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.
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.