I’ve been craving chocolate cake for the past week or so, but I’ve been either too busy or too sick to make it. I’m not gonna lie, I usually make my cakes/cupcakes from boxed mixes because I think they always turn out ten times better than when I make it from scratch. Boxed mixes are always perfectly moist and come out beautifully every time… You just can’t mess them up– They’re so easy! PLUS, you don’t have to worry about washing so many dishes!
Last night, I was so close to making my own chocolate cake from scratch, but I didn’t have all the ingredients to make the frosting. We all know you can’t make a chocolate cake without the chocolate frosting.. so off to the grocery store it was. Now, by the time I actually got dressed and into the car, I was just not feeling up to par and wasn’t in the healthiest mood to be baking a cake. That’s when my boyfriend (bless his heart) told me that he would make me red velvet cupcakes and even frost them for me! Granted they were both going to be cupcakes made from a boxed mix and frosting from a can, I was ecstatic that he would do all that for me. For those of you that are unaware, my boyfriend is not exactly the best person in the kitchen. Let’s just say that he tried to heat up “microwave chicken” once and forgot to puncture holes AND cover the plate with a paper towel, despite the clear directions on the side of the box.
Anyways, I’m walking through the baking aisle and thought to myself.. it’s already nearly midnight; I didn’t want my boyfriend to make a mess in the kitchen and go through all the trouble for me just so I can get a piece of chocolate cake. I opted for the Betty Crocker Warm Delights in Molten Caramel Cake with some cookie dough ice cream on top, instead. It only takes a minute and 15 seconds to make and it’s the perfect amount to satisfy my craving.. or so I thought. I woke up the next morning feeling ten times better with the same urge to bake a chocolate cake. Thank goodness I did! These cupcakes were magnificent!
This recipe is from Jennifer of Seattle’s Trophy Cupcakes. If you’ve never had a cupcake from there, then you haven’t lived. Seriously. I went to Seattle for my cousin’s wedding last summer, and their wedding cake was made up of Trophy’s Cupcakes. They are BY FAR the BEST cupcakes I’ve never had. Better than those Sprinkles & Crumbs cupcakes found here in LA. The red velvet was to die for, and I ate at least six different kinds of cupcakes from there when I went. Each one was just as delectable as the next. I’m still dying to try the Chai one (Chai tea lattes are my all time favorite drink and I love Chai EVERYTHING), but they didn’t have it on the days that I went.
I had a bunch of my family over tonight to celebrate Chinese New Year a bit early, and by the end of the night, there were only 6 cupcakes left from the original 24 that I baked plus a mini cake. Everyone loved them– Even my dad, who doesn’t normally like super sweet desserts. I’d use this recipe over and over again! Now if only Jennifer from Trophy’s can release their red velvet recipe….
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Marshmallow Frosting (See recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.
- Sift 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix ingredients together on low speed.
- In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add boiling water and stir to combine; set cake batter aside.
- Place graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined.
- Place 1 tablespoon graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Use the bottom of a small glass to pack crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Reserve remaining graham cracker mixture for topping.
- Place 2 teaspoons chocolate in each muffin cup. Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until the edges of the graham cracker mixture is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill each muffin cup three-quarters full with cake batter. Sprinkle each with remaining chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return to oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer muffin tins to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.
- Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain round or French tip (such as Ateco #867 or Ateco #809). Pipe frosting in a spiral motion on each cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the frosting, taking care not to burn the cupcake liners. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, up to 2 days.
- 8 large egg whites
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Use immediately.
My Notes: I followed the recipe to the T and it turned out beautifully. The batter might seem a bit thin, but that’s how it’s supposed to be! It turned out for a super moist cupcake. I didn’t have that many graham crackers, so I wasn’t able to sprinkle the top with it. I’m sure it didn’t make much of a difference, but I’ll make sure to have more on hand the next time I make these. I also had a TON of batter leftover and was able to bake a mini cake, so you can line some more muffin tins and make more cupcakes instead (there was enough to probably make at least 6 more cupcakes). The frosting was just AMAZING. Seriously. AMAZING.