This weekend I went to a dinner party with a couple of girlfriends. Everyone was supposed to bring something to contribute to the dinner part of the party. All in all, everything was very delicious, there was quiche, insalata caprese, roasted veggies, dessert cheeses, crackers, fruit, bread and more. I made cupcakes, because really… What else? I made them in mini formates and I had all these ideas on how to make them Halloween-y and spooky and super creative but in the end time ran away from me and all my intricate plans went into the bin and I just made cute little cuppy cakes. They were good though, so all ended well. It was a good night with good friends, good food and good wine. Success!
This recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery’s cookbook, basically it’s an entire book with all sorts of delicious cupcakes and more. Honestly, of all the recipes for cupcakes (the base at least, when it comes to frostings and fillings I like to get creative) I’ve used, they have the best ones. I’ve been to the actual shop in London as well, it’s great!
So this is a devil’s food cake base and a basic cream cheese frosting.
I doubled the batch and got about 40 mini cupcakes (I did not double the batch however and I had enough to frost about 30, which was fine for me but obviously if you need 40 frosted cupcakes you’ll have to get a little creative with the calculator).
Chocolate cupcake base: (makes for approx. 12 full sized cupcakes)
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temp.
120ml whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used about 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar, which is icing sugar with vanilla bean in it)
Cream cheese frosting:
300g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter, at room temp.
125g cream cheese, cold
(I also added 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar)
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C (325F).
In a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment beat, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar, butter and salt on slow speed until a sand-like consistency is reached.
Whisk milk, egg and vanilla in a jug and incorporate half the wet ingredients into the flour mixture while beating at slow speed until everything is combined, turn the mixer up to high for a couple of seconds to get rid of any lumps. Add the remaining egg mixture and mix on slow until everything is combined, then continue beating for a minute or two until smooth. Do not overmix.
Divide the batter between paper cases in a muffin tin until 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minute (if you’re making mini cupcakes, bake for about 16 minutes) or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer or toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re done. I’ve learned this the hard way. The best way to make sure they’re done is to touch them and make sure no dents form, they should spring right back.
Leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Beat icing sugar, vanilla sugar and butter until combined and well mixed with the paddle attachment, then add the cold cream cheese and continue beating until everything completely combined. Turn the mixer up to high and beat until light fluffy, this will take about 5 minutes. Check on it regularly as cream cheese frostings tend to easily become runny.