Saturday, March 16, 2013

Perfect chocolate cupcakes

The flavours of chocolate shortbread dance around, once the taste hits my tongue. A buttery biscuit, with a little hint of espresso, and a perfect crunch. Combine that together with some perfect chocolate buttercream, and the best chocolate cake I've ever made, you have yourself  'Perfect chocolate cupcakes'. Chocolate on chocolate on chocolate. Triple chocolate: this is truly a chocoholic's dream. 
 The texture of the chocolate cake is really incredible. It has a sort of spongy, moist texture. The balance with the chocolate and sugar is pretty good too. I've made chocolate cake before where the cocoa definitely took over the sweetness, and people find that too bitter.

 The chocolate buttercream is also delicious as well. But the thing that really ties this perfect chocolate cupcake, is the shortbread. It has a kind of dark and deep chocolate-taste, and cuts through the sweetness of the chocolate buttercream. However,it isn't necessary to make the chocolate shortbread. It adds a nice touch. Honestly though, I'm fine with just eating the chocolate cake, plain by itself, because it really is that good!

Perfect chocolate cupcakes
* Makes 12

Chocolate cake
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup milk (any milk is fine. I used 2% fat)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F). Line 12 muffin liners in a muffin pan.
2. Sift the flour and cocoa into a bowl. Combine with sugar, baking powder, baking soda.
3. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Mix until combined.
4. Stir in the boiling water (at this point, the batter will be very thin, like a soup-like texture. However, this will turn out fine). Pour batter into prepared muffin liners.
5. Bake for 22-25  minutes (I baked mine for about 24 minutes), or until a toothpick is inserted in the centre and comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then transfer to wire rack

Chocolate buttercream 
* This was supposed to be for 24 cupcakes (original recipe calls for 24), but I did not bother to halve it, and just used it all up for 12 cupcakes.

1 stick (113 g) butter, room temperature
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 and 1/2 cup powdered/icing sugar, sifted *
1/3 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Original recipe calls for 3 cups. I don't like my frosting too sweet, so I reduced it to 1 and 1/2. You could probably even reduce it to 1 cup.

1. Using an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter.
2. Add the cocoa powder, powdered sugar and milk.
3. Add the vanilla.

Slightly adapted from Hershey's

Chocolate shortbread
1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered/icing sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp espresso powder
* plus more flour for rolling

1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius (300 F). With an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter until creamy. Add the flour, sugar, espresso powder and cocoa. Mix until combined.
2. Chill dough in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
3. After refrigerated, roll out with a rolling pin and sprinkle flour so the dough will not stick.
4. Cut desired shapes.
5. Put the shortbread dough on a baking tray with parchment paper. Bake until firm, about 30 minutes (depending on how big you cut your shapes).
6. Cool completely.

Adapted from Martha Stewart 


  1. Ooh those are such cute cupcakes! I love how you frosted them and the little shortbread decoration on top. Too cute!

    1. Thank you! I love decorating cupcakes so I really loved the little spade shortbreads on top :) Tastes great too.


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