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You are going to be seeing a lot of cupcakes from me this year. I am horrible with birthdays, so in order to try to become better about them, I have decided to make cupcakes for each of my immediate family members and their spouses, on both sides. I got these cute cupcake boxes from Amazon, and I think it makes the perfect little birthday gift. And I can do a cupcake flavor that the specific person really likes. I already have a few cupcakes on my computer, waiting to be posted, but I’ll just show you one of them today.

February has 3 birthdays – my sister, my brother-in-law (husband’s brother) and my mother-in-law. Because my sister and brother-in-laws birthdays were only one day apart, I was able to make one batch for the both of them. My sister does not have a favorite flavor that I know of, but I did know that my brother-in-law is not a big frosting fan, just like my husband. So any kind of buttercream or overly sweet frosting was out. I know my husband likes marshmallow frosting – aka 7-minute frosting, or fluffy frosting as I grew up knowing it as – so I asked him if that would be something his brother would eat. He said yes – so I figured that would be a good choice for frosting because I know my sister likes it as well. I figured a basic devil’s food cake would be a good choice for the base.

Into my cookbooks I went, searching for a recipe. I should really learn that it would be best if I used tried-and-true recipes when it comes to giving away baked goods, but I just love trying out new recipes. Good thing my family knows and they are willing to put up with my experimentation!

I started with the devil’s food cupcake. All went together easily, but as I was filling the cupcakes, I tasted the batter, and it was not very sweet. I went back to the recipe, wondering if I forgot an ingredient. I didn’t forget anything, but I must have been on auto-pilot when I chose and made this recipe, because I didn’t realize until that point that the whole recipe only has 1/2 cup of sugar in it. No wonder it wasn’t very sweet!! I continued on, finished the cupcakes and the frosting.

I had this colored sugar, and decided to sprinkle it on the tops to bring a little something extra. I’m glad it showed up for the pictures, because in actuality, you could barely see the sugar! If anyone has any ideas of what would be a good thing to use this pastel sugar on, I would appreciate it!

I didn’t hear what the birthday boy and girl thought of the cupcakes, but my husband loved them. I thought they weren’t quite sweet enough, but my husband raved about them. I guess this is why there are so many recipes out there – because everyone has their own idea of what is good!

Black Devil’s Food Cupcakes
adapted from Lion House Desserts

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
2/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup hot water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup thick sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar well. Add the eggs.

In a small bowl, beat the cocoa with the hot water until smooth. Add to the creamed mixture.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to the sugar mixture alternately with the sour cream. Add the vanilla and beat the mixture well.

Bake for about 13 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.

Marshmallow Frosting
from Baking: From My Home to Yours

1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large)
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixer bowl or in another large bowl. Have a candy thermometer at hand.

Put the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover the pan and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 242 degrees F on the candy thermometer. While the syrup is cooking, start beating the egg whites.

When the syrup is at about 235 degrees F, begin beating the egg whites on medium speed with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer. If the whites form firm, shiny peaks before the syrup reaches temperature, reduce the mixer speed to low and keep mixing the whites until the syrup catches up. With the mixer at medium speed, and standing back slightly, carefully pour in the hot syrup, pouring it between the beater(s) and the side of the bowl. Splatters are inevitable — don’t try to scrape them into the whites, just carry on. Add the vanilla extract and keep beating the whites at medium speed until they reach room temperature, about 5 minutes. You should have a smooth, shiny, marshmallowy frosting.

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38 Responses to Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

  1. ryles says:

    Don’t forget about my birthday on the 24th!! Will you make me the lion house chocolate cake? With the whipped cream filling?? Man that sounds good.. Do you think it would be weird for me to make my own birthday cake? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m very excited to see all you’re cupcake posts..

    Thanks for sharing…

  2. Happy cook says:

    You may post aas many cup cakes as you want , i love them.
    I’ve bookmarked this to try it. The frosting looks so delicious. I have looked here for cream of tarta but never found them and i read there is no substitution for it.

  3. April says:

    They look delicious!

  4. Cakespy says:

    Actually you hit on the thing I usually LOVE about Devil’s food cupcakes…they’re a little bit more “subtle” and not as overtly sweet…I think of them as the equivalent of a “sipping drink”…a thing to be savored…

  5. slush says:

    They look awesome! I have always been afraid of 7 minute frosting, but it looks fab, I may have to give it a go.

  6. Melanie says:

    Even if they didn’t taste sweet enough, they are SO cute. I love the piled high frosting. I have this same cookbook and I’ll have to try the recipe – my husband loves Devil’s Food cake.

