Monday, March 29, 2010

Buttermilk Cupcakes, Chocolate Cupcakes and Mocha Cupcakes for My Niece, Sofie's Birthday

My niece, sofie celebrated her birthday party at school last Friday. I volunteered to do the cupcakes for her school birthday party. This was my second assignment and wanted to try the new cupcake recipes instead. So I looked  through Mathasteward website and decided to do yellow buttermilk cupcake. I could not make a good chocolate cake so far, hence, I wanted to do chocolate cupcake too. I think the chocolate bar/chips I used is not good enough to give best flavor. I wanted to add another flavor so include the mocha cupcake.

For decoration, I asked my sister-in-law what kind of decoration she wanted for cupcakes. My sister-in-law requested to write individual classmate's name on each cupcake. The children are learning alphabet now and can only recognize Capital Letter so she advised me to wrote their names in capital letter. I was thinking that just the names would be plain. So I added the random designs appeared in my mind during the decoration.

I bought the cupcake courier at one month ago and did not have a chance to  use it. It can carry 36 standard cupcakes. I overpaid them as my sister-in-law told me that Costco is selling almost half price. I went to Costco and took a look. Oh god, exactly the same brand and a lot more colors  I  can choose like blue, pink, etc. In amazon, I can only choose lemongrass to entitle the free shipping. Partly my fault as I was a bit rush to buy it without any occasion to use. My hubby refused to return it to amazon, so I no choice and keep this cupcake courier and now time to utilize it.

I only baked half recipe of yellow buttermilk cupcake and it supposed to yield 18 standard cupcakes but I filled batter more than 3/4 full in each cupcake tin so mine only yielded  14 cupcakes and the batter overflowed during baking. I should fill  just 3/4 or 2/3 full in each cupcake tin  next time. Although I added two teaspoons vanilla extract instead of one teaspoon for half recipe, I still got flour taste. I should add more vanilla next time.

Yellow  buttermilk cupcake recipes (36 standard cupcakes)

  • 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 8 large whole eggs, room temperature {original 5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks}
  • 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract {original: 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract }


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. 
  4. Reduce speed to medium. Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add yolks, and beat until thoroughly combined. 
  5. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Beat in vanilla.
  6. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. 
  7. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. 
  8. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
For chocolate cupcake, I found the brain website that seems specialized in any kind of chocolate cakes baking as most recipes posted there are different kind of  chocolate cakes. After read through the blogger experience and explanation, I wanted to try one of the recipes from there. I chose the best chocolate cake ever recipe. I used the Nestle morsels semi-sweet chocolate chips and replaced the yogurt with sour cream as I had those on hand.

The batter was very thick so I did not know how much should I fill in to each cupcake and I also did not want to fill more. When I baked chocolate cupcake for the monk last week,  I filled nearly full to cupcake tin. The batter overflowed a lot when baked.  So, I scooped 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter to each cupcake tin and it came out slightly smaller size than usual standard cupcake. I might filled more, probably two tablespoons batter next time. This recipe mentions to lower the oven rack to lower-middle position and I followed it and the bottom of cupcakes cooked well. This is the first recipe to adjust the oven rack for cupcakes. If we adjust the oven rack to lowest position, I am afraid the surface of cupcake might not cook well. It become sticky after cool down.

The taste of bake goods was more on coca taste, bitter than chocolaty taste. Maybe I should use more expensive good quality chocolate bar or add more chocolate chips next time. I baked one recipe and it yielded 14 standard cupcakes.

Chocolate cupcake recipes (12 standard cupcakes)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 3/4 cup (3 3/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) sour cream 
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (1/2 cup capacity) with baking-cup liners.
  2. Combine butter, chocolate and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and fully combined. Set aside to cool until just warm to touch.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda and baking powder in small bowl to combine
  4. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined; then sift in remaining flour mixture and whisk batter until it is homogeneous and thick.
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.
  6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes. 
After baking two batches, it was more than enough for the party as there are only 21 people in the class, including teacher. However, I wanted to add one more flavor and decided to add mocha cupcake. I can give the extra cupcakes to my aunt and uncle. I have found this award winning cupcakes since last year and don't have chance to bake it. So I decided to bake the special mocha cupcake recipe from Taste of Home Magazine.

I wanted to have strong flavor coffee so I replace Kahluah mocha liqueur with  vanilla extract. I should reduce to 2 teaspoons next time if using Kahluah mocah liqueur. I used the instant coffee packet instead. I realized that the batter taste changed after adding cider vinegar. Maybe next time, I might omit cider vinegar and see what are the differences.Other than this two, I pretty much follow the recipe. I baked one recipe and yielded only 10 standard cupcakes.

Mocha cupcake recipe (12 standard sized cupcakes)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cold brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, coffee, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients; mix well. 
  3. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-quarters full. 
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool.
For decoration, I used the non-dairy whipping cream, Pastry Pride as my sister-in-law is health conscious and does not like icing sugar. I used 1 1/2 cups the premier version of Pastry Pride but I did not add Wilton Meringue Powder this time as it was simple decoration. You can read the difference between non-dairy whipping cream and dairy whipping cream here.

Firstly, I frosted the cupcake with whipped cream and then wrote the children names in capital letters. The pink frosting for girls and blue frosting for boys. After that it was too plain and I randomly added designs appear in my mind at that time. I made the same crown design as my cousin cupcake for my niece's. I bought rainbow non-pareils and chocolate sprinkles last week and they came handy. I sprinkled them wherever I thought was nice.

My sister-in-law feed backed me that the children were so excited to see their names on the cupcakes as no bakery provided that kind of service. They were so excited and happy to eat their own cupcakes. She said it was beyond her imagination. Anyway, I am so happy to hear that the children like the cupcakes and their decorations.

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