Super Easy, Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brewed coffee (or 1 cup of warm water mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons of espresso powder)
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 Tbsp (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp) olive oil
4 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1.)Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Prepare a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2.)In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt until there are no visible clumps (cocoa tends to clump up).
3.)In a separate bowl, mix together the coffee (or water plus coffee granules), vinegar, vanilla extract, and olive oil.
4.)Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until they just come together. The mixture should be thin and rather lumpy.
5.)Ladle the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about two-thirds of the way full. Place in oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a bamboo skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
6.)Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on a rack. Once cool, you can eat plain, sprinkle with powdered sugar, or drizzle or coat with frosting.
Melt butter in a small saucepan and remove from heat. Stir in the cocoa until smooth. Sprinkle in about a third of the powdered sugar, stir, then sprinkle in about a half of the milk. Keep alternating with the powdered sugar and either milk or vanilla, stirring after each addition, until the frosting is the consistency you want, and smooth. If it's too runny, add more powdered sugar. If too stiff, add a little more milk or vanilla extract. To pipe in a decorative pattern, scoop the frosting into the corner of a ziplock freezer bag. Use scissors to cut away 1/4-inch or so from the tip of the corner. Then just squeeze the frosting out of the bag onto the cupcakes in any design you like.
Pairs Well With
Mixing the ingredients for the sweet dark chocolate cupcakes is like a dance as I swing around the spring air, jamming to my favorite country music. There is a distinctive smell wafting towards me from my delicious, chocolaty desserts as they come out of the steaming, hot oven. I hope these are good, not like last time. I thought as I pull the chocolate cupcakes out of the oven. Last time I made brownie cupcakes, it was up in Massachusetts, with my best friend Katie. Instead of chocolate chips, we included crushed-up candy canes in ours, and it came out absolutely AWFUL! Of course my grandfather and dad said it was fantastic, but I am convinced that they weren’t telling the truth. I was hoping that these delectable pieces of art would be a spectacular addition to my aunts’ bakery/cafe.
After I mixed up all the ingredients and pulled the desserts out of the oven to cool, I decided to sell them to my Auntie Rachel for her Bakery/Cafe in Winsted Connecticut. After all, the frostings did match the wall colors quite nicely.
“Hi Auntie!” I said entering the kitchen.
“Hi baby!” Rachel screeched forcing me into an embrace. After showing her my masterpiece Rachel took them and gently placed them in one of her cookie jars.
“Thank you baby girl,” she spoke in relief as I walked out of the doors, “now I don’t have to cook any more sweets for a little while.”
The next day I woke up feeling energetic and ready for action. That feeling slowly creeped away, as I saw my mom hovering over me like a cat taunting a mouse.
“Ahh!” I screamed as I darted myself up, just barely missing the ceiling of my bedroom.
“Alex guess what.” my mother said mysteriously.
“I don’t know! Was it worth scaring me half to death?” I said as I tried to focus on the objects surrounding me.
“Definitely” my mom said just barely audible.
“Then what is it?” I said starting to get annoyed.
“It’s about your cupcakes...” she said dropping her voice also taking my confidence down as she went on, “Rachel’s customers loved it! They’re all out!” I was stunned. I mean how could they have sold out that fast? They were only given to her two...three days ago. I must have looked ridiculous just standing there trying to make sense of it all. I didn’t know what to say... How did... Are they...What? nothing made sense for a while. Then I started thinking, maybe i’m not as bad a cook as I thought I am. Several minutes passed until I chose to make a visit up to the Bakery myself. To see if my mom was telling me the truth. She definitely was! Even still, I give most of my goodies to my Aunt’s Bakery/Cafe.
Submitted by: "Alex A."