Thursday, January 31, 2013

Last Cappuccino Cupcake before the 101

For those who want their cappuccino in a cup*:

For those who want their cappuccino in a cupcake:

Cappuccino Cupcakes
I started off with the Traditional Vanilla Birthday Cake recipe from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, and then caffeinated the hell out of it.  Moist, rich, sophisticated, not too sweet and highly energizing.  I should know. I ate a couple and I'm still up typing this.

2 3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 generous tsp. espresso powder
1 c. whipping cream (or milk)
1 Tbs. Kahlua
2 tsp. vanilla 
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 c. sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 60 mini muffin tins or 24 regular sized muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.

Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and espresso powder together in a bowl.  Next, pour the cream or milk into a measuring cup, add the Kahlua and vanilla and stir briefly to combine.  Set both the flour mixture and the cream mixture aside, too.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter until smooth.  Gradually add the sugar, and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.  Change the mixer speed to low.  Add the flour mixture in four parts, alternating with the cream mixture in three parts. What this means is you'll add 1/4 of the flour mixture, mix that in, then add 1/3 of the cream, mix that in, another 1/4 of the flour...etc. You start and end with flour.

Divide batter among the muffin tins, filling each about 2/3 full. (A small ice cream scoop is particularly helpful with this)  Bake for 12-14 minutes for mini-cupcakes, 15-18 minutes for regular size.  They should be a very light golden brown, and spring back when touched.  

Cool completely, then frost with chocolate mocha ganache.  Recipe follows!

Chocolate Mocha Ganache 
I knew I wanted to frost these with a dark, almost bitter, chocolate icing.  I found just the thing over at TheKitchn.  Warning:  Trust the recipe!  You will think something is very wrong when you finish adding all the ingredients, because the texture will seem slippery and unstable and loosely held together, almost as if it had too much melted butter.  Fear not**! Left to rest for a few hours, it turns into a beautiful, smooth, glossy pan of deep chocolate goodness.  

1 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, cut into smaller pieces.
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. good quality semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips or bars, chopped
1/4 c. strong brewed coffee, still warm but not boiling hot
1 generous tsp. vanilla

Combine cream, butter and sugar in a mid-sized heavy pot over medium heat.  Cook, stirring frequently, until butter has melted completely.  Stir once more, remove from the heat, and add the chocolate.  Mix by hand until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is completely smooth.  Add the coffee and vanilla, and mix once more until smooth.

Allow mixture to cool completely to room temperature, stirring only every once in a while, until it is a spreadable consistency and no longer slippery, about 2 hours.  Devour, or use to frost your cupcakes.

* Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop Mural.  Image from Just Above Sunset.
** I feared, and added some powdered sugar to try and "fix" the frosting.  I wound up with a batch that was too stiff to spread at the end of the day.  Lesson learned!


  1. Cappuccino in my hand? Topped with icing? Yah. I'll take one of those for the road. Brilliant!