Saturday, October 30, 2010

Devil's Food Cupcakes

Baked something for the Halloween theme and share them with my colleagues. Had lotsa crazy ideas way above my capabilities and time, like a oreo cookie which will be a tombstone with the RIP alphabets on top with oreo crumbles scattered over the cupcakes, or a marshmallow Frankenstein on top of the cupcake. Ended up with orange buttercream frosted over the cupcakes instead hehe

I'm happy that I did not use the typical butter plus icing sugar combo for the frosting and tried out swiss meringue instead. It's smooth and not overwhelmingly sweet. The cakes turned out lovely as well. It's pretty similar to my previous attempt of Rose Levy Beranbaum's chocolate butter cupcakes, the same moist and velvety texture, but just slightly less dense and flavorful, probably due to the higher ratio of liquid in this recipe. Am also happy that my piped frostings do not look as poopish now haha?
Devil's Food Cupcakes (adapted from Sur La Table's The Art & Soul of Baking)
(makes 36 cupcakes for me)

70g unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder, unsifted
120ml water plus 240ml water
170g unsalted butter, room temperature
200g granulated sugar
160g light brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
200g cake flour, sifted
35g all purpose flour
2tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 175°C and line a muffin pan with paper liners
2. Place cocoa powder in a small bowl. Heat 120ml water in saucepan until it begins to simmer and pour it over cocoa and whisk/stir until blended and smooth
3. Add remaining 240ml water and stir until mixture is smooth. Set aside until mixture cools to room temperature
4. Cream butter and sugars on medium high speed until very light in color, 4 to 5 mins. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula
5. Beat eggs and vanilla in another small bowl to blend. With mixer on medium, add eggs to butter mixture abt 1 tbsp at a time, allowing each addition to completely blend in before adding the next. Abt halfway through, turn off mixer and scrape down the bowl, then resume adding eggs. Scrape down bowl again
6. Sift cake flour, plain flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl and blend with a whisk
7. With mixer on lowest speed, add flour mixture and cocoa water alternately, starting with one third of flour mixture and half the cocoa water. Repeat and finish with flour mixture.
8. Scrape down bowl and finish blending the batter by hand, is necessary
9. Fill each liner with batter to 1/4 inch from top of liner. Bake for 12 to 15 mins (I bake mine for 17mins because of bigger cupcakes), until firm to touch and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.
10. Transfer to rack to cool completely

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

2 large egg whites, room temperature
100g granulated sugar
180g unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
few drops of food coloring (optional)

1. Set egg whites and sugar in a bowl over gently simmering water and whisk until all sugar has dissolved and eggs are hot to touch, for abt 3mins. You can test if it's done by rubbing mixture in between fingers to see if there are still any gritty bits of sugar left.
2. Remove bowl from water and beat egg mixture on high speed until mixture has cool completed and formed stiff and glossy peaks, for abt 10mins
3. Add butter one tbsp at a time, and beat until incorporated before adding in the next tbsp
4. Add vanilla and beat until just combined
5. Add food coloring if you have and mix till it's well blended
6. Pipe as you like


  1. devil's food cupcakes are one of my all-time favorites. yours look fantastic. (:


  2. jean, may i know which tip you used? thank you!