Friday, February 25, 2011

Joey's Birthday Cupcakes

Joey asked for chocolate cupcakes with green frosting to bring to school on her birthday.  While I actually had cake mix and a can of frosting on hand, I opted to make everything from scratch.  The results are good enough to share.

I based my cupcake recipe on the Double Chocolate Cupcakes from Our Family Eats, but I modified it slightly because I didn't have all of the ingredients on hand.  My cupcakes were fantastic nonetheless.

For the cupcakes:
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake/muffin pan with paper liners.
Stir together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Add eggs, water, sour cream, oil, and vanilla to dry ingredients.  Mix until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom as necessary.

Pour the batter into the prepared cups, filling each about 2/3 full.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are fully set and spring back when touched.  Let cool completely on wire racks before frosting.
The yield for the recipe from Our Family Eats was 24 cupcakes, but I only managed to get 14 out of the recipe.  The cupcakes were huge, which probably had something to do with the smaller yield.

For a while I have been searching for a homemade frosting recipe that tastes as good as the butter cream frosting from the Publix Bakery.  So the other day I Googled "Publix bakery frosting" and it turns out that other people are fans of this frosting as well.  Go figure.  I browsed several recipes and decided to try one by Copykat Recipes.  It did not disappoint.

For the frosting:
1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
2 cups Crisco Vegetable Shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 pounds confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon meringue powder
Mix butter, Crisco, and salt together on low speed for 5 minutes.  Add vanilla, butter flavor, and almond extract; beat until well blended.  Add meringue powder and half of the confectioners sugar. Turn mixer on the slowest speed and add the remaining confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at a time until it's mixed well.  Beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes.
I cut this recipe in half, and had plenty to frost 14 cupcakes with a lot left over.  Maybe I should have been more generous with the frosting?  While I had to buy a few ingredients that I wouldn't ordinarily keep on hand (meringue powder?), the outcome is worth the investment.

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