I think Valentine’s Day falls into the “holidays that are way better as a child” category. In elementary school, I used to love to go the store to buy the box of Valentines for the class gift exchange. I will admit that I was a little boy crazy from the womb. I had 3 “boyfriends” alone in 1st grade. I would dig through the box of assorted Valentines and choose the “best” one for whatever boy I had a crush on at the time.
But then in middle school and in high school, Valentine’s Day become more competitive. It was all about how many roses or carnations were delivered to your classroom, or what boy would slip a valentine into your locker. But now as an adult (am I really an adult? Does 25 really count?), Valentines is just now an excuse to make some chocolate cupcakes with really pink frosting.
I got pastry bags and a few tips in my stocking that I finally put to use on these cupcakes (and a little cake). The cupcakes caved a little in the centers but they still tasted delicious and it wasn’t anything that the frosting couldn’t coverup. I hope that you treat yourself, or your loved one, special this weekend.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream
Recipe adapted from Bella Eats via original recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook (One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes) with adaptations suggested by Tara at Seven Spoons
makes 24 cupcakes plus 1-8inch cake
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups dutch-process cocoa powder
2-1/2 cups sugar
2-1/2 tsp baking soda
1-1/4 tsp baking powder
1-1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus 2 tbsp
1-1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups warm water
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. Sift together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix in the eggs, yolk, milk, sour cream, oil, vanilla and warm water. Beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes.
Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about 2/3s full. I used a little less than 1/4 cup scoop.
Bake, rotating pans halfway through, for 20-27 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Mine took 23 minutes. The cake took about 40 minutes but check it after 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make two batches of this frosting for the cupcakes and the cake.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
5 tbsp fresh raspberry puree, strained (I used a bag of frozen raspberries, thawed and then blended with my hand blender with a tablespoon of sugar. I strained it with cheese cloth and I still left a few seeds, so don’t worry if you can’t get all the seeds out)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
Cream the butter in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy. Slowly add 1 cup of the sugar and beat until smooth. Slowly add the raspberry puree and mix until combined. Add remaining confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until well incorporated.
Add the vanilla extract and continue to beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. The frosting can be made the night before, but do not refrigerate it. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.