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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cupcakes



When was the last time you had a cupcake? I have to admit up until a few weeks ago it had been years for me. Cupcakes simply aren't one of those things that I make. In fact, cake isn't one of those things that I make. I have a lot of good recipes (like the Italian Cream - YUM!!), but most of them take more time than I have to give a cake recipe. That said, I do have a couple that are great for busy people, busy days, busy months...Chocolate Snack Cake is one such recipe.

It was given to me by my mother-in-law years ago, and it really is one of the easiest and yummiest cakes you'll ever make. Everything is mixed right up in an 8"x 8"x 2" pan. No bowls, no mess (though I do admit to using a bowl myself - for shame).

Cupcakes do require a bowl, but the recipe makes enough for six jumbo sized cupcakes.

I have to admit that I didn't do the best icing job on these, but I was in a hurry so slathered it on quickly (which is pretty obvious). Oh well, they'll still taste the same right? lol

Chocolate Snack Cake

1 2/3 cups flour (I most often use 1 cup of unbleached white, and 2/3 white wheat - although using a little cake flour makes for a slightly lighter cake)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder (Ghirardelli dark is excellent)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup water (yes - water!)
1/3 cup oil, butter or margarine (I use butter and cut to 1/4 cup)
1 tsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt with fork, in ungreased 8"x 8"x2" pan. Mix in remaining ingredients until combined.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

If making cupcakes adjust time to 20-25 for regular sized, 25-30 minutes for jumbo, or until done when tested.

Frost w/ your favorite flavor. I usually use a buttercream or mascarpone frosting.

This recipe from Hershey's is a standby.

One-Bowl Buttercream Frosting

6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2-2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa - preferably Dutch processed (again I use Ghirardelli but it's personal preference)
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter in medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed). Stir in vanilla.

Make about 2 cups

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