the best cupcakes

I may have blogged about these cupcakes before, but if so, I still think they warrant a second post, since they are so tasty (and also because I have nothing else to blog about. Ha). They are yellow cupcakes with a chocolate ganache frosting and appeared in Cook’s Illustrated a couple years back.

cooks cupcakes.JPG
They are pretty easy to whip up, so you do have time to make them for Valentine’s Day dessert if you wish.
Read on for the recipe …

Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting – from Baking Illustrated
makes 12
Chocolate frosting:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped up into little bits
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened (if you forget to take the butter out to soften like I did, a good trick is to cut the butter into small pieces and let them sit about 15 minutes)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks, at room temp
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream to a simmer in a small pan. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate then cover the bowl with foil. Let stand for 5 minutes then whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 45 minutes to an hour until it’s cool and a little firm. The time it takes to make the cupcakes is just about the right amount of time for the chocolate to firm up.
Transfer the chocolate mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer (I’m sure you can just use a hand mixer, too). Whip with the whisk attachment on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until the frosting is fluffy and has the consistency of mousse. Don’t overbeat or it will curdle. Set aside.
1. Heat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with liners. The foil ones are great.
2. Whisk together the dry ingredients, i.e., flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add the butter, sour cream, egg, yolks, and vanilla and beat about 30 seconds on medium speed. You want the batter to be smooth and satiny. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and stir a bit to make sure the batter is well blended.
3. Drop the batter into the liners. You can use an ice cream scoop. Bake about 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the tin right away and allow to cool on a wire rack. I use chopsticks to get the cupcakes out, but a knife works well, too. Allow the cupcakes to cool to room temp, about 45 minutes.
4. Frost the babies and serve. They taste best the day they are made!

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11 Responses to the best cupcakes

  1. susan says:

    how’s the mineral makeup going? i don’t know why, but your personal grooming exploits really intrigue me, because they seem to correspond with the things i’ve been wanting to do and haven’t had a chance (mineral makeup) or the courage (colon cleansing). i’m back in china now, just wanted to leave a note saying that the food on your blog always looked good before but it looks even more enticing now that there’s no way i could have it…

  2. Leah says:

    Those look delish! Happy Valentines Day!

  3. Oiyi says:

    Thanks for sharing the yummy recipe.

  4. Gina L says:

    That frosting looks super good. I’m going to go check out that recipe.

  5. Rani says:

    That frosting looks delicious! I’ll have to try these. Thanks. 😀

  6. Kathy says:

    Mmmmm…cupcakes with chocolate ganache. My kind of Valentine’s Day treat! May have to make some of those up for my youngest’s V-day party tomorrow 🙂

  7. raquel says:

    I agree. These are awesome! I made some w/ B&W cow sprinkles for the boy’s b-day. 🙂

  8. Stasia says:

    This is not cupcake-related (tho’ they look incredible) but I had to tell you…
    I ordered some Aromaleigh samples based on your earlier blog entry. After trying them out, I see why I’ve never been able to find any makeup to match my skin tone – I’m a “linen”. The Aromaleigh mineral powder blends FLAWLESSLY – it covers/tones down the rosacea redness and blotches on my face, yet matches my very pale neck… amazing! (I’m so tired of department store consultants telling me I have very pink undertones… I do NOT, I have rosacea! Their recommendations would leave me with a visible pink line at my jawline. Sigh!)
    So THANK YOU for starting that whole conversation – I just placed a “full-size” order with Aromaleigh and can’t wait to receive it. It really feels like I have no makeup on at all and looks completely natural, even in bright sunlight.
    Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

  9. gaile says:

    Yummy!! I’m with Susan – these look even yummier now that I can’t have them!! Soon….we hope soon…

  10. this looks like a fantastic recipe — thanks for sharing it!

  11. Linda says:

    Oh, very good. I love Cook’s Illustrated and I’ve been looking for a good cupcake recipe. Yellow cake and ganache sounds perfect.

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