Turns out, I think you’re pretty swell. I love your cute little chocolate body and your creamy frosting top. I also love the fact that you are already perfectly portioned so I don’t have to worry about the potential of consuming an entire chocolate cake by myself.
Beautiful cupcake. Let’s stay together forever.
I don’t know about you, but I use social gatherings as a pure excuse to bake something. Going to the neighbor’s house for dinner? Bring brownies. Headed to the new boyfriend’s house to watch a movie? Bring cookies. Going away party? Definitely cupcakes. While I’m not really a fan of actually hosting parties at my own house, I really love playing hostess at other people’s.
I used a pretty standard chocolate cupcake recipe for these today—my inspiration was actually these vegan cupcakes but I de-veganized them a plethora of buttermilk.
The end result was a light, springy chocolate cupcake. I love these because they aren’t terribly sweet so they make perfect vehicles for delicious billowy frosting, which is the best part anyway, right?
Speaking of frosting, after digging deep into the depths of my freezer, I realized I had leftover Brown Sugar Italian Buttercream from when I made Almanzo birthday cupcakes back in April. Friends, always always ALWAYS make extra frosting and freeze it. All you have to do is thaw then you can re-whip it and it’s just like new!
I love frosting so much. I want to just fill a swimming pool with it and bask to my heart’s content. Sorry, is that too much information?
This frosting hails straight from the bible and is the most utterly delicious thing you could ever put in your face. I’m sorry but it just is.
Brown Sugar Buttercream
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice (I don’t know if I actually did that)
3 sticks butter. Yes, three sticks.
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Bring the sugar and the water to a boil over medium heat, brushing down the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush as needed.
AS SOON AS the sugar syrup starts to boil, start beating your egg whites with an electric mixer. Add your lemon juice and beat until the whites hold soft peaks.
While that’s going, make sure to keep an eye on your sugar syrup. Let it come to 238-242 degrees (using a candy thermometer). Once it’s there, immediately drizzle the hot syrup into the egg whites as they are beating. Continue to beat for another six minutes so the meringue has time to cool down a little.
Once the bottom of the bowl doesn’t scald your hand anymore, start adding the butter in very small pieces (mixer is still going at this point). Add the butter, small chunk by small chunk, slowly until you have successfully tossed in all three sticks. Continue beating buttercream for another five minutes or so (add vanilla extract now) until it’s light and fluffy.
It’s quite the process (and quite the amount of butter!) but you won’t regret it. There’s just something about homemade frosting that takes cakes and cupcakes to a whole new level and straight out of the ballpark. You can find candy thermometers at kitchen supply stores, but I think I just used a regular ol’ cooking thermometer that I got for six dollars at Safeway.
Cupcake recipe to follow—I have a party to attend!