I realised a few weeks ago, that since starting this food-centric, gluten-free blog I haven’t covered anything that could be considered as ‘the basics’. Yes, we have had breakfast loaf, and hummingbird cake, and waffles, but where is the chocolate cake? The carrot cake? The red velvet cake? A basic vanilla cake that isn’t covered in sprinkles, the application of which can have potentially disastrous consequences?
Well, I’m working on it. But until then, we have chocolate cupcakes, which, let’s face it, is something everyone needs in their repertoire.
You will be pleased to know (or maybe not, depending on how you roll), that these cupcakes do not contain a list of flours as long as your arm. You can make them with your favourite GF plain (AP) flour. You can even make them with gluten containing flour if you can tolerate it.
The batter is more of a liquid and needs to be poured into the cupcake cases, but it results in a moist, slightly dense cupcake that is very satisfying to eat. Just be careful not to over-bake them (slightly under-done is preferable to slightly over) otherwise they will have a tendency to crumble and fall apart, which we don’t want.
Topped with some chocolate buttercream, they are a little bit of chocolate heaven.
Because Easter is now only around the corner, I, of course, had to give these cupcakes an Easter theme by smooshing the chocolate buttercream into a rough nest shape and placing 3 chocolate mini eggs in the centre (although you could also completely cover the top in mini eggs, like this, or head on over here, where Jennie has not only put mini eggs on top of a cupcake, but also in it. Why didn’t I think of that??).
It was also an excuse to use the fluffy little chickens I picked up in the supermarket a couple of weeks ago.
But these cupcakes are not just for Easter, you can decorate them however you wish, for whatever occasion warrants their creation.
And needless to say, if you don’t want to smoosh the buttercream, then you could pipe it.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream (and an Easter twist)
For the cupcakes:
- 63g dark cooking chocolate
- 83ml milk
- 144g soft light brown sugar, split into two batches of 72g
- 53g butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 90g gluten-free plain (AP) flour, of your choice
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 4g cocoa powder
For the Chocolate Buttercream:
- 87g dark chocolate
- 112g butter, softened
- 1/2 tbsp milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 125g icing (confectioner’s) sugar
- Cadbury’s Mini Eggs, to decorate
- Line a large muffin tin with cupcake cases. Preheat the oven to 170 Celsius / 150 Fan / 340 Fahrenheit.
- In a small saucepan, melt together the chocolate, milk and 72g of the light brown sugar. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand, cream together the butter and the remaining 72g of soft brown sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg, then add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder. Mix until combined.
- Slowly add the melted chocolate mixture and mix well. Transfer the batter into a jug and pour into each of the cupcake cases, filling each one to between half way and 3/4 full.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until firm to the touch and a cocktail stick inserted in the centre comes out (more or less) clean.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled, make the buttercream: Put the chocolate in a bowl and place over a pan of simmering water until the chocolate has melted. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer, beat together the butter, milk, vanilla extract and sugar until pale and fluffy. Turn the speed down to low and slowly add the melted chocolate. Increase the speed and beat until combined, scraping the sides down a couple of times if needed. The buttercream will be quite soft, but it will firm up as it cools.
- Place a small scoop of the buttercream on top of each cupcake and using a small off-set spatula, spread into a rough nest shape. Place three mini eggs in the centre.