Dark chocolate cupcakes; vanilla buttercream

Paula Deen; Magnolia Bakery

Makes: 2 dozen cupcakes; frosting for 2 dozen cupcakes or 1 (9-inc) layer cake

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 6 (1-ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 recipe frosting
For the buttercream:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 to 8 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with paper liners.
In a medium saucepan, combine butter, chopped chocolate, and cocoa powder. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth; cool for 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs at high speed with a mixer until thick and pale.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Stir in butter mixture.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Pipe or spread Cherry Buttercream over cupcakes. Store, covered, in refrigerator up to 5 days.
For the buttercream:
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

*Chef’s note: Paula promised a dense, fudgy cake with this recipe, and she delivered! My dad loves dark chocolate, so I made these for his birthday. Safe to say they were a hit! As for the icing, it’s not a true buttercream, but was tasty. Mine was on the runny side even with the maximum amount of sugar, but it tasted fine. I was a bit disappointed that Magnolia didn’t have a more special recipe, but I also haven’t perfected my frosting-making skills!

 

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