Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Take the deepest, darkest chocolate flavor. Add a soupçon of coffee. Crown with cream cheese frosting with a hint of orange zest. Devour.

Only one thing could unseat a coworker's favorite birthday treat and it was these cupcakes. The cupcake is moist and flavorful and the frosting is lightly orange, sweet enough but not cloyingly. You can make them a day or two in advance without compromising the texture, just store them in a sealed container in the fridge.

They're easy to make but the batter is exceedingly thin, so the first time I made them, I poured the batter into a large measuring cup. That was fine, but my measuring cup dripped all over the muffin tins. The second time I made them I experimented with using a piping bag. This is what happened:

Maybe that wasn't the way to go.

Chocolate Cupcakes - adapted from Ina Garten, inspired by Jamie at My Baking Addiction
Printer friendly recipe
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 3/4 cups/245 grams all-purpose flour
2 cups/190 grams sugar
3/4 cups/72 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In a 2 cup measure, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla and stir with a fork to blend. With the mixer on the lowest speed (I use the Stir speed on my KitchenAid), slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on the  lowest setting, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The batter will be very thin. Don't worry if you have a few lumps.

Using a large piping bag or measuring cup, fill the muffin wells 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting - adapted from My Baking Addiction

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
zest of one large orange
9 tablespoons/4 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (optional but soo good)

In a the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened cream cheese at medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add the softened butter, orange zest and beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. 

With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar until thoroughly incorporated and smooth. Add the extracts and mix to combine.
Put the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a star tip (or use a knife or small offset spatula) to swirl frosting on each cupcake. Store cupcakes in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Remove to room temperature 30-45 minutes before serving.


Jessica said...

Oh Leslie! It is so great that you took a photo of the batter experience! That happens to me all of the time, and I feel better knowing I'm not alone!
These cupcakes look SOOOOO good! I can only imagine how good they tasted. Yum and hooray for chocolate. And the frosting looks pretty nice too. :)

Mimi said...

Orange and chocolate is such a fabulous combination.

Hanaâ said...

Oh my, that looks beautiful! You're no longer allowed to say you can't pipe. That's just gorgeous. And the orange flavor in the frosting, yum! I'll have to sit down this weekend and read your other posts. You've been busy while I was on vacation, ha ha. Love your brownie palooza!!! I should probably read each post first before asking you, but which one was your favorite?

Jessica said...

I am on a bit of a chocolate/orange kick lately, so these look really tempting to me right now. I have yet to try Ina's chocolate cupcakes, but I know that when I do, I'll be using that frosting. Beautiful cupcakes!

Tracey said...

Gorgeous cupcake Leslie, and what a delicious flavor combo! Too funny about your batter experience - I literally just made a batch of chocolate cupcakes and had a similar experience :) Those thin batters are tricky!

Di said...

Oooh, I like your idea of using Fiori di Sicilia in the frosting. I really need to use mine more often.