From 125 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson
Makes 12 cupcakes (Mine actually made a little over 18)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup frozen raspberries, not thawed
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat sugar and oil until well combined. Add milk, frozen raspberries, and vanilla, being just until raspberries are mashed and well incorporated. Add flour mixture, beating until well blended. Mix in balsamic vinegar.
4. Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.
White Chocolate Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from Maple Buttercream by Julie Hasson
Makes 2 cups (Enough for 18 cupcakes)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup melted white chocolate
1/4 tsp raspberry extract
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together confectioners’ sugar, butter, melted chocolate, raspberry and vanilla extracts, and salt until smooth.
2. Spread frosting over cooled cupcakes and set aside at room temperature until ready to serve or for up to 8 hours.
With all the trouble I had with my Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes for the IronCupcake: Earth June challenge, I was a little upset that I had basically thrown away the greatest category I was going to get anytime soon. I still had a container of raspberries left in the freezer from stocking up when they were on sale, so I decided to give the category one more go. This time, there was no lemon involved. It was time to combine it with the most classic pairing of all. Chocolate. How could I possibly go wrong? Everything’s better with chocolate!
The Baking Gods must have gotten their fill of messing with me last time, because this time was smooth sailing. I had everything I needed already—no grocery store runs for me! I had time to bake, and no one interrupted me! Well except for some door-to-door sales guy trying to get me to switch my gas company. I answered because he looked a LOT like the maintenance guy and I thought he was here to try to fix my AC again. But that was in the middle of baking, and I got him to go away quickly enough that it didn’t screw anything up. And there were only minor bumps along the way! My first batch had a small little crater in the middle of each where it had sunken ever so slightly. But nothing major and nothing a little frosting on top couldn’t hide. I left my second batch on a minute longer, and they came out a little overdone. Oh well… No one seemed to notice!
The recipe I used had the suggestion of pairing it with a Chocolate Fudge frosting. Mmm… Fudge. However, when I looked at the recipe, it didn’t seem like it would be as good as it sounded. It also called for some kind of alcohol that I didn’t have, and didn’t want to buy, so I decided to find another frosting to try. I liked the idea of a chocolate frosting, but I also wanted the cupcake to look really pretty, and thought a white frosting would look really good against the dark cupcake and the red raspberry on top. Hmm. Maybe I’d give White Chocolate frosting a try! I found a recipe for Milk Chocolate Fudge Frosting that sounded really good, but when I tried it out with white chocolate, it came out a sickeningly sweet greasy mess. So into the trash that one went, and I decided to give my old stand-by a shot. My beloved Maple Buttercream recipe turned into a White Chocolate Buttercream recipe very easily! (This is seriously the best recipe ever! I can make it into anything!) I even added a bit of raspberry extract to it to give it a little boost of flavor! It turned out pretty good! A little (or a lot..) too sweet for my own personal taste, but still good!
There was no way I was going to be able to eat 18 of these myself (I was already half sick from the icing on 1 of them!) so I packed them up and took them to work with me. Everyone seemed to really like them! My coworkers kept stopping me all night telling me they loved them! The café even sent one of the girls up to the breakroom to sneak a couple more back down. And one of the managers said it was one of the best cupcakes she’d ever had. Yay! Apparently the frosting wasn’t too sweet for everyone else! One person did suggest using a cream cheese icing on top since I thought it was too sweet, which I’m definitely going to have to try out. Philly makes a REALLY good raspberry cream cheese that I adore, so that’s going on the list to try again later. Especially since I didn’t save one of the originals for Boyfriend… Oops.
In a way, I’m kind of glad my Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes sort of sucked, because I probably wouldn’t have tried these out if they hadn’t. These were really good: chocolatey with a burst of sweet raspberry flavor. The only tiny problem I had, besides the sweetness of the icing, was the fact that you threw in whole, frozen raspberries to mix in, so there was no chance to get rid of the seeds, and every now and then you’d bite into one in the cupcake. But I don’t know if raspberry puree would have worked out the same, or whether it was the reason I was having so much trouble in my other cupcakes. Guess I’ll have to try that variation too and see if it makes a difference at all. Also, if I made these again the exact same way, next time I will put only as many raspberries as I need for the batter in the freezer, and leave the rest in the fridge. I topped my cupcakes with some half frozen raspberries, and as they thawed, they bled their red juice all the way down my frosting. It looked kind of cool, but not really what I had in mind.
As with all the IronCupcake: Earth Challenges, I’ll let you know the voting details when it opens, so check back for the scoop! Also check out the mess I made of Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes for this challenge too! And don’t forget to scope out the awesome prizes I could win.
Our June ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:
- A sweet cupcake ID bracelet by INSANEJELLYFISH, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5021935
- A groovy linocut piece from BLOCKHEAD PRESS http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6108705
- a sweet surprise from Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Cupcakery, http://www.acupcakery.com/
- PLUS, IronCupcake:Earth can not forget our good friend, CAKESPY, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5243382, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice - sweet!