My good friends G & H are getting married this summer, and of course, just before any wedding, there was a bachelorette party. H's bacheloretty party was jam packed with activities including a belly-dancing lesson on a rooftop in Montreal, karaoke, and of course cupcakes, which I had the opportunity of providing. One of H's wedding colors is pink, and I know she loves chocolate anything. So, I opted to make these mini chocolate cupcakes with raspberry frosting. Plus, I selfishly love the combination of raspberry and chocolate. I'm pretty sure my cupcakes were much better than my karaoke singing (at least I really hope so).
Cupcakes are something I hardly ever make any more. I don't know why because they are actually a lot of fun to bake. When I do make cupcakes, I find it important that the frosting say something. It can't just be a pretty blob of buttery sweetness. The frosting needs to have flavor. This is why I was particularly excited to try this recipe for raspberry frosting from the blog Making Life Delicious.
The frosting recipe involves cooking/mashing fresh (or frozen) raspberries in a small saucepan so that they release their raspberry juice. Then you strain the juice and put it back on the stove to cook it down into a thick raspberry concentrate that is used to color and flavor the cupcakes. It's genius. The frosting tastes intensely of raspberry. The color is genuine, from the fruit. No dyes or food coloring needed. I would do this again with other berries for sure. Oh and I saved the leftover raspberry pulp to spread on buttered toast with a drizzling of honey or maple syrup. Yum.
The cake recipe (adapted from good ol' Martha Stewart) is what I refer to as a cake mix cake (but from scratch of course). You combine all the dry ingredients in the bowl of the mixer, combine all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then mix the two together. Very easy. If you are feeling lazy, you can even just measure out the wet ingredients and place them directly into the bowl with the dry ingredients, in a one-bowl process. Super easy.
Normally, I'm an all-butter kind of girl, but I find with chocolate cakes, butter-based recipes, sadly, can be a bit dryer. So this cake recipe calls for oil, not butter, but it yields a light, moist cake that everybody loves and its texture makes up for the absence of butter. Of course, if you have a moist all-butter alternative for me, do send it my way! I'd really appreciate that.
Chocolate cupcakes with raspberry frostingMakes about 50 or so mini cupcakes
Chocolate cupcake ingredients
- 69 grams (3/4 cup) extra-dark cocoa powder (like this one from Cocoa Barry), sifted
- 195 grams (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 300 grams (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 178 grams (3/4 cup) low-fat buttermilk
- 178 grams (3/4 cup) warm coffee (or warm water)
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 340 grams (12 oz) fresh or frozen raspberries
- 115 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 400 grams (~3 1/2 cups) icing sugar, sifted
- A couple tbsp pink sprinkles (optional)
To make the chocolate cupcakes
- Line two 24-cup mini cupcake pans with mini baking cups. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee (or water), canola oil, and vanilla.
- Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients in the mixer bowl, and mix them on low until the batter is liquid, glossy, and without lumps.
- Transfer the batter to a measuring cup (or a bowl) that has a spout, and pour it into each of the liners until they are evenly filled to about 3/4 the height of the liner.
- Bake the cupcakes for about 12–15 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out completely clean. The cakes should spring back when tapped lightly.
- Let the cupcakes cool partly before transferring to a wire rack. Only frost them when they are completely cooled.
- In a small saucepan, heat the raspberries on low to extract the raspberry juice, mashing with a potato masher or the back of a spoon.
- Strain out the seeds and fruit pulp using a fine-meshed sieve and transfer the strained juice back to the pot. Save the raspberry pulp for breakfast!
- Heat the juice on medium to cook it down to about 1/4–1/3 cup. Let cool completely before using.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with about 230 grams of icing sugar. Cream them together on low, then add the concentrated raspberry juice.
- Adjust the consistency of the frosting with the last 170 grams of icing sugar, beating well to make sure that it is smooth.
- To decorate: fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip (D7) with the frosting. Pipe a rosette of frosting over each mini cupcake. Top with a pinch of sprinkles if using. Please note that the frosting will change colors slightly as it sits.