I completely happened upon this recipe by accident, but wow, I'm glad I did. I was in need of a good chocolate fix this holiday weekend, and while visiting Martha's site, I came across this recipe from Everyday Food, one of Martha's magazines that is also a PBS show. The look of the cupcakes reminded me of my favorite cake, Brown Beauty Cake, so I figured these cupcakes were going to be good.
These were almost a one-bowl recipe and super easy to put together. I had them put together and in the oven within about 15 minutes, if that. I did use Dutch-process cocoa powder, from Williams-Sonoma (because I can't seem to find it anywhere else), and I used real buttermilk, not powdered. You can always make your own buttermilk at home if you don't have any, but I happened to have some on hand from a recent red velvet cupcake recipe I made (which I will be posting soon). To make your own buttermilk, use 1 cup of milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice. I've read that you can also use vinegar, though I haven't tried that method personally.
Enjoy the yumminess!
Frosted Chocolate-Buttermilk Cupcakes
adapted from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food
Makes 12 cupcakes
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 tablespoons buttermilk
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. With an electric mixer, combine cocoa and 3 tablespoons hot water until a thick paste forms (this process intensified the chocolate flavor - no joke, it really works!). Add butter, buttermilk, egg, and egg white; beat until combined. Whisk in flour mixture until smooth.
3. Scoop (or spoon) batter into prepared tin(s). Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Use an offset spatula or butter knife to spread icing over tops. Decorate as desired.
Here's Martha's suggestion for frosting: Light Cream-Cheese Icing (and this will keep your cupcake around 180 calories!).
Here's mine, the more decadent version:
Super Easy Vanilla Buttercream (sort of)
1 stick of butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp half and half
Shake of salt
3 cups powdered sugar
Beat butter first with a spoon, then add vanilla and half and half and beat in. Next, add powdered sugar gradually, and mix until combined. Taste. Does it need a little salt? Probably, especially if you use unsalted butter. Add the salt and combine, then spread with an offset spatula on cupcakes.