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Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

For years now I have used baked goods as bribery for friendship. Meeting people for the first time? Bring a cake. Hanging out with people you vaguely know but want to get to know better? Bring a cake. Seeing people you haven’t seen in a long time? Bring a cake.

Works every time.

But now, to my pleasure and slight horror, I am known to all of my friends and acquaintances as that girl who always gives people baked goods. People comment on how delicious things are or looked, and I have more and more requests from people for me to give them some of whatever I have made. Typically at this point I give in to the Minnesota-Nice that is so deeply ingrained in my personality, and I tell everyone that of course I will make them something in the near future.

The truth is that I do actually want to bake things for everyone I know all the time, but the reality is that this is not entirely possible, which means that my Minnesota-Nice-always-acquiescing-can’t-actually-say-no-to-somebody’s-face comebacks sometimes end up being lies.

So when a few weeks ago I told a new friend that I would bake something for him, I honestly meant it even though I didn’t have a specific date or baked good in mind. Because I see him twice a week in my French lessons, he was always (good-naturedly) pestering me about when I would get around to letting him try one of my delicious creations. I was always so busy with life and baking things for other people, that even though he was laying on the flattery quite thick there was really nothing I could do about it.

But then this last week I magically had an open window of time with no responsibilities, so I took to the kitchen to make some kind of chocolate dessert that would be easily transportable and shareable while still looking and tasting delicious. I ended up deciding to make Yummy Crumble’s Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes using The Recipe Rebel’s Two-Tone Buttercream Roses for frosting.

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Because 1) I am sort of lazy, and 2) I like to have variation, I ended up not piping roses on all of the cupcakes and instead did a mix of roses and swirls. And the recipe made like a million cupcakes so it was nice to have a few differences.

The chocolate cupcake base was really easy and quick to whip up. Sometimes when I am making extravagant cakes and pastries I forget how easy cupcakes are! The original recipe said it would make 32 cupcakes, though I ended up with 24 regular cupcakes and 24 mini-cupcakes and even a little bit of batter left over. I think had I made them all regular cupcakes I would have gotten 36-40 cupcakes.

I let them sit overnight unfrosted, and then whipped up the frosting in the morning when I wanted to serve them/give them away. Since the recipe for the cake made so many cupcakes, I naturally assumed that the frosting recipe would cover that many cupcakes. However I ended up needing to double the buttercream in order to get everything covered, and even then I had about 6 cupcakes that went unfrosted.

As I mentioned, I used The Recipe Rebel’s tutorial on Two Toned Buttercream Roses, which was actually way easier than I thought it would be so hopefully I will experiment more with that in the near future! Basically you ready your piping bag, and right before you put the buttercream in it, you take a small paintbrush and paint some gel food coloring into the piping bag along the crease at the top (the one with the narrower end if using a piping tip for rose petals). Voila! Ready to pipe as you always would!

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I switched tips and used a star tip for other cupcakes, keeping the two-toned theme going, and I actually really like how it looked even with the star tip.

The original recipe called for champagne in the buttercream and for a raspberry champagne drizzle. I eliminated both of those things, partially because I didn’t want to go out and buy champagne just to use a few tablespoons and partially because it would be unnecessary if the focal point would be the piped roses.

I didn’t take many pictures along the way this time, mostly because I assume you all know how to make cupcakes. But I am working on my photography and I played around with backgrounds and tones for the “after” pictures of the cupcakes. Let me know what you think or if you have a favorite picture!

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As I mentioned before, I gave the cupcakes away as gifts, so I bought some cute cardboard gift boxes at Michael’s for easier and more stylish transportation.

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Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
Inspired by Yummy Crumble (link above)

Devil’s Food Cupcakes
Ingredients

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line cupcake pan(s) with liners.
2) Whisk the cocoa powder and hot water together in a bowl until smooth and set aside.
3) Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl and set aside.
4) Melt the butter in the microwave until completely melted, and pour this into a large bowl or into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in the sugar and beat on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is room temperature.
5) Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined.
6) Add the vanilla and cocoa mixture to the sugar and beat to combine.
7) Add the flour in two batches, separated by adding in the sour cream. Mix each addition until just combined.
8) Scoop the batter into the prepared tin(s) and bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Raspberry Buttercream
Ingredients **Doubled from the original recipe, should frost all of the previously made cupcakes above**

2 cups butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
6-8 cups powdered sugar
1-2 cups raspberries

Directions

1) In a food processor, puree the raspberries and set aside.
2) In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
3) Add the salt and strain the raspberry puree into the bowl. Mix to combine.
4) Add the powdered sugar in one cup at a time, each time mixing to combine. Stop adding sugar once you have reached the desired consistency (remember, it needs to be thick enough to pipe into roses!).
5) Beat on high speed for a few minutes, and its ready to use!

***If you want to create a two-tone effect, prepare your piping bag, then paint some gel food coloring into one of the creases–the side aligned with the smaller end of a roses petal piping tip if piping roses. Somewhat carefully scoop in your buttercream, and you are ready to go! Here are pictures of what your bag should look like:

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Thanks for reading and come back soon for more adventures!

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