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Jun 3, 2014

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

So a little while back I found this chocolate cupcake recipe from Food and Wine, and I've been looking for an excuse to try it out ever since. The perfect occasion finally presented itself this past weekend, when we celebrated my younger sister Molly's birthday. Chocolate cake (especially a cupcake) has a tendency to be dry, so I was curious about the inclusion of buttermilk in this recipe: could it deliver the moist chocolate cake of my dreams? I won't keep you in suspense: it did! I'm partial to fruit flavored frostings, so I whipped up some raspberry buttercream to go on top, but really any kind of frosting is going to taste amazing on these.

Chocolate Cupcakes (from Food and Wine)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the vegetable oil and water over low heat.

In a large bowl, sift the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add the melted butter mixture and beat with a handheld mixer at low speed until smooth. Add the egg and beat until incorporated, then add the buttermilk and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping the bottom and side of the bowl. Pour the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling them about three-fourths full (this recipe makes enough for exactly 12).

Bake the cupcakes in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes (mine took about 22), until springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Note: The unfrosted cupcakes can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Raspberry Buttercream

1 Stick of Unsalted Butter, softened
½ cup seedless raspberry preserves
½ tsp vanilla extract
16oz powdered sugar
Fresh raspberries, for garnishing

Using an electric mixer, combine the butter, preserves and vanilla extract. Slowly add the powdered sugar until incorporated. I used a piping bag fitted with a star tip to frost the cupcakes, and topped each with a raspberry.

These turned out so well and were so easy to make that this will definitely be my go-to chocolate cake recipe from now on!

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