Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cupcakes - Completely from scratch!

I really wanted to try out a chocolate cake recipe I found in my new favorite cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond, but I knew we wouldn't eat a whole sheet cake. So I decided to make half of the recipe and make 12 cupcakes instead. Usually I resort to a box cake mix for cupcakes, but I'm on the quest for perfect homemade cake in all flavors! And once again, I have to thank Ree Drummond for providing me with a delicious recipe! If you haven't heard of Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, look up her blog, pick up her cookbook, and I'm sure you'll fall in love with her and her recipes! Here's what her cookbook looks like ...

So, first I started by sifting the dry ingredients together. I then beat the egg into buttermilk. Melted chocolate and butter over the stove, and then poured the butter and chocolate into the dry ingredients.

I mixed them together slightly to cool the chocolate. I didn't want the egg to cook when I added it in to the mix.
Then, I slowly added the egg and milk mixture.

I mixed them all together until nice and smooth. At this point I also did a taste test just to make sure the batter tasted as good as I thought it should. The verdict? Yummy!

I poured the batter into paper lined cupcake tins and baked them until done.

After letting the cupcakes cool, I started making the frosting. I have never made homemade buttercream frosting before. I've done homemade chocolate and fluffy white frosting, but not buttercream. Primarily because I'm not real sure if I like buttercream frosting; I think it's slightly sweet for me. But, I thought I'd give it a try. I found a simple recipe that just used butter, vanilla, milk and powdered sugar. Then, I added some blue food coloring gel to make a light blue frosting.

I then did my best to pipe the frosting on the cupc
akes. This is where I fail every time. I'm not good at piping at all! I did a few cupcakes just smoothing the frosting on to put sprinkles on, but I did piping on most of them. I need lots and lots of practice for making nice looking cupcakes! Here are a pictures of the finished cupcakes ...

The final verdict: I love the cake and will use the recipe again. However, not the buttercream recipe. Too sweet for me, and it was very hard, which I didn't like. So I'm still on a search for a good frosting recipe!

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