Friday, May 20, 2011

Devil's Food Cupcakes

Devil's Food Cupcakes - made May 17, 2011 from Mary Engelbreit's Sweet Treats Dessert Cookbook (book #109)

It's coming up on the end of my last week of time off and I'm almost done with my list of "Things To Do Before I Go Back to Work".  As you can tell, on that list, is "Bake as much as I can".  I got a fair amount of baking done on Tuesday and gave away the results to my former coworkers, some friends and my cousin.  It's been great being able to try more new recipes and I've also spent some time going through the cookbooks I have left to bake from and typing up the recipes I want to try from them.

I once went through a Mary Engelbreit phase some years ago and I think I got most, if not all, of her baking-related cookbooks.  All the cookbooks have nice layouts with pretty pictures and easy to follow recipes, not to mention being set against a backdrop of cheery Mary Engelbreit patterns.  So naturally I got sucked in (it doesn't take much).  I'm past the Mary Engelbreit phase now but surprisingly I've found some good recipes in her cookbooks.

I tried this recipe for devil's food cupcakes partly to use up some buttermilk and partly because I have yet to find a memorable devil's food cake recipe that I like.  And cupcakes can be the bane of my baking existence.  In my abhorrence of dry cupcakes, I tend to underbake them.  While they're not dry, underbaked cupcakes tend to be more dense than they should be and sometimes don't taste right.  So I haven't cracked the cupcake secret yet.  But I keep trying.  Someday I'll get it right. 

And this cupcake recipe is a good start.  The cupcakes were a nice deep chocolate thanks to Pernigotti cocoa and the texture was just right - cakey, fluffy, moist.  For once I think I took them out at the right time, although I was getting twitchy at the end and almost took them out too soon again. Even the frosting was good, much better than the one from the Chocolate Velvet Cakes recipe.  I only used a generous 2 cups powdered sugar, not 3 full cups, and it turned out fine.  Just add enough milk until it's the consistency you want for spreading.

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Pernigotti and it was perfect)
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups buttermilk

Easy Buttercream Frosting
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Food coloring (optional)
Sprinkles, mini M&Ms, colored sugar, etc, for decorating

1.      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 20 muffin cups with foil liners.
2.     In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
3.     In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla.  On low speed, add the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each one about two-thirds full.
4.     Bake the cupcakes for 17 to 19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Let cool completely in the pans on wire racks.
5.     To make the frosting: In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until very soft and light, about 3 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and fluffy.  Use immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed.
6.     If desired, divide the frosting among several bowls and tint it different colors with food coloring; leave one bowl of frosting white.  Ice the cupcakes generously with the frosting.  Before the frosting has set, sprinkle the decorations on top.


  1. Happy weekend! Don't forget to come over and share a recipe at Savory Sunday!!

  2. Amanda, I went over to your site but it says the linky tools expired so I can't link up.