I always feel like a cupcake. I cannot make cupcakes (unless we’re making them in class) because when there are cupcakes in the house…I will eat them all. Yes, I grew up in an Italian-American household but American cupcakes were entrenched in my mom’s kitchen menu.
This recipe is hers. And I have baked these cakes for years and years. They have all kinds of significance. Dessert for a dinner. Dessert for a catering client. Dessert for a birthday.
And when I lived in NY and watched NY Jets football with my NY Jets buddy, Gerri, I made cupcakes to bring us luck! Every time the Jets were in trouble or if it was 3rd & a long 18…we each ate a cupcake to give them some luck, umph, fan power…whatever would bring about a 1st down! It worked…some of the time.
Make these over the holidays. They are perfect! Not too dense, not to crumbly. And the icing is perfect for human bites…not a tower of creamy sugar, but a true icing…an elegant schmear of sweet.
Cupcakes w/ Chocolate Icing
For the cupcakes:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk
1 ½ cups flour
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
For the icing:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar (you may need a little more)
2-3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup brewed espresso (hot)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Use a 12-cupcake tin with medium-sized cupcakes. Line it with cupcake papers.
Cream the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment in a stand mixer until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add ½ of the flour mixture to the batter, mix until incorporated. Add half of the milk and mix well. Add the rest of the flour and mix till combined, add the last of the milk and mix until smooth.
Spoon batter into the cupcake papers – each one about 3/4 full. Bake until golden – about 20 minutes.
For the icing:
In a medium mixing bowl press out the butter with a spoon to make it smooth. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa and mix until the butter is blended into small pieces with the sugar & cocoa. Add the vanilla and mix well. Make the espresso in an espresso pot or use instant espresso coffee. When hot, add a couple of tablespoons to the mixture and stir rapidly to combine. If frosting seems too thick, add more espresso until it becomes the right consistency.
When cupcakes are completely cooled, frost the tops using an offset spatula or small spatula. Smooth on 1-2 tablespoons per cupcake.