I’m currently set in super-focused study mode at the moment, gearing up for my last two didactic exams of my pharmacy school career. So please forgive me if it’s a little quieter around here over the next week… oncology has taken over my life for the moment. But I DID save a delicious cupcake recipe to share with you in the meantime.
I made these cupcakes for our end of the semester party in the compounding lab in which I’m a TA. A not-so-healthy, totally easy recipe that is perfectly moist and rich, without being overly sweet. The key is the swiss meringue buttercream. It is my go-to frosting now, as it pipes so well and it’s waaay less sweet than your normal powdered sugar filled buttercream frostings. Otherwise, it’s a very simple chocolate cupcake recipe from the wonderful Rosie of Sweetapolita. You can sub white whole wheat flour if you want, but I think it’s okay to be a little unhealthy every once in a while. ;)
I made these into mini cupcakes AND regular sized cupcakes, but I’m writing the recipe just for mini cupcakes. If you make them regular sized, just increase your baking time to about 15-17 minutes. It’ll make 2 dozen regular sized (vs. 4 dozen mini cupcakes). Use whatever frosting tip you’d like – I used my 1M tip for the more rose looking piping (which isn’t quite the same on mini cupcakes), and I have no idea what the other tip was. You really can’t go wrong with this frosting, though!
Back to oncology for me… dreaming of the moment I can get into my kitchen again before packing it all up to move into our new place!
What is your favorite treat to make for parties? Brownies, cookies, cupcakes?
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (you can use white whole wheat if you'd like to make it slightly healthier)
- 1 1/2 cups unrefined cane sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup espresso, freshly brewed
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 5 egg whites (150 g)
- 1 1/4 cups unrefined cane sugar
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (150 g) dark chocolate chunks, melted (omit for vanilla buttercream)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and line mini* muffin tins with mini cupcake liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt.
Add the buttermilk, espresso, olive oil, eggs, and vanilla extract, and mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until smooth (it will be liquidy).
Fill each of the prepared mini muffin tins 2/3 full with batter.
Bake at 350ºF for 10-12 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Remove the cupcakes from the pan immediately, and place on a wire rack to cool (be careful, they will be hot). Allow to cool completely before frosting.
*For regular sized cupcakes, bake at 350ºF for 15-17 minutes.
Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Set aside to cool. If you want vanilla buttercream, skip this step.
Bring a saucepan filled with 2 inches of water to a simmer. Place the egg whites and sugar into a heat proof mixer bowl, and place above the water. Whisk the sugar and egg whites until warm to the touch and the sugar is dissolved.
Place the bowl back on the mixer stand, and whisk on medium-high speed until you have stiff, glossy peaks, and the mixture is cool, about 10 minutes.
Reduce speed to medium-low, and add the butter, one piece at a time, mixing until fully incorporated between each piece. If it appears curdled at this point, keep mixing until it becomes smooth again. Add the vanilla extract, melted chocolate (if using), and salt, and mix until well combined.
Switch to the paddle attachment and beat for about 2 minutes to remove air bubbles.
Using your favorite frosting tip, pipe frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes. Serve immediately. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
If you’re a visual person, there’s a great step-by-step swiss meringue buttercream post at Sweetapolita.
adapted from Sweetapolita.