Note: These are not my cupcakes, but it is an awesome wedding cake worthy of sharing.
A long long time ago, well maybe not that long ago, it was just this last February, I catered cupcakes for a good friends wedding. Let me begin by saying, this is the first event I have ever catered and I am in no way, shape or form in the business of catering. Nonetheless, when my friend asked if I would make the cupcakes for her wedding I was stoked! I love blessing people with baked goods, and since I usually have to make up excuse to do it, this was a golden opportunity! However, at the time, I didn't consider the pressure that comes with making anything for a friends wedding, especially since I am a class A perfectionist.
The night before the big day I made the cake part of the cupcakes. I choose my 2 tried-and-true favorite cupcakes recipes, Elinor Klivans Cupcakes! Chocolate/Chocolate cupcake and Martha Stewart's Cupcakes Brown Sugar Poundcakes w/ Brown Butter Icing.; I didn't want to take ANY chances.
Well, I take that back. I did take one chance, which led to quite a frustrating night. I decided to make the cupcakes in my mom's kitchen since it is way bigger than mine is, knowing I was gonna need the space if I was going to make 125 of these suckers. But my mom's oven is temperamental, and I knew that going in. The result was about 24-36 wasted cupcakes because the tops shriveled and did not round as a proper cupcake should. Normally I wouldn't care, but this was my friends wedding! Everything had to be perfect! Now that I listen to myself, I was more anxious about these cupcakes than I was about my own wedding.
I moved to my tiny but reliable kitchen and finished off the cupcakes, exaughisted but finally satisfied. Next morning I skipped church to ensure I had enough time to frost all the cupcakes to my satisfaction, please don't judge me. This went a lot smoother, literally. My mom is an excellent frosting swirler, so I let her ice the Chocolate Cupcakes while I finished them off with gold dragees (illegal here in CA, but I'm a rebel!). I also iced the the Brown Sugar Pound Cakes myself, not much to it :) The end result was fab! Now I just had to transport them.
Luckily, I had seen cupcakes shops assemble cupcakes for take-out before. So I bought a bunch of large pastry boxes to which I attached the cupcakes with a small dot of spray can frosting, allowing them time to dry before moving them; worked like a charm! When I finally got the cupcakes to the venue safe and sound, I felt like a could finally breath again.
It's amazing the stress that comes with being extremely type A and a perfectionist to the core. Well, at least I learned a thing or two if I ever do it again. I hope you gleaned some knowledge from my experience as well. But if you didn't, at least try these cupcake recipes out, they are, after all, wedding worthy.
The Best Chocolate/Chocolate Cupcakes
*adapted from Elinor Klivans Cupcakes!
yields about 16 cupcakes
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line 16 cupcake tins with liners.
2.Put the chocolate in the top part of a double broiler, sitting just above simmering water. Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove the water and set aside to cool.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
4. In a stand mixer, or using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on med. speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Turn the mixer down to low and add the cooled melted chocolate. Turn the mixer back to med. speed and add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and beat until the mixture looks creamy and has lightened in color, about 1 minute. Mix in the sour cream until no streaks remain. Turn the mixer down to low again and add half the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Add the water, then add the rest of the flour mixture mixing until just incorporated and smooth.
5. Fill each cupcake tin up to about 1/3 of inch from the top of the liner. Fill the empty tins half way up with water, to ensue even baking. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
- 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter, at room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, at room temp
1. Put the chocolate in the top part of a double broiler, sitting just above simmering water. Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove the water and set aside to cool
2. Sift the powder sugar and cocoa powder together into the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl if you have hand beaters. Add the butter, and on low speed beat until smooth and blended. Beat in the melted chocolate. Add the vanilla and cream and mix to incorporate. Then, on med. speed, beat the frosting form 3 minutes until it looks smooth and has lightened in color.
3. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a wide circular tip. Frost the cupcakes in a swirl, working from the outside to the center mounding slightly as you go. Optional: Top with 3 gold dragees at the point.
Brown Sugar Pound Cakes w/ Brown Butter Icing
*adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
yields about 26
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
- 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temp
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 325 and line 26 cupcake tins with liners.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a medium bowl, set aside.
3. In a stand mixer, or large bowl with hand beaters, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time. Then add the flour mixture in 3 increments, alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk, beating until combined after each addition.
4. Fill the cupcake tins 3/4 full and bake, rotating half-way, for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before icing.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk
1. Brown the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a nut brown color. Remove it from the heat and pour into a medium bowl making sure to scrape in all the sediment, unless of course some of it burnt black.
2. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk to the butter and stir until smooth.
3. With the cupcakes out of the pan and on a wire rack, spoon the icing over the cupcakes. Optional: Garnish with a few gold sprinkles on top for an elegant touch.