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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

For the longest time, I thought that I hated both cupcakes and cake. It was not until about 5 years ago that I discovered that what I really hate is boxed cake, packaged frosting, and the cupcakes sold at your local supermarket deli. In fact, it turns out, I LOVE real cake and cupcakes!

My absolute favorite cupcakes in the universe are the cupcakes sold at Trophy Cupcakes. They are seriously to-die-for! Seattle has more than its fair share of cupcakeries, and as a self-proclaimed cupcake connoisseur, I have tried nearly all of them and am here to tell you, Trophy's are the best of the best. That's why, my cake base in this recipe is based off of one of Trophy's chocolate cupcakes!

The cupcakes are unbelievably moist and chocolatey, but not overly rich. The frosting is creamy and buttery, yet still light thanks to the whipped egg whites. In fact, the buttercream is more than a little addictive and I think you'll find that the fact that the frosting recipe makes more than you need won't be at all an issue :).

I garnished my cupcakes with pink sparkling sugar and candied rose petals.

Chocolate Cupcakes
base recipe from here
makes 2 dozen cupcakes

  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp cocoa powder (no Dutch-processed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla extract; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and add in the boiling water and stir to combine.
  5. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way up. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cupcakes to cool 10 minutes in the tin before removing and allowing to cool completely.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
recipe slightly adapted from here

  • 1 1/3 cups caster sugar
  • 7 large egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 lbs (5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. In the (heatproof) bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, salt, and egg whites. Set over a pot of simmering water (making a double boiler) and whisk constantly for about 5-10 minutes until the mixture reaches 160 degrees.
  2. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and beat (on medium-high) the heated mixture for 10 minutes until mixture is lukewarm and stiff, glossy peaks form.
  3. Switch to the paddle attachment and, with the mixer set to medium speed, mix in the vanilla bean and extract. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.


  1. These look gorgeous and I'm willing to bet they taste just as amazing!!

  2. Thank you! Yes, they were quite delicious. My boyfriend brought them into the office and they were gobbled up fast :P

  3. Oh wow, they're gorgeous! Love how pretty pink they are.


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