  7. Mandy says:

    The cupcakes look fabulous, Deborah. Your family is lucky to have you! I can’t wait to read about the rest of your cupcakes creations.:)

  8. Emiline says:

    Wow, I love everything about cupcakes, so I can’t wait for each recipe.
    These look so cute and perfectly decorated!
    I think the marshmallow frosting sounds good. What if you do a s’mores cupcake? That would be fun.

  9. Gretchen Noelle says:

    I will enjoy your cupcake creations! This frosting looks perfect for something I need to make this weekend. Thanks!!

  10. glamah16 says:

    I like your updated header and cookbook project page. Very nice. I love marshmallow frosting, a nice alternative from overly sweet buttercream.

  11. Brilynn says:

    Those look great!

    I often have the same dilemma when I know I’m going to be giving the baking as a gift. I really want to try new recipes but worry they won’t turn out and the gift will be a disaster…

  12. The Baker & The Curry Maker says:

    They look gorgeous Deb. I love this style of frosting!

  13. The Baker & The Curry Maker says:

    They look gorgeous Deb. I love this style of frosting!

  14. michelle says:

    Mmmmm… I’ve been thinking about cupcakes all day. YUM! You’ve got a lucky family! Feel free to pass one my way!

  15. Kevin says:

    Those cupcakes look good. I have not tried making cupcakes yet and with a name like devils food cupcakes I just have to bookmark these to try.

  16. Peabody says:

    I have no birthday this month..but would still like a cupcake please!

  17. Mary says:

    Your cupcakes look beautiful. And that is my favorite frosting! I have to make the puppy cupcakes you posted before and then I think these will be next on my list. I’m intrigued by the idea of a not sweet cupcake!

  18. KJ says:

    Your cupcakes look divine. I love the idea of marshmallow icing. It just seems so seventies and fun.

  19. sunita says:

    Deb, the cupcakes look great…I’m sure the birthday people must have loved them…btw, got any plans to send some overseas…my B’day is coming up next month ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. Dhanggit says:

    aw these cupcakes are sinfully delicious!! im thinking of making one big cupcake too for my daughter’s first bday, i think the idea of cupcake for bday is great coz each one can have his own cake ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Tiffany says:

    Those pastel sugars would be FAB on some Easter goodies. Maybe some sugar cookies cut out and decorated as Easter Eggs?

  22. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    Those look absolutely adorable! I love the sprinkles! So whimsical!

  23. Catherine Wilkinson says:

    Bring it! I love cupcakes. Little individual works of art! I’m making a whole slew of them for my niece’s wedding in like, ah, a couple of weeks…dang, I gotta get busy!
    Nice pics!

  24. Megan says:

    The perfect gift!

  25. Gabi says:

    Those look so great! Whata nice of you thing to do to make cupcakes for your F&F.

  26. Amy says:

    These look incredible! Do you have any simpler marshmallow frosting recipies? For instance, a cheaters recipie where a food thermometer isn’t required? You know…for slackers like me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Deborah says:


    I do have an easier version – the one I grew up on! I almost made it, but then wanted to try something new. I actually like my mom’s version better than this one, so maybe I will do it next!

  28. Patricia Scarpin says:


    Just so you know it, my birthday is in November, ok?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I want these! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Karen says:

    Ooooo. I am totally going to try that marshmallow frosting!

  30. eatme_delicious says:

    Cupcakes for everyone’s birthday?? Lucky family members! Looks like you’re off to a great start. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have never tried marshmallow frosting before but now I really want to.

  31. Cakelaw says:

    These look fabulous Deborah – the marshmallow frosting is superb. The sweetness in the frosting probably easily made up for less sweetness in the cake.

  32. PheMom says:

    Hey there! I think these look great! Other than them not being quite as sweet as you wanted, how was the texture? We love marshmallow anything around here!

  33. Margaret says:

    These cupcakes look absolutely stunning!

  34. Elle says:

    ooooh, I usually have all of these things on hand! I know my kids will love these, and I’ll earn some good old brownie points. thanks!

  35. Ryley says:

    I was just about to email you to ask you if you had a recipe for marshmallow frosting because I have to make a cake for this weekend and they want marshmallow frosting..
    But I decided to rely on good ol’ google and you were like the 4th result!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    awesome that you’re so close to the top… I when that happens to me!

  36. ted says:

    i tryed this and it ended up like fluffedegg whites. clearly didnt work.. help ?

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