Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

photo 2-18Last weekend was a great weekend. I skied, I went bowling, I ate lots of cake and I celebrated my birthday surrounded by friends! Weekends don’t get much better than that! Cake is delicious all the time, but there is something about birthday cake that is extra special! photo-553Now my usual request for birthday cake is my moms carrot cake (I posted it last year!) and I was lucky enough to enjoy some delicious carrot cake cupcakes this year, thanks to these lovely ladies above! (don’t worry I didn’t eat all the cupcakes myself)  But if its not carrot cake, I’d rather have chocolate… hands down! photo-551You won’t find a more classic cupcake than these delicious chocolate pillows. Top them with cream cheese frosting… because why would you have any other kind of frosting? And you’ve got yourself a heavenly piece of cake!

The secret inside them? Brewed coffee! Adding brewed coffee to your cake does not make it taste like coffee or mocha but rather it intensifies the chocolate flavor. This is possible because coffee has the same flavor profile as chocolate, but is less dominant than cocoa, so adding it helps your taste buds pick up on the chocolate notes. photo 5-8The end result is a super light but very chocolatey cake that’s not too rich and leaves you satisfied! Since this cake is all about the chocolate, be sure to use quality cocoa powder for both the cake and the frosting!

Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (click for printer friendly version)

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutched cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup good cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Brew Coffee and set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line cupcake pans with cupcake tins, or for a cake coat two 9″ round pans with butter, dust with flour and line the bottom with parchment rounds.
  3. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl, stir with a hand whisk and set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer or hand mixer beat eggs and sugar until very thick. Beat in oil.
  5. Alternate adding flour and buttermilk to the egg mixture beating until well combined.
  6. Add coffee and vanilla until combined.
  7. Fill cupcake pans evenly, only filling them 1/2 way up. (same for cake pans)
  8. Bake for 20-30minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  9. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them.

For the Frosting:

  1. With an electric mixer beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
  2. Slowly mix in powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
  3. Allow frosting to set in the fridge while the cake is in the oven.

photo-552

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar (You can decrease this amount if you don’t care about it being as stiff for piping)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Read more at http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2008/04/my-favorite-chocolate-cream-cheese-frosting-recipe-the-cocoa-powder-makes-a-difference.html#iwF2PTlbOobDmSKl.99

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar (You can decrease this amount if you don’t care about it being as stiff for piping)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Read more at http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2008/04/my-favorite-chocolate-cream-cheese-frosting-recipe-the-cocoa-powder-makes-a-difference.html#iwF2PTlbOobDmSKl.99

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar (You can decrease this amount if you don’t care about it being as stiff for piping)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Read more at http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2008/04/my-favorite-chocolate-cream-cheese-frosting-recipe-the-cocoa-powder-makes-a-difference.html#iwF2PTlbOobDmSKl.99

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar (You can decrease this amount if you don’t care about it being as stiff for piping)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Read more at http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2008/04/my-favorite-chocolate-cream-cheese-frosting-recipe-the-cocoa-powder-makes-a-difference.html#iwF2PTlbOobDmSKl.99

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Best Ever Birthday Carrot Cake

photo-384You know that cake you ask for every year on your birthday, the one that makes you feel special and loved and happy all at once? The kind of cake you go back for seconds, not only because its YOUR birthday but its YOUR favorite cake and its freaking delicious. This carrot cake is THAT cake for me, my mother’s best ever birthday carrot cake.

Today isn’t my birthday, (although you might have seen in my last post, Ski Boots in the Kitchen just turned 1!) but I decided I needed a little slice of heaven! Whenever I go to a restaurant and they have carrot cake on the menu, I have to try it. Let me tell you good carrot cake is hard to come by and I am usually disappointed because its not as good as PomPom’s recipe.

There are two places that know how to do it right- one of the best carrot cakes I’ve ever had is at Bol in Vail, Colorado and the second runner up is from the Deer Valley Bakery (they made my carrot cake wedding cake… can you tell yet I’m slightly obsessed?) but that’s it. If you come across a restaurant that has better carrot cake than these two places call me, I’ll fly anywhere just to try it.

Long story short, I’ve been tasting cakes made with carrot for years and this one will forever be my favorite not only because its outrageously delicious but it brings me back home and its always made with love! Happy celebrating and cake eating- Enjoy!

Best Ever Birthday Carrot Cake (click for printer friendly version)

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 small can (8oz) crushed pineapple and juice
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans) (optional)

For the frosting:

  • 1 8oz. block of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 (1/2 cup) stick of butter at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1lb box confectioners sugar

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees
  2. Grease, flour and line with parchment paper 3, 9″ round cake pans
  3. Using a hand mixer, combine oil and honey in a bowl. Add eggs one at a time, blend in vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift flour, wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and powdered milk.
  5. Blend the sifted dry ingredients with the honey, oil and eggs. Stir in remaining ingredients (grated carrots, crushed pineapple, coconut, raisins and chopped nuts).
  6. Pour batter into the 3 prepared baking pans and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let them cool completely on racks until ready to ice.
  7. While the cake is cooling, using a hand mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar and vanilla in a bowl.
  8. When cake has fully cooled, place the first layer on a cake plate, spreading a thin layer of icing between each layer of cake. Spread a thin layer of icing around the outside of the cake and place in the fridge for 1 hour. This is called a “crumb layer” this will keep all the crumbs stuck to the first layer of frosting giving you the perfect looking cake when you frost the final layer! For more directions on how to perfectly frost a cake see here. Enjoy!