There are two types of people in this world – chocolate people and vanilla people. I for one, am a vanilla person. When the given the option, I will always pick vanilla over chocolate - I even prefer white chocolate over milk or dark chocolate.
However, I will never turn down a good piece of chocolate cake, and everyone needs a classic chocolate cake recipe in their repertoire. I’ve made this recipe a few times now, and it has never let me down. It has quickly become my go-to chocolate cake recipe. The cake is rich, moist and works perfect either as cupcakes or a layer cake. Slather it with a thick chocolate buttercream, and you’ll have any chocolate lover drooling!
Classic Chocolate Cupcakes
Yields: About 30 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
For the frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract
4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners and set aside.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Fill the cupcake tins 2/3 full. (Do not overfill – the batter raises a lot!)
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, the remove the cupcakes and cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the frosting: Cream the butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Turn off the mixer. Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa into a separate bowl. Gradually add the powdered sugar/cocoa mixture to the butter with mixture on low, alternating the dry ingredients with the milk/cream. Continue adding the dry ingredients and milk until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and salt, then beat for 3 minutes on high speed. If your frosting needs a more thick consistency, add more sugar, if you desire a thinner frosting, add more milk/cream.
To frost: I use a pastry bag fitting with a large star tip. With gentle pressure on the pastry bag, outline the outside of the cupcake, swirling inward to make a peak.