Long time no post, eh? Well, we're finally settled into our new place, and I've finally had an opportunity to make cupcakes! My cousin Lauren and aunt Cathy whom I haven't seen in about 4 years came down to visit our family yesterday! So, of course, I needed pull out all the stops and whip up some awesome cupcakes.
These cupcakes are yellow cake with dark chocolate chunks mixed in, with Mexican vanilla bean buttercream and a dark chocolate butterfly on top. I got the recipe for the cupcakes and frosting from Brownies For Dinner, and the recipes for both will be posted at the end of this entry with my additions listed.
I started by making the chocolate butterflies from melted Ghirardelli 60% dark chocolate on Wednesday. I'm not sure I tempered the chocolate correctly, because they never really hardened like they should have, but the fridge/freezer was a quick fix for it.
I drew up the pattern for the wings, drew over it with thick black Sharpie, and just laid it underneath the parchment paper and piped chocolate over it with a squeeze bottle.
I baked the cupcakes on Friday, with these cute ruffled liners from Wilton that I found at Hobby Lobby.
Then, I packed up my frosting, the butterfly wings, and the cupcakes, and headed to my Gram's. I didn't assemble them beforehand because I wasn't sure the butterfly wings would hold up, and it's much easier to travel with unfrosted cupcakes. I assembled them at my Gram's, and they were a total hit!
Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes Recipe
- 1 box yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines, since I had it in my pantry)
- 4 eggs (I always use brown, cage-free eggs)
- 3/4 cup oil (I used Smart Balance, which is a blend of canola, soy, and olive oil)
- 1/2 cup water
- 8 ounces of good dark chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli 60% dark)
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, oil and water. Add eggs one at a time. Mix well (about 2-3 minutes).
3. Stir in chocolate.
4. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.
5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes (I think I baked mine for 12, but I only bake one pan at a time. Just take them out when you can really smell them and a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Let them cool completely on a rack before frosting.
Vanilla Bean Buttercream
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (I actually used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, in the stick form)
- 2 – 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (I used 3 cups)
- 1/2 vanilla bean (I ended up using two whole beans. The flavor wasn't strong enough for me and there wasn't a high enough concentration of vanilla caviar visible in the frosting with just half)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon milk (I probably only used about half a teaspoon. I like my frosting stiff for piping.)
1. Beat the butter until it gets light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add the milk and beat for 2-3 minutes.
2. Split the vanilla bean half in lengthwise and scrape out all of the seeds. Add the seeds and extract to the bowl. Beat on high until combined and fluffy.