Saturday, March 19, 2011

Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Ten years ago, there was small group of women that got together and discussed their some of the more difficult problems that they came across when baking.  The exchange of information ended up benefiting all because they finally had good solutions to the problems.

The idea emerged that with a bigger group, more could be accomplished. That is how the meetings of the Bakers Dozen got started.  There were 40 people in attendance at the first meeting and they all brought meringue pies.  The topic must have been how to resolve the problem of "weeping" meringue.

Now the club has grown to over 400 hundred members and a cookbook was published. It includes baking tips, techniques along with foolproof recipes.  One of those recipes is for a butter cake with chocolate icing.  This recipe was chosen after they tested over 20 variations for butter cake.

Instead of the making that cake recipe, I converted it to make two dozen cupcakes.  Should you want to make cake, I have noted after the cupcake recipe the instructions for the cake.

Butter Cupcakes
courtesy of The Baker's Dozen Cookbook

1/4 tsp salt
3 cups of flour
1 tbs baking powder
4 eggs (beaten & at room temp)
1/2 lb or 2 sticks of butter (room temp)
1 cup milk (room temp)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the top edges of each cavity of the muffin tins.  Use two muffin tins with 12 cupcake capacity.  Then place liners in the cupcake holders.

Sift together the baking powder, flour and salt.  Set aside.

In another bowl, cream butter by beating with an electric mixer for 45 seconds on medium power.  Add the sugar in 4th cup increments, beating after each addition. After 1 cup of sugar is beaten in, scrape down sides of bowl and resume adding the sugar and beating.  This process should take about 4-5 minutes.

Take a wooden spoon and fold 1/4 of the sifted flour mixture into the batter.  Then stir in 1/3 cup of the milk. Continue with this process until all dry ingredients and milk are incorporated.  Lastly, mix in the vanilla extract.

Drop the batter into each liner with the use of a spoon or ice cream scoop.  The cups should be 3/4 full.  Place one pan at a time in oven to bake  until tester indicates done, which is about 20 minutes.  The pan should be rotated halfway through the baking time. Remove from oven and let cool in pan 3 minutes, then remove cupcakes and place on rack to finish cooling.

To make cake: line the bottom of two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper.  Follow instructions above and pour batter into pans.  Bake until tops spring back when touched or when tester comes out clean.  That should be about 25 minutes.  Cool cakes in pan for 10 minutes and invert each onto a plate.  Then peel off parchment and place back on the layers, sticky sides up.  Invert again onto cooling racks, right side up.  Let cool and frost as usual.


2 tsp vanilla extract
8 tbs or 1 stick of butter
1/2 cup whole milk
1/8 tsp salt
3 3/4 cup or 1 lb confectioners sugar
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

Melt chocolate by using a double boiler.  Once all chocolate is melted, take the pan and set aside. Once it has cooled down to being warm to the touch, it is ready to be blended with the sugar mixture.

Blend the butter, salt and sugar by using a food processor or hand mixer. Then mix in the milk and vanilla extract.  Lastly, beat the chocolate into the sugar mixture.

Once the mixture is smooth and creamy, frost cupcakes or cake as desired.