Sammi Jo is my granddaughter. Not only is she a connoisseur of great desserts, she is kind, loving, witty, smart—and beautiful. She adores my cupcakes more than anyone else I know and I was not surprised, when she requested them for her special birthday this past weekend. Normally, I just pipe the tops with the icing, but as you can see from the photo below, I popped a small opening in the top so that I could partially fill the centers with a yummy vanilla frosting—that's just the way she likes them!
Here they are with an extra layer of icing—as Sammi Jo says, " There can never be too much!
CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES with Easy-Vanilla Frosting
Makes 12 -15 cupcakes
When chocolate, and only chocolate, will do, make these gorgeous cupcakes, with a dark-as-midnight bottom crowned with lemony Vanilla Frosting. The incredibly easy, magical batter uses mayonnaise instead of the typical butter and eggs. For the best flavor use a high quality cocoa like Ghiridelli. These cupcakes have the most tender crumb I have ever experienced in a chocolate cake. Handle them gently when removing them from the pan and let them cool completely before you frost them.
Baker’s Note: The frosting decoration on the cupcakes requires a pastry bag and a 1/4-inch-wide open-star tip. Or, fill a small zip lock baggie with the vanilla frosting, snip the corner off leaving a 1/4 -in diameter opening. It works great in a pinch if you don't have a pastry bag and tips —that's what I did!
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghiradelli was used in this recipe)
1 cup hot water
1 cup superfine sugar
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ cup mayonnaise
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
2. To make the cakes, line the insides of 12 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners.
3. Combine the cocoa powder and the hot water in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Whisk to dissolve the cocoa. Whisk in the sugar. Attach the bowl to the mixer and affix the paddle attachment. Sift the flour, the baking soda, and salt together. With the mixer on low speed, in thirds, add the flour mixture, alternating with two equal additions of the mayonnaise, and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the batter is smooth. Using a 2 ½-inch diameter ice-cream scoop, divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
4. Bake until a cake tester inserted in a cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Gently remove the cakes onto a rack, and let cool completely.
8 ounces of butter, at room temperature
1 box (16 ounces) confectioners sugar, sifted
juice of 1/2 lemon, approximately 1 T
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Place the butter in the mixer bowl. Using the paddle attachment, mix the butter on low speed until smooth. Add the sugar in three additions. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and beat until smooth and fluffy.
2. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and a 1/4-inch-wide open-star tip star tip. Pipe the frosting in a zigzag pattern across the top of each cupcake. Then put a few dollops on the top in a random design—see photos. (The cupcakes can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered with a cake dome and refrigerated. Serve chilled or at room temperature.)
Tags: Chocolate Cupcakes
, Vanilla Frosting