Today isn’t just any ordinary National Cupcake Day. Today is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. This day had to be created for Brother Dear. He lived for Chocolate Cupcakes. I can remember as a kid, Mom would bake up chocolate cupcakes and Brother Dear would eat them warm, with just a pat of butter melting down the sides. Gosh, I still miss him.
Cupcakes can be traced back to Amelia Simmons and her American Cookery published in 1796. She noted in a cake recipe that the cake is to be baked in small cups. Bakers initially baked cupcakes in heavy pottery cups. In 1828, Eliza Leslie first referred to the small cakes as cupcakes in her book Seventy-five Recipes for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats.
While most of us use paper-lined muffin tins for cupcakes, some still prefer the individual ramekins, small coffee mugs or large teacups that are oven proof for baking their cupcakes. It does make for a lovely presentation. I say if you are hosting a party, make ‘em fancy. If you’re handing them out to the kids, keep it simple. Either way, Chocolate Cupcakes are delicious.
Whenever possible, I’ll eat one cupcake warm with butter in honor of my baby brother while whipping up the frosting. Hey, any excuse to sneak a taste, right?
Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting
2 cups Flour
1-1/4 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 cup hot Water
2/3 cup unsweetened Baking Cocoa
3/4 cup Shortening
1-1/2 cups Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
In medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Gently mix; set aside.
In small bowl, mix hot water and cocoa until dissolved; set aside.
In large bowl, beat shortening with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl occasionally. Beat 2 minutes longer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture, about one-third at a time, and cocoa mixture, about half at a time, beating just until blended.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each with about 3 tablespoons batter or until about two-thirds full.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans; place on cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting.
1-1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
3/4 cup Butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cup Nutella
2 tablespoons Milk or as needed
Sift powdered sugar, set aside.
Beat butter until smooth. Add Nutella and beat together until thoroughly combined. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing until combined.
Add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
Fit a pastry bag with star tip. Fill bag with frosting, pipe as desired on top of cupcakes.
Miss you, Brother Dear.