On the weekends, I barely make it out of the kitchen. I love spending some free time cooking for my family while watching my favorite cooking shows. I thought it would be fun to do a post once in awhile to chat about some of the recipes I made over the weekend and share some of these recipes with you!
My original plan was to start this on October 21st, and because we ended up hosting an unexpected birthday party for a little girl that we care for that day, the recipe I have to share is my all-time FAVORITE chocolate cake recipe with homemade buttercream icing. Because this was not planned, I used what we had on hand for decorating. It’s also the only recipe I’ll have to share from this particular weekend because we were so busy.
I’ve been talking about sharing this recipe for some time now and here it is! The original recipe is by Robyn Stone from addapinch.com, but I did a little modification on it. Robyn’s original recipe uses expresso power and water. I like to use straight coffee in place of these two ingredients.
This can be used for cake or cupcakes, whichever you prefer.
Ingredients for 24 cupcakes or a two-layer cake
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup hot coffee (decaf is fine)
- Preheat oven to 325º F.
- Place cupcake liners in muffin tin. If making a cake, lightly grease and flour the pan.
- Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
- Add milk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add hot coffee to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
- Evenly distribute cake batter. Each cupcake liner should be about ½ full, or divide among pans.
- Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. If making in cake pans, it takes a little longer. Check it with a toothpick to be sure it’s cooked through before removing.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes or cake to cool completely. A nice trick for cake pans is to use a circle of parchment paper at the bottom. Grease the bottom and top. The cake comes out perfect every time.
Ingredients: Icing for 24 cupcakes or a large cake
- 2 cups butter (4 sticks), softened
- 4-8 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted *tip below – You can use less sugar to your preferred taste and consistency.
- 4 teaspoons vanilla
- Dash salt
- 5-6 tablespoons whole milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half
- Place softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer that has been fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on a medium setting and cream the butter until it is smooth and has lightened in color, about 3 minutes.
- Add confectioner’s sugar, ½ a cup at a time. After each cup has been incorporated, turn the mixer onto the highest speed setting and for about 10 seconds to lighten the frosting.
- Add vanilla and a pinch of salt and combine until well-incorporated.
- Add milk, heavy cream or half-and-half until the frosting has reached the preferred consistency. For a firmer frosting, add more confectioner’s sugar, a ¼ cup at a time. For a softer frosting, add more milk or cream, a tablespoon at a time.
* If you don’t have confectioners sugar, you can make your own in a high-speed blender. I like to use my Vitamix for this. Insert a few cups of regular sugar and blend on high. It will get really hot, so give it a break after 10-15 seconds. Just keep going until you reach the desired consistency. It doesn’t take long at all! If the sugar gets hot, let it sit out on a plate to cool before using. Otherwise, it will melt the butter and ruin the icing. *
The birthday girl was turning three years old and she LOVES dresses. I thought it would be cool to make a dress out of cupcakes and adorn it with a crown and wand. I’ve seen them before and it looks fairly easy with just some rosettes on the cupcakes and decorations. Here’s what I did.
First, I lined a board with some purple easter wrapping. It’s all I had and doesn’t really match, but I think it worked out okay. Then, I placed the cupcakes in a dress shape like in the photo below. I did end up removing the cupcake on the bottom left side to leave only five cupcakes on the bottom. My board just wasn’t big enough.
I wanted the dress to have an ombre look to it. I started with a very dark pink color for the top of the dress. As I moved down, I would remix a little white icing in and pipe some more. Each time, you just add a little bit of white to the dark that you had left and the result is quite amazing! You get a light color every time you mix. Continue until you’ve used all the white icing. This is so much fun.
Make your darkest color and use it. Whatever’s left, squirt it back into the bowl and add some white. Use the new color and repeat the steps above until you’re done. I had just enough icing for the cupcakes, I was literally scraping for more to do the belt and necklace.
Watch this video to learn how to do a rosette. Lindsay Ann shows how it’s so simple, yet impressive! I ended up using an open star tip, but I’m going with Linsay Ann’s idea of using the closed star tip next time because it’s true that it looks more like an authentic rose.
I do wish that I would’ve had pink easter paper instead of purple, but she really didn’t care! She just wanted the tiara and the wand. I went with pinkish icing because it’s her favorite color.
I didn’t have a necklace to add, so I ended up just some decorations and icing to make a heart necklace. I also didn’t have any chrome decorations, so I used a few silver beads. We just removed those before people started eating them. 🙂 Everything else on the cake was edible.
The tiara and wand can be purchased at most dollar stores for very cheap. This worked out well for being a last minute cake. We used some happy b-day candles that we had and she was extremely happy with it.
Every time I make this recipe, people want to know where to get it. I have to thank Robyn at addapinch.com for sharing this recipe because it’s by far the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve found and remains a staple for birthday parties in my house.
On the next Saturday’s Kitchen, I’ll have four recipes to share with you!