Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Clementine Cream Cheese Frosting

YUM… you can take this recipe a step further by adding pumpkin puree instead of applesauce and it’s just as good.
Either way, you’ll have supermoist cupcakes that are so good with the cream cheese frosting. My one piece of advice: Do not overcook them and watch them carefully.

You don’t need more than four drops of yellow mixed with a drop of the red to achieve the Clementine color. The color was picture perfect and I did sing the Oklahoma State fight song as I frosted the final cake.

I made my frosting a little too creamy and would definitely add some more confectioners' sugar to this recipe next time.

I stopped by William Sonoma to pick up a piping bag which now has got me so excited about doing more baking.

Me, who has always hated baking, is well into the pastry lessons and in my next life? …

You can visit me at the Le Moulin de la Vierge in Paris cranking out buttery sensations that make hundreds of people happy every day. And in a perfect life, I speak perfect French.

Bon Appetit…no translation required!

Chocolate Cupcakes:
(makes 18)

1 1/3 cups flour

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

a pinch of cardamom

1/3 cup buttermilk

12 ounces applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)

5 ounces unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup (firmly packed) dark brown sugar

3/4 cup grandulated sugar

3 large eggs

Clementine Cream Cheese Frosting:
Adapted from: Country Living

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon grated clementine zest

1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)

4 cups confectioners' sugar

orange food coloring if desired


Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the buttermilk, applesauce, and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer, set on medium speed, until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and light. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, blending well after each addition.

Divide the batter among the cupcake liners (about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean -- about 18-22 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pan for 7 minutes. Remove cupcakes and allow to cool completely on wire racks before frosting.


Blend the cream cheese, butter, orange zest, and vanilla in a large bowl, using an electric mixer set at medium speed, until smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and creamy -- about 3 more minutes.

Add the food coloring and gently stir until the color is uniform. Then refrigerate frosting for at 30 minutes to an hour. You want the frosting to be pretty stiff to actually pipe onto the cupcakes. Then using your favorite piping bag and tip, work fast to frost each cupcake. Store cupcakes in refrigerator until serving time.

Allow cupcakes to warm up for about 10 minutes before serving.