What are cupcakes but small cakes designed to serve as personal cakes. So why the name cupcake? Because once upon a time, these tiny cakes weren’t baked in paper-lined muffin tins but small cups. Cupcakes have been around since 1796 and Amelia Simmons.
Today isn’t just National Cupcake Day, but specifically National Chocolate Cupcake Day. For me, chocolate cupcakes and my sweet baby brother go hand in hand. That boy could live on chocolate cupcakes. He loved them warm from the oven with a pat of butter. When Brother Dear lived with us just before he went home to heaven to join our mother, often he would request two things. One was waffles, the other was chocolate cupcakes warm from the oven.
Brother Dear wasn’t picky when it came to chocolate cupcakes. Any box mix would do – from the cheapest to the top shelf gourmet mix, if it made chocolate cupcakes, he was all in. Our younger sister worried about Brother’s limited diet. She took to grinding up zucchini or other vegetables to hide in her cupcakes. Don’t worry, mine are veggie free.
These chocolate cupcakes are twice as good – made with real chocolate in the batter and white chocolate in the buttercream. Chocolate on chocolate without the customary chocolate overload.
Buttermilk Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream
Buttermilk Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) Butter, softened
4 large Eggs, at room temperature
6 oz unsweetened Chocolate, melted
2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Sugar
1 cup firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
1 cup Buttermilk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Let butter soften at room temperature and eggs warm on the counter.
Set up a double boiler to melt chocolate. Chop chocolate, place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for approximately 8 minutes. Stir occasionally until completely smooth and no pieces of chocolate remain. Remove from the heat and let cool to lukewarm; about 10 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. Set aside.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream butter until smooth on the medium speed. Add the both sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the cooled melted chocolate, mixing until well incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, taking care not to overbeat.
Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the batter in the bowl; making sure the ingredients batter is well blended smooth. Carefully scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling about three-quarters full.
Place cupcakes in the heated oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
White Chocolate Buttercream
1 cup (2 sticks) Butter
12 oz White Chocolate Chips
1 cup sifted Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Let butter soften at room temperature.
Set up a double boiler to melt chocolate. Place white chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for approximately 8 minutes. Stir occasionally until completely smooth and no pieces of chocolate remain. Remove from the heat and let cool to lukewarm; about 10 minutes.
While the melted chocolate cools, sift powdered sugar and set aside.
In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Beat in the melted white chocolate. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla; beat at low speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat frosting until light and fluffy.
When ready, transfer buttercream frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe frosting on each cupcake in a swirl from the outside in. Arrange on a large platter or a tiered cupcake server. Enjoy!