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Dark & Dreamy Double Fudge Cupcakes

Dark & Dreamy Chocolate Cupcakes via Sweetapolita Hello, hello! 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 :).  Dark & Dreamy Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake via Sweetapolita 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? Dark & Dreamy Chocolate Cupcakes via Sweetapolita 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 . . . Dark Fudge Frosting via Sweetapolita 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. Dark & Dreamy Chocolate Cupcakes via Sweetapolita 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! Dark & Dreamy Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes via Sweetapolita 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. Dark & Dreamy Chocolate Fudge Cake via Sweetapolita 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:

Dark & Dreamy Double Fudge Cupcakes

Super-moist, homemade dark-as--night chocolate cupcakes, frosted with swirls of glossy, creamy and super-dark fudge frosting and topped with pastel sprinkles.

For the cupcakes:

  • 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)

For the frosting:

  • 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)

For the cupcakes:

  1. 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.
  2. In the large bowl, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, coffee, oil, egg and vanilla.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.

For the frosting:

    If you have a food processor:

    1. 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.

    If you are using a stand mixer or handheld mixer:

    1. 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.
    2. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.

    Decorate the cupcakes:

    1. 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.
    2. Keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.
    Sweetapolita's Notes: Happy Baking! See you soon!

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