all about cupcakes

I’ve had cupcakes on the brain for quite some time now. I mean, what’s not to like about a cupcake? I have a stack of cupcake recipes to try out, including several from this book that fell into my amazon cart the other day:

cupcake book.JPG

Instead of making any from Hey There, Cupcake or trying the chocolate cupcake recipe in the latest Cook’s Illustrated, I decided to give the Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Icing from Donna Hay magazine (issue 17) a try. Here’s how they turned out:
donna hay cupcakes.JPG

The batter was really thick, so I was worried they were going to come out like rocks. They weren’t too hard, but they did firm up rather quickly, and I prefer a moister, mushier cupcake. The recipe uses a bit of almond meal, which lent a slight nutty flavor to them. The icing is enough to clog the best arteries in town. White chocolate, butter, and whipping cream. Yowza. It’s a great icing if you really, really like white chocolate, but man, it’s rich!
Read on for the recipe …

Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped White Chocolate Icing (Donna Hay magazine, issue 17)
Makes about 10. Note: original recipe in Australian measurements. I’ve converted it to US measurements
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar (I couldn’t find any, so I just used regular sugar)
3 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup dutch-processed cocoa
1/4 cup almond meal (if you can’t find almond flour, just grind up some blanched almonds in a food processor)
whipped white chocolate icing:
500g white chocolate, chopped (I used 370g, or two boxes of white baking chocolate, then skimped a bit on the other ingredients to make up for it)
1 cup whipping cream
1 stick plus 1/8 cup unsalted butter
To prepare the icing: put the chopped chocolate, cream, and butter in a small saucepan and heat over low heat. Stir frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely (you might want to dump the mixture into a larger bowl first). When it’s cool, beat the mixture until thick and fluffy. The recipe says to use a handheld mixer, but I used my trusty Kitchen Aid with the whisk attachment. It took probably a good 10 minutes ON HIGH to get it to thicken.
Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 320F. Donna Hay says to put ALL the ingredients into a bowl and beat, but I think it would be better to first cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs, beat some more, then add the dry ingredients and blend them all in. Spoon the batter into a prepared muffin/cupcake tin. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cook in the tin for 10 minutes then remove and cool on a wire rack. Smear with the icing when completely cool.

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15 Responses to all about cupcakes

  1. gaile says:

    whoa, donna hay has a magazine!!! I am SO going to get a subscription to that baby! I have two of her cookbooks and I love them!! Those cupcakes are adorable and look super yummy!

  2. j says:

    did you see the lava muffins alton brown made today on food network!? I believe it’s up on the website lemme look….,1977,FOOD_9936_21729,00.html

  3. Becca says:

    One of those cupcakes looks like a perfect Valentine’s Day treat (to split…)

  4. linda says:

    If you like coconut, Ina Garten has a great coconut cupcake recipe…lots of butter and cream cheese frosting! I think it is in her Barefoot Contessa cookbook but sometimes you can find it on if they’ve recently aired the “Stephen’s Birthday” episode. Happy baking (and eating)!

  5. Dixie Carrigan says:

    Please tell me more about the Donna Hay magazine! I have one of her cookbook but did not know that she had a mag. thanks!

  6. Carole says:

    I have an excellent Peanut Butter cupcake recipe. If you would like, I can e-mail it to you. It is sooo yum.

  7. Sara says:

    I just made the chocolate cupcakes from cook’s and they are fantastic. Probably the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever had. I didn’t make the frosting (wimped out) and they were great without it. Very, very chocolatey -kinda like a lighter, moister brownie. I highly recommend you give them a try, plus they’re quite easy to make. The only drawback is the recipe only makes 12!

  8. Nanc says:

    I, too, joined the cupcake revolution. (And am v. jealous of the book – I could’t find it at any stores this past weekend.)
    I made the Cola Cupcakes (chocolate) from the book, and they turned out perfect: moist, light and airy, and uber chocolate-y.

  9. amy says:

    is that the book that has a cupcake that is decorated to look like a yarn ball in it?
    i love cupcakes too! they are really rising in popularity lately! if you ever get a chance there is the CUTEST shop in vancouver bc called cupcakes. (
    happy heart day

  10. Stella says:

    apparently we were both on the cupcake wavelength this weekend!!! 🙂

  11. Cathy says:

    Looks absolutely yummy. 😀 But I agree with you with a mushier cake.

  12. Kiki says:

    I so have Clare Crespo’s _Hey There, Cupcake!_ book. I also have her _The Secret Life of Food_. I adore her books. I haven’t yet MADE anything from the books, but I just love looking at the pictures. 🙂 Yay for Clare Crespo!

  13. Jennifer says:

    Ha! I just gave this as a gift to a co-worker last week. I’m going to make the yarn balls and maybe the buttons for my 1 year blog anniversary. Aren’t they cute? I can hardly wait to see your creations.

  14. Melanie says:

    Oh my! I love cupcakes, all because of the Cupcake Cafe:
    I bought and am uploading the Fiery Furfaces because of you! 🙂

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