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Devil’s Food Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

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Yeah they were just as good as they sound.

My dad can testify to that. I think he had about 4 or 5, maybe over the course of a day or two, maybe not..

I served these at Marlo’s birthday party along with Strawberry Glazed cupcakes and Snickerdoodle cupcakes, which I will share the recipe for in a few days. They were moist and chocolaty, but not too rich. In other words, they were perfect. The cream cheese frosting was the perfect pairing. I’m not one to normally go for cream cheese frosting, but I liked this recipe a lot and I think you will too. Try these for your next cupcake occasion. Neither Martha Stewart nor I would ever let you down (I hope that’s the way it goes).

Devil’s Food Cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Chocolate Curls, for decorating (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
4. To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature and garnish with chocolate curls just before serving.

Makes about 32 standard cupcakes.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Baking Bites

8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2-oz white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 tsp milk or cream
4-6 cups confectioners’ sugar

In a large mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter and melted white chocolate. Beat in vanilla and milk, then add in the confectioners’ sugar gradually until the frosting reaches your desired consistency (make it a bit stiffer if you wish to pipe it onto the cupcakes instead of spreading it with a knife).
Spread frosting onto cupcakes with a knife, or transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a wide tip and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with shaved chocolate. **Tip: to make chocolate easier to shave warm it up SLIGHTLY in the microwave at 5 second increments until it’s a little tacky.

Strawberry Birthday Cake

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I wish I knew how to decorate a cake. Like actually pipe frosting on in pretty patterns. I have all the equipment to make it happen, but never the time or the patience to attempt it. So instead I cop out and decorate with nuts or fruit or chocolate shavings or whatever else you can accessorize a cake with that happens to not be colored frosting.

I made this strawberry cake for Marlo’s second birthday. It’s void of the number “2”. It’s void of her name. There are no sugar flowers. No Care Bears. But it’s pink inside. And I think that counts for something.

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The original recipe on Smitten Kitchen calls for traditional cream cheese frosting, instead I used a recipe I’ve shared here before for white chocolate cream cheese frosting. I did this because I’m not certain I’ve tasted a cream cheese frosting that I like better than it, and I thought that the hint of white chocolate would complement the strawberry cake nicely. It really did.

This was a perfect little cake for a perfect little girl.

Strawberry Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

4 1/2 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar
5 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (16 oz bag) pureed frozen strawberries (thawed)
8 egg whites
2/3 cup milk
1 to 2 drops red food dye (makes the cake a little more pink)

*This recipe makes a lot of batter. Enough for 3 9″ layers. I don’t have 3 cake pans, so I just made 2 layers and had a lot left over. I recommend following SK’s advice and butter the pans along as well as lining the bottom of the pan with wax paper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl using a whisk.
2. Using a stand mixer, cream butter for a minute until fluffy.
3. Add pureed strawberries to butter and mix until well incorporated.
4. Add flour mixture in 3-4 additions to the butter and strawberries.
5. Beat eggs with milk and red dye in separate bowl and add to batter in 2-3 additions, and mix only until well incorporated.
6. Pour the batter evenly into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for 30-34 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Let cakes cool in pans for about 10 minutes before removing from pans and letting cool on wire racks completely before frosting.

Find White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting recipe here.



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