INGREDIENTS (Makes 12 cupcakes)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa (I used Hershey's Dutch Processed Cocoa)
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream (4 ounces)
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (cups have 1/2-cup capacity) with baking-cup liners.
- 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 combined. Set aside to cool until just warm to the touch.
- Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in small bowl to combine.
- 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 remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is homogenous and thick.
- Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
- 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. (To frost: Mound about 2 tablespoons icing on center of each cupcake. Using small icing spatula or butter knife, spread icing to edge of cupcake, leaving slight mound in center.)
Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream
The frosting can be made ahead and refrigerated, but it must stand at room temperature to soften before use. Mixing times are increased by 50% if you use a handheld mixer.
INGREDIENTS (Makes about 1 ½ cups, enough to frost 12 cupcakes)
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ½ vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
- 1 ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- Pinch table salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Using paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean onto butter and beat mixture at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl and add vanilla extract and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
Recipe courtesy of Americas Test Kitchen.