hour!

I don't really have anything special to celebrate right now, so I'm sending these cupcakes to work with the boyfriend! Otherwise, I'll eat the entire batch. Maybe in a few weeks we'll have something to celebrate in the Wilde household. Until then, I'll try to eat healthy this summer and keep my cupcake consumption down to one per day!

One year ago: Celebration Sprinkle Cake
Two years ago: Neapolitan Cake
Three years ago: Momofuku Celebration Cake
Four years ago: PB&J Mallomars
Five years ago: Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Celebration Cupcakes
Adapted from The Sweetapolita Bakebook


1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup skim milk
1 1/4 cups (160g) flour
1/2 cup (60g) Dutch process cocoa powder (I like Penzey's)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (260g) superfine sugar
3/4 cup hot coffee
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 ⁰F. Line two cupcake pans with 20 paper liners.

Combine lemon juice, heavy cream and milk, let sit while you prepare the solid ingredients. (Alternatively, use 3/4 cup buttermilk. I was out and totally forgot to buy it from the grocery store!)

Sift solid ingredients (flour through sugar) through a medium mesh sieve and into the bowl of your stand mixer. Use paddle attachment for making the cupcake batter.

Add coffee, oil and egg to the milk mixture. Whisk until combined and transfer to a container with a spout. Turn on stand mixer on slow and begin to slowly add the liquid ingredients to the solids. When all of the liquids have been added, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix on low for another 30 seconds.

Add a little less than 1/4 cup of cupcake batter to each paper liner. Bake cupcakes for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only crumbs clinging. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer cupcakes from the pan to a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely before decorating.

Marshmallow Frosting

4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups (250g) sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (or glucose)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put egg whites, sugar, corn syrup and cream of tartar in a bowl. Whisk a bit to break up the egg whites. Set bowl over a simmering saucepan of water. Whisk constantly until temperature of the mixture reaches 130 ⁰F. Be sure the sugar is completely dissolved. You can test this by rubbing the mixture between your clean fingers.

Pour egg whites into the stand mixer and attach whisk attachment. Turn on low and whip for 2 minutes. Turn up the speed to medium and whip for another two minutes. Once the mixture is white and fluffy, add vanilla extract and turn on high. Whip until the mixture is shiny and thick, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a large piping bag with a large round tip.  Pipe large swirls on the cupcakes, piling the frosting high. Move to the fridge for about 30 minutes to cool frosting completely and let is set up.

Chocolate Glaze

5 ounces (150g) semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (or glucose)

Melt ingredients in the bowl of a double boiler. Whisk until well combined and smooth. Let cool slightly and spoon over top of the frosting. Let set for 3-5 minutes before sprinkling with small non-pariels. Top with a maraschino cherry.

Serve cupcakes within two days. Do not store these cupcakes in the fridge, the frosting is sensitive to moisture and will deflate in the fridge.
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