Double Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes
Who Doesn’t love a cupcake? It’s the perfect portion of sweet indulgence. They transcend through every season and holiday, and Christmas-time is no exception. These cupcakes are a double chocolate fudge with red buttercream frosting.
To make your cupcakes, you can use a special family recipe, or you can certainly use your favorite cake mix from the store. One of my favorite things to do is to jazz up a store bought cake mix. You can add any type of chip (milk, semi-sweet, butterscotch, peanut butter, etc.) to your batter to give it a pop of flavor when you bite into it. Or you can add any of your favorite nuts or sprinkles. One of my secrets to a really moist cupcake is to add pudding into my batter. I like to pick an instant pudding that matches my cake flavor, and I add it in with my wet ingredients. Be sure to make the pudding, not just add the powder into it. Do this and your cupcakes will come out moist and irresistible!
For the frosting, I like to use a homemade buttercream recipe. It’s creamy and delicious, and so simple to make. A few tips about your frosting. First, if possible, use a high-ratio shortening. It gives your frosting an unbelievable creaminess. Second, if you want to make your frosting really white, use a clear vanilla extract and replace butter with shortening. And third, don’t forget to sift your sugar. It helps to make the frosting silky and free of clumps.
Red Buttercream Frosting (via Wilton.com)
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (or your favorite extract)
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk
1 bottle of Wilton no-taste red food gel
Makes: About 3 cups of icing, enough to cover 24 cupcakes.
In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add extract. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add your gel coloring until you get desired color. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
Once your cupcakes have cooled, place your icing tip at the bottom of your pastry bag, and snip off the tip. Use the biggest round frosting tip you have (if no.12 is the biggest you have use it) Load your frosting in your bag, and squeeze down to get the air out. Then take one of your cupcakes and slowly, in a swirling motion, pipe your frosting onto your cupcake. Once you’re done you can add sugar crystals to your cupcakes to give them an extra sparkle.