Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting for National Cupcake Day



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Cupcakes are a sweet treat anytime, but they taste even sweeter when they support animals in need.

Canadians are invited to bake a difference through the second annual National Cupcake Day™, February 24, to benefit organizations across Canada that prevent cruelty to animals. Originally launched by the RSPCA in Australia, New South Wales, National Cupcake Day™ began in some areas of Canada last year, and the initiative has become nationwide – it’s the first-ever collaborative fundraising effort supporting animal welfare societies across Canada.

National Cupcake Day™ is a great event to participate in as a family; register online at nationalcupcakeday.ca and plan a cupcake party at work, home or school; start fundraising by encouraging friends and family to donate online in advance, then bake your favourite cupcakes to share with family and friends and collect donations to prevent cruelty to animals. All proceeds will support animals who have been abused or abandoned, or are in need of help – a cause so many kids are interested in helping contribute to. National Cupcake Day™ helps shelters across Canada give surrendered animals a new permanent home, rescue neglected or abused animals and provide emergency surgery to injured animals.

Anna Olson, host of Food Network Canada’s Bake with Anna Olson, is joining the party this year as a Cupcake Crusader. A long-time supporter of animals, she has created an original recipe just for this event. “Cupcakes are the universal feel-good dessert,” says Olson. “When I discovered that National Cupcake Day™ helps animals, it was the icing on the cupcake. Whether you make my cupcake recipe or whip up a batch of your own, this is a great chance to feed your body and your soul with a little taste of happiness.” Her Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting recipe can be found at nationalcupcakeday.ca.

Here’s a simple to-do list if you want to get involved:

1. Register for free at nationalcupcakeday.ca and you’ll receive a Welcome Package in the mail, including a poster, sticker, balloons, fundraising guide and recipes to get you started.

2. Personalize your National Cupcake Day™ Online Bakery page and send it out to everyone you know.

3. Encourage friends and family to support you by donating online.

4. Plan your National Cupcake Day™ Party for home, work, school or wherever you think people would love to eat your cupcakes.

5. Bake, decorate, eat and share delicious cupcakes to raise funds to support animals in need.

6. Donate to your chosen region (visit nationalcupcakeday.ca for details).

And here’s one of my favourite cupcake recipes for inspiration!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold coffee or milk
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola or other mild vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream cheese frosting (below)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In another bowl whisk together the coffee or milk, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla; pour into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks or chips.

Divide the batter among muffin tins that have been lined with paper liners, filling them 3/4 full. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until tops are springy to the touch. Tip the cupcakes on their sides in their tins to help allow steam to escape. Makes 1 1/2-2 dozen cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz. (250 g) pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. milk or water
2 tsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter for a few minutes, until smooth and fluffy; gradually beat in the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until you have a soft, spreadable consistency, adding a little extra sugar or liquid if you need it. Makes enough for 1-2 dozen cupcakes.

 

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