Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I don't make cupcakes. They seem so complex -- not only do you have to perfect the cake portion of the confection, but you also have to contend with frosting. And the frosting itself is a two pronged challenge as it has to taste and look good. That's a lot for this muffin maker to think about.

Especially as I hardly even eat cupcakes. Not because I don't like them (I do). It's just hard to find a well-made cupcake that makes the nutrition splurge worthwhile. Grocery store bakeries tend to produce dime-a-dozen cupcakes that are often stale or soggy, and cupcakes in general tend to be over-sugared for my palate. However, if you can find me a well-crafted cupcake topped with a mound of swirling frosting (the more the better!), I'd enjoy it with all my sweet-toothed heart! Just ask my husband -- on our wedding day, he ate the cake part of our slice of wedding cake while I ate all the frosting, which he doesn't like at all. I guess we're a good match, huh?

This week, however, my era of inexperience in cupcakery came to a close. Why? Because this week's Tuesdays with Dorie challenged us to take on the chocolate-chocolate cupcakes recipe in Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours. I have to say, even with my complete lack of cupcake-creating knowledge, these cupcakes turned out well. The frosting could use a little assistance (I'm not sure I used the right amount of chocolate since I don't have a kitchen scale, and the cupcakes don't exactly look pretty), but they tasted rich and chocolaty. I don't normally go in for chocolate cake of any kind, so you know when a white cake lover says that a chocolate cupcake is good, then it's good!

I didn't play with the ingredients much on this recipe. I used a lower-fat yogurt spread instead of the butter, egg replacers instead of real eggs, and chocolate chips instead of chopped chocolate simply because that's what I had on hand. Also, I used reduced-fat buttermilk (which I tasted plain and really enjoyed -- it reminds me of cottage cheese). In the cake batter, I ened upusing 1/3 cup cocoa powder instead of 1/4 cup because I grabbed the wrong measuring cup. Oops. But I don't think too much chocolate can really be a bad thing, right?

The most challenging part of this venture was working with the chocolate and making the frosting. As I already mentioned, I may not have used enough chocolate because I don't have a kitchen scale. The Best Husband Ever lent his assistance and did a fantastic job melting the chocolate. First we tried melting it in the microwave but ended up burning it instead. Then we put the chocolate in a container which in turn we set in a pot of boiling water. That seemed to work better, although still did not seem ideal. The frosting turned out a bit slick and in rather short supply, but was also creamy and rich and deeelicious. Both the Best Husband Ever and I did some copious beater- and spatula-licking during our clean up.

After I frosted the cupcakes, I decorated them with sprinkles and other colorful jimmies that I bought a long while ago but never could find any use for. My favorite of such toppings are rainbox sprinkles, but I used every variety from the mutli-pack lurking in my spice cabinet. The Best Husband Ever and I both enjoyed a cupcake, and then I froze the rest. I plan to bring the remaining ten cupcakes to the school where I work for our Halloween festivities this coming Friday. If the cupcakes thaw well, then they're sure to be a success with the kids, I think.

So. Cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes. Chocolate-chocolate cupcakes. Sure, my batch might not be as fancy-shmancy as Dorie Greenspan's, but they sure are tasty! Still, I think I'll stick to the simpler side of baking for the most part. Scones and muffins are much more trusty. If I need to bake a special treat in the future, though, you can count on the return of the cupcake.


  1. Congratulations on successful cupcakes! They look lovely!

  2. Those look so good!


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King