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Having the Time of Your Life with Cocoa Cupcakes

February 13, 2011

I have to tell you something that I have been hiding for a very long time. It is very difficult for me to come forth with this information. Not to mention that it is extremely heart-breaking for the ‘Puter Hub.

You see he hasn’t been able to eat dinner without dessert for days.

It is about this affair that I am having. His name is Ellon. He is from a country named Bedbathandbeyond. His parents are from Greenville, Ohio. He is really exotic. Here we are getting all sweet-y on the kitchen counter.

Yes, we are in love. Cue: soundtrack from Dirty Dancing. I suddenly have a hankering for watermelons.

Back to my affair, we are so in love that I made Ellon E. Mixer cocoa cupcakes for Valentine’s Day. He likes the taste of dark chocolate as much as I do. You may want to whip these up for your lover. Whether he or she is a KitchenAid mixer, a husband, a girlfriend, a boyfriend, a wife, a was-band, a flava flave or just a friend. P.S. You’re not fooling anyone when you call him “just a friend.” Let’s be honest.

Nothing says lovin’ like homemade chocolate cupcakes. If I haven’t said it before, cupcakes are perfect self-control for those who want to swallow the cake whole like me. You are pleasantly satisfied after just one. Additionally, the other benefit is that you can taste test the cake before serving it to your guests so if it is crap, you can chuck it at your brother and beeline it to the bakery.

If it is delicious, you can sit back in your corner while indulging on the chocolate-y goodness that is this cocoa cake. When suddenly Patrick Swayze circa 1987 interrupts you to say “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” Too bad you wanted to inhale your cupcake in the corner. Then, suddenly you’re up on stage dancing in a white dress with chocolate drizzling all over your face. People are clapping and whisking you down from the stage and all you want is that big fat cupcake. But, you bask in the moment anyway because after all it is Patrick Swayze. He is wearing a bad black muscle shirt while making his way down the aisle doing some rendition of the two-step. His dance pack is following him and you’re having the time of your life.

Is it weird that Dirty Dancing was my favorite movie when I was five?

Cocoa Cupcakes

Adapted from the Cocoa Layer Cake featured in the February 2011 issue of Bon Appetit


  • 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
  • 1 cup luke warm water, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups flour (spooned into cups to measure, then leveled)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten to blend

Preheat to 350°F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake tins for 18 cupcakes.

Whisk cocoa and 1/2 cup warm water in small bowl. Whisk buttermilk and 1/2 cup water in another small bowl. Sift flour, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into medium bowl.

Using electric mixer, beat both sugars and butter in large bowl until pale yellow and fluffy (mixture will appear granular), about 5 minutes. With mixer running, gradually add beaten eggs, then beat until smooth and fluffy, about 15 seconds.

LOOK! NO HANDS! It’s amazing!

Add cocoa mixture; beat to blend. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 2 additions, beating to blend after each addition. Using an ice scream scoop, scoop batter into cupcake liners.

Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, reversing pans halfway through baking, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pans on racks.


Notes: I did not follow the frosting directions at all. I used similar ingredients but the original recipe tells you to make a hot fudge-esque sauce that you later refrigerate. I didn’t have enough time so I threw the ingredients in the mixer. I would recommend beating the butter and dry ingredients first. My frosting was a bit on the grainy side, but it still tasted a-mazing.

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Slice butter into 1 tablespoon increments. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in cocoa and instant coffee. Gradually stir in cream. Stir in vanilla.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Becky permalink
    February 14, 2011 12:27 am

    I want to dance the pachanga with that frosting….


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