back in august, i hosted the bridal shower for my sister amanda, who is now very happily wed. for the dessert, i tried my hand at cupcakes for the very first time. and to my astonishment, they were probably the tastiest i've ever had. but i cannot credit myself; the recipe comes from the brilliant pioneer woman. if you haven't checked out her food blog, you must. now. your taste buds will thank me later (though your thighs may not follow suit).
the cake in these cupcakes comes from her chocolate sheet cake recipe, and it is seriously the best cake ever. it is SO incredibly moist and fudgy. it would be incredible on its own, but why not top (or rather, bottom) it off with a bing cherry and add a gooey, chocolaty, center, with the help of a good old-fashioned Hershey kiss (Ree Drummond, you are a genius!)
i followed Ree's cupcake recipe to a tee, with the exception of putting only one cherry at the bottom of each cupcake. also, in place of ganache, i used buttercream frosting because it is my sister's favorite, and it turned out to be an exquisite combination. i didn't completely smother the cupcakes with the frosting; this way the cake had room to shine.
CUPCAKES (makes 18) ::
♥ 2 cups sugar
♥ 2 cups all-purpose flour
♥ 1/2 tsp kosher salt
♥ 1/2 cup buttermilk
♥ 2 large eggs
♥ 1 tsp baking soda
♥ 1 tsp vanilla
♥ 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
♥ 4 heaping tbl cocoa powder
♥ 1 cup boiling water
♥ 18 Hershey kisses
♥ canned pitted cherries
♥ 18 cupcake liners
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 muffin cups with cupcake liners. I doubled mine up.
To make the cake batter, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and stir to combine. Add boiling water, allow to bubble for a few seconds, then turn off heat.
Pour chocolate mixture over flour mixture. Stir a few times to cool the chocolate. Pour buttermilk mixture over the top and stir to combine.
Add 1 canned, pitted cherry to each muffin liner.
Pour 1/4 cup cake batter into each muffin liner. Lightly set one kiss in the middle of each cupcake; do not press down.
Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove cupcakes and allow to cool on a baking rack.
BUTTERCREAM FROSTING ::
♥ 4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
♥ 1 1/2 cups butter
♥ 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
♥ 3 tablespoons whipping cream
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, whisk together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well-blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for another minute, adding cream if necessary for spreading consistency.
go on, treat yo self!