Saturday, May 6, 2017

Best Ever Cupcakes

True to its name - these really are the best.

Makes 24 standard cupcakes or 6 dozen minis

- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour (if you're fancy sub in 1/2 cup cake flour)
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (sour cream or buttermilk* may be substituted)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  • Mix in the butter on low speed, until the mixture resembles moist crumbs.
  • Stir in the eggs,one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula after each addition. Add the Greek yogurt and vanilla, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl to be sure all the ingredients are well-combined. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, to aerate the batter and build the cake’s structure.
  • Fill lined cupcake wells just over half full (approx. 1/4 cup of batter).
  • Bake for 15 minutes (or for minis start checking at 9 min), or until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
  • Cool completely before frosting.


- 5 egg whites (do not use store-bought pasteurized whites! - need fresh)
- 1.25c sugar
- 3 sticks of butter - let it soften up just a little bit (ideally just under room temp) outside the fridge. Cut them into small-ish cubes.
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
optional: 9 oz of melted bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate

*to make sure the egg whites whip up, make sure your equipment is clean from any grease/fats - helpful to wipe it down with lemon juice if you're not sure it's totally clean
- Put your stand mixer's bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stovetop. Put in your egg whites and sugar, and whisk them until they've reached a temperature of 160 degrees (you can use a candy thermometer, or just test with your finger to the point that they feel pretty warm/hot).
- Put the bowl back on the stand mixer and use the whisk attachment to whip them for about 10 minutes
- Get ready to add your butter - switch out the whisk attachment for the paddle.
- Once the bowl doesn't feel at all warm anymore (should be completely room temp) you can start adding the butter cubes a few at a time, while the paddle whips at low speed. The frosting should get fluffier and look delicious (if it starts to look curdled just keep whipping it for longer, or at worst refrigerate it for a bit and try again.) Increase speed to medium/high.
- Add vanilla and salt, and now you can start slowly mixing in the caramel sauce as well. The beautiful thing about this kind of buttercream is that it should really keep its texture and glossiness with all different kinds of flavor additions - even fruit juices.

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