Makes 24 cupcakes
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
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup cocoa
2-3 cups icing sugar
water or milk—enough to make it spreadable
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.
For the frosting, beat the butter, cocoa, half the sugar and a couple spoonfuls of water in a medium bowl until smooth. Beat in the rest of the sugar and enough extra water or milk to make a spreadable frosting.
Cool completely before frosting them.