Who doesn’t love a cupcake, right? While I personally enjoy them year round, Valentine’s Day is always a great reason to bake some for friends, a special someone, or even yourself! I decided to try a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Junior League of Tampa’s Capture the Coast. The title, “Chocolate Lovers’ Cupcakes” was convincing enough for me and looked pretty simple.
After picking up some items from the grocery store I got out my stand up mixer and started on the batter. While the stand up mixer is definitely not required, I like finding any reason to use mine. The instructions are pretty easy to follow but I will mention that when you are buying your ingredients make sure that you have the ingredients called for on the cake mixture as well. This is not included in the recipe itself but will call for it when preparing the batter.
After prepping the batter I went to put the batter in the cupcake liners. I noticed that the instructions did not call for the liners to be sprayed with a non stick spray. I’m always a little hesitant if a recipe doesn’t specify so I sprayed half with spray and left the other half as is. Once the cupcakes came out, I noticed the ones I did spray were a little greasy on the bottom. While it didn’t modify the taste of the cupcake (of course, I happily tested one from each batch), I would recommend not spraying the liners before baking.
Next up was the frosting, my favorite part! I let the cupcakes cool and whipped up the frosting with no trouble. The recipe is nice because you can make the frosting ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator. Also, if you want a vanilla frosting there are instructions on how to make that as well.
Overall, the recipe was pretty simple and the cupcakes came out with a rich, creamy chocolate texture topped off with a great chocolate frosting.
1 (2 layer) package chocolate fudge cake mix (plus ingredients listed on box)
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) mini chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (4- ounce) package chocolate cook and serve pudding mix
1 envelope whipped topping mix (found this near the cake mixes)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/4 cups unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss 1/4 cup of the dry cake mix with the chocolate chips in a small bowl to coat and set aside. Prepare the remaining cake mix using the package directions. Add the vanilla and pudding mix and beat for 1 minute. Add the whipped topping mix. Beat at medium speed until the batter is light and fluffy. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fill the lined muffin cups a little over three-fourths full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. For a cake, spoon the batter into 9-inch cake pans and bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until knife instead into the centers comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
For the frosting, beat the butter, 4 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, the baking cocoa, 1/4 cup of the milk and vanilla at low speed in a mixing bowl for 1 minute. Beat at medium speed for 4 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, beating for 2 minutes after each addition. Add the remaining 1/4 cup milk or additional sugar if needed for the desired consistency. Spread over the cupcakes. You may add additional baking cocoa to taste. The frosting may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. For vanilla frosting, substitute an additional 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for the baking cocoa. Use clear vanilla extract for a bright white frosting.