Sunday, March 8, 2009

Thank You Cupcakes

Another over due post. We had a big office switch at my work a few months ago now. I love my office with a view of the ferry building and SF bay, near the kitchen too - so I declined to move. But for those wanting off the super hot no view wall, it was a big opportunity for nicer digs. There is this associate that has a way with people and just seems to always make things happen. I really wanted my awesome friend Jen to get a better office, so I promised him cupcakes of his choice if he would make it happen. He did - Jen got a new office & and I owed him cupcakes. And I took a long long time to come through - but I did.

He chose Chocolate Chip cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting. As you will see below, the cupcake recipe was from one of my go-to cupcake books, and both of the frosting recipes from one of my FAV cupcake sites - Cupcake Project - I strongly encourage you to check it out. Chances are, she's tried what you are thinking of!!

Very Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
from 125 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson

1 1/2 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
2. In a stand mixer (or with hand mixer), beat together sugar and butter until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla paste. Alternatively beat in flour mixture and milk, making three addtions of flour mixture and two of milk, beating until smooth. Coat chocolate chips in 1 tbsp flour in bowl or ziplock bag (prevents them falling to the bottm). Fold in chocolate chips.
3. Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 23-28 minutes or until golden brown and tops of cupcakes spring back when touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Frost when completely cool.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz package cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 C butter (1/2 stick) at room temperature
4 C sifted powdered sugar (You can decrease this amount if you don't care about it being as stiff for piping)
1/2 C cocoa powder

Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.
Mix in powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
Mix in cocoa powder.

Since I was baking, and I tend to bake in bursts, I decided to try something from my new bargain cupcake book. It is called Cupcake by Pamela Clark and was on sale at Barnes & Nobel for $7 or something. It is actually quite a pretty and inspiring little book. All the recipes cook at a lower temperature for a lot longer than normal, so that is a little strange. But, I'll let you know how others turn out. So I picked the Mocaccinos and decided to do a vanilla bean frosting and cover it with some store bought caramel sauce. The verdit - someone at work said it was the best cupcake they ever had and that because they worked in a kindergarten class, they considered themselves an expert on cupcakes. Wow! My husband, the trusty taster, said it was a little dry for the cake part and dense, but that with the frosting and caramel, it was ok (he likes almost everything al dente - desserts, veggies, meat, etc.!)


1 Stick plus 3 tablespoons butter, chopped corsely
3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
1 1/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup coffee liqueur
3 tablespoons instant coffee or expresso granules
1 cup AP flour
3 tablespoons self-rising flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees

2. Combine butter, chocolate, sugar, the water, liqueur and coffee in a small pot, stir over low heat until smooth

3. Transger mixture to medium bowl, cool 15 minutes. Whisk in sifted flours and cocoa, then egg. Divide mixture among baking cups.

4. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Turn cakes onto wire rack to cool.

5. When completely cool, frost with frosting of choice - I used vanilla bean buttercream - then drizzle with caramel topping.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting Recipe
From Cupcake Project

1 1/2 C confectioners' sugar (add more until it reaches your preferred consistency)
1/2 C butter (room temperature)
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (add more to taste)
1 tablespoon milk

Mix together sugar and butter until they are blended and creamy. Add vanilla bean paste and milk and continue to beat for another minute. If desired, add more vanilla bean paste to taste, or more confectioners' sugar to make it stiffer.


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the frosting recipes! You picked two of my favorite ones to use! Love em! Your cupcakes look great, btw!

  2. How cool! Those cupcakes look delicious, what a great thank you.