Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cupcake Week Continues: Deep Chocolate Cupcakes

Final entry for cupcake week!

My family celebrates birthdays. Everyone gets a birthday party: even the adults. When you were a child, you had two parties: the ‘kid’ party for your friends on a Saturday and the family party, usually on the Sunday closest to your birthday.

My mother bakes so we always had a homemade cake. I remember being envious of my friends who had a cake from the grocery store or the bakery. As an adult, I went through a period where I only served Merrill’s cakes (their bakery was in Newburyport, Mass. – anyone else remember their yummy chocolate, lemon, and carrot cakes??). When we moved from Beverly, Mass. to South Dartmouth, I bought half a dozen cakes for my freezer.

When Allison was born I started baking cakes again, serving them at both her kids and family birthday parties. It was then I discovered that some of her friends had never had a homemade birthday cake… how times change.

I now often make birthday cakes or cupcakes for my friends. I enjoy the act of baking (the frosting part, not so much). And, when you give the cake away it isn’t sitting in your house, calling out for you to eat it!

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes
From the Hershey’s cocoa box

1 ¾” cup flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup Hershey’s cocoa
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Combine dry ingredients.
2. Add remaining ingredients except boiling water.
3. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
4. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
5. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9” or 3, 8” layer pans, or 1, 13” x 9” pan.
6. Bake at 350 degrees, 30-35 minutes for layers, 35-40 minutes for pan
7. If making cupcakes, spoon ¼ cup batter into cupcake tins.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
9. Remove from oven, cool 10 minutes on wire rack.
10. Remove from pan, let cool completely before frosting.

One Bowl Buttercream Frosting

6 Tbsp butter
Hershey’s Cocoa – 1/3 cup for light flavor
½ cup for medium flavor
¾ cup for dark flavor
2 2/3 cups unsifted confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

1. Cream butter in small mixer bowl.
2. Add cocoa and confectioners’ sugar alternately with milk; beat to spreading consistency (additional tablespoon milk may be needed).
3. Blend in vanilla.
4. Makes about 2 cups frosting.

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