Monday, March 09, 2015

The Mother of Invention: Devil's Food Cupcakes with Baileys Buttercream Frosting

I had an English teacher in high school who admonished her students not to use absolutes in their writing—and she was, in fact, absolutely right. Because when I said I always had eggs in my fridge, I now realize this can't be true. There was at least one time where I had none, when at the same time I had an overwhelming need for chocolate cake. I also had no intention of leaving the house to get eggs. I quickly studied some recipes, calculated the ratio of liquid needed to make up for the missing eggs, and created these cupcakes. And they worked! The frosting, of course, is in honor of St. Paddy's being just around the corner, but I've listed some alternate suggestions below in the Notes. So, if you're egg-free, or just don't have any on hand, this is absolutely the cupcake for you :-) Enjoy!

Chocolate Devil's Food Cupcakes with Baileys Buttercream Frosting

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Baileys Buttercream Frosting

For the cupcakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt (or 1 cup whole milk with a splash of vinegar added to sour it)

For the frosting:
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon Baileys (or other) Irish Cream Whiskey
Chocolate sprinkles or chocolate for grating (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt until combined. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, then stir in vanilla extract. Starting and ending with flour mixture, blend in batches alternately with yogurt/sour milk until you have a smooth batter. Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners (about 2/3 full each) and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

In a small bowl, combine frosting ingredients and blend until completely smooth. Frost using roughly a heaping teaspoon for each cupcake. Top with chocolate sprinkles or grated chocolate, if desired.

Notes: Instead of Irish Cream in the frosting, use any liqueur you enjoy that pairs well with chocolate, such as Grand Marnier, Chambord, Creme de Menthe, or Kahlua. If you prefer not to use liqueur, simply substitute vanilla extract. This amount of frosting is enough for a thin layer on each cupcake, which is plenty for me—however, if you like to pile it on, go ahead and double the amount!


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