Being a cozy mystery writer is tough sometimes. Especially when you have to spend a morning baking cupcakes. Oh, yeah, it’s a hardship. But I persevered and made these cupcakes on Saturday for a party.
Those poor party-goers. I was relentless chasing anyone who tried one. What did they think? How did they taste? The conclusion? They were yummy, but almost everyone thought the frosting had a more butterscotch flavor than hot cocoa. I’m going to blame that on using whipping cream (not whipped cream but heavy cream used to make whipped cream) as finding any other heavy cream would necessitate yet another trip to the American store.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy for a store where I can find American and British products. I’m less happy with the prices, and even less happy with the temptations the store contains. All those yummy things I don’t need but make me nostalgic especially this time of year. I never could resist temptation.
Ingredients – makes 14 cupcakes
For the chocolate cupcakes:
- ½ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour (I used wheat flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar (I didn’t have any light brown sugar and used dark without any problem)
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk
For the frosting:
- ½ cup dry hot chocolate mix (with NO marshmallows)
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup (169 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 – 3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
Make the cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Line muffin time with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Beat together the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla extract until combined. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk to batter. The batter will be somewhat thin.
- Pour batter into the prepared cupcake tin. Fill each paper liner halfway. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool before frosting.
Make the frosting
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the hot cocoa mix and heavy cream. Heat until warm, stirring often. Remove from heat and cool for 20 minutes or until at room temperature.
- Beat the butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until combined, about 1 minute. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in hot cocoa mixture. Once combined, increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute. For a thicker frosting, add more confectioners’ sugar. If your frosting is too thick, add more heavy cream.
- Decorate cupcakes with frosting. Garnish with mini marshmallows.
I had tons of leftover frosting, which was not a hardship. Not at all. Let me know if you give them a try.