Monday, February 27, 2012

Cupcakes' Simple Perfection

My daughter and granddaughter have me hooked on cupcake wars.  The incredible combinations, the over the top decorations, the french guy that I can't understand but who sounds so suave.

My cupcakes aren't like that.

My cupcake is:
Of course, it was this times 36 so:
They marched relentlessly across the table.  I knew I had to do something.  So I ate one.

I had downloaded the recipe for frosting from Ree Drummond - the Pioneer Woman  months ago.  But watching her show on Saturday and seeing it being made tipped the scale for me. (Several other things tip the scale but that's another discussion, not a good one.)

For the cake it had to be chocolate and the best, very best, most totally best chocolate cake I know that is both easy and delicious is Hershey's.

            HERSHEY'S "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" Chocolate Cupcakes

  2       cups  sugar
  1 3/4 cups  all-purpose flour
     3/4 cup  HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  1 1/2 teaspoons  baking powder
  1 1/2 teaspoons  baking soda
  1       teaspoon  salt
  2       eggs
  1       cup  milk
     1/2 cup  vegetable oil
  2       teaspoons  vanilla extract
  1       cup  boiling water

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING.

About 36 cupcakes

                  That's the Best Frosting I've Ever Had
Courtesy of

  5 Tablespoons  Flour
  1 cup  Milk
  1 teaspoon  Vanilla
  1 cup  Butter
  1 cup  Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)

Bake your favorite chocolate cake and let it cool.  

In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is.  Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If I'm in a hurry, I place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.)  It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step.   Stir in vanilla. 

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.   You don't want any sugar graininess left.  Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it.  If it looks separated, you haven't beaten it enough!  Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

I piped this using a large star tip because I want to learn to decorate cakes, not my face, hands and hair. (But that, too, is another story)


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