Every parent should have a chocolate cupcake recipe in his or her repertiore. A good chocolate cupcake is invaluable for birthday parties, after school snacks, or to just fill the gap on a weekend afternoon when it's too cold to go outside.
This is my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe - they're delicious plain, with a glass of milk, or frosted with really any flavour - vanilla, chocolate and cream cheese frosting are my faves - but during the holidays I like to spike a basic buttercream with mint extract and top frosted cupcakes with crushed candy canes.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup instant decaf coffee or milk
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 24 cupcake tins with paper liners (or, more realistically, 12 at a time).
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt, breaking up any lumps of brown sugar and cocoa. (I like using a whisk for this.)
Add the milk, oil, eggs and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Add the coffee and whisk or beat on low speed just until blended. The batter will be thin.
Divide the batter among the tins, filling them about 3/4 full, and bake for 25 minutes, until the tops are springy to the touch. Cool completely before frosting them. Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes.
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup cocoa
2-3 cups icing sugar
water or milk – enough to make it spreadable
In a medium bowl, beat the butter, cocoa, half the sugar and a couple spoonfuls of water; beat until smooth. Beat in the rest of the sugar and enough extra water or milk to make a spreadable frosting.