We have another birthday in my office next week. I asked the birthday girl to name her favorite type of cake and her answer was chocolate with chocolate frosting. I decided to take a practice run to make sure I had a good recipe. I hate making something for the first time for an audience.
I looked through my cookbooks and decided to try a Devil’s Food Cake from the King Arthur Flour “Baker’s Companion”. I cut the recipe in half and made cupcakes. It was a little difficult to cream the small amount of butter in my 6 quart KitchenAid mixer, but in the end it worked out well. Rumor has it that KitchenAid is coming out with a smaller bowl with a new attachment sometime in Spring. I’ll be on the lookout for that.
The cupcakes were very moist and delicious. They had the light, moist quality of a boxed cake mix but with all natural and mostly organic ingredients. I used organic all-purpose flour from King Arthur, organic natural cocoa powder from Trader Joe’s, organic milk and organic butter.
I tried to make the Chocolate Buttercream recipe from the King Arthur cookbook, but found that it was far too sweet for my taste and not nearly chocolatey enough. Luckily I tasted it before adding all of the sugar. I added some more unsweetened chocolate and that improved the taste considerably. I also added a tablespoon of unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder. That addition made a delicious frosting, full of dense chocolate flavor without being overly sweet. I’m not posting the recipe for the frosting yet as it was purely experimental.
Devil’s Food Cupcakes
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces superfine or granulated sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) natural cocoa powder
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) milk, room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, salt, baking soda, and vanilla until fluffy and light, at least 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa. If lumps remain, sift the mixture.
- Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly blend 1/3 of the flour mixture into the creamed mixture, then 1/2 of the milk, another 1/3 of the flour, the remaining milk and lastly the remaining flour. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout this process.
- Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Fill cups 3/4 full and bake for 20 – 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool for ten minutes in the tins and then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Spread with chocolate frosting of your choice.