Valentine’s week is a time to think romance, handsome reds, flirty pinks, copious airings of Victoria’s Secret commercials and, well, who am I kidding? V day is C day: chocolate time baby! Simply how much chocolate can I stuff in my face in 7 days? Ideally while watching the Week of Chocolate on Cooking Channel just in case my brain attempts to drift to much less momentarily relevant topics like the need to be in a swimsuit in one month time…pppshhhh…you hear me sugar, do your worst. (Well, actually, if you could please not do your worst and maybe just call in a lazy revenge day like tossing a formidable headache my way I’d appreciate it. Thank you in advance.)
I think these little cupcakes are the perfect handout for your Valentines this year. They are moist and chocolate-y with a brilliant creamy dollop of mascarpone buttercream.
If you think any little foil-wrapped, heart shaped candy doled out in the office will hold a candle to these, well then you’ve clearly surpassed your blood sugar max for the day. Put down that heart shaped box of truffles Lucy, and hit the kitchen!
Chocolate Cupcakes and Mascarpone Buttercream Frosting
This is my old standby recipe that I have been playing with for a while to try to perfect an intense chocolate flavor while staying as moist as a big cake. Mission accomplished. The frosting is a great teammate as it carries a flavor big enough to earn its name in lights up in the title of this post. Some frostings seem to fall flat to me, but this vanilla has just enough zing, sweetness and creaminess to carry its weight. Please share these with someone you love as I plan to do the same. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Assemble the perfect outfit for your cupcakes and get them into position.
Mound the dry. Add the wet.
Mix until your deep chocolate batter glistens with sweetness. Pour with fairness.
Never question missing cupcakes. I will never tell.
Now to make whipped hats for those rounded chocolate heads.
Beat with love. This is how you achieve creaminess.
Moist chocolate cake meets mascarpone buttercream frosting. Love at first sight.
- 1 C all purpose flour
- 1 C cake flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 C white sugar
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 C well-shaken buttermilk
- 1 C hot black coffee
- 1/2 C grapeseed oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
I would call this a dump cake base, but for fear of getting hate mail stating these cupcakes jinxed your Valentine’s day, I chose to refrain. Instead, I shall call this a “toss ’em all in da bowl” cake base.
- Set oven at 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with desired cupcake wrappers.
- Place both flours, baking powder and soda, cocoa powder, sugar and sea salt in a bowl and stir until it’s combined.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and whisk until it creates a smooth, thin batter. This only takes a couple minutes.
- Pour batter 2/3 of the way to the top of each cupcake wrapper.
- Bake in oven 14-16 minutes just until a toothpick comes out barely clean and tops have just fully rounded.
- Cool completely then frost.
Mascarpone Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 C room temperature salted butter
- 1/4 C room temperature mascarpone cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 C powdered sugar
- heavy whipping cream
- Beat butter and mascarpone cheese thoroughly in a bowl making sure the final mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Stir in vanilla.
- Add powdered sugar and beat with a mixer until combined.
- Slowly add heavy whipping cream one tablespoon at a time to achieve your desired consistency- typically about 3-4 T total.
Tips from my lips to yours this Valentine’s Day:
- Do not overbake the cupcakes. Check an oven thermometer to ensure you are hovering at that 350 degree mark. And keep an eye on them as they near doneness. You should be able to lightly touch the rounded surface of the cupcake and feel a very gentle spring back, but if you feel anything more, you’ve broken my heart.
- Frostings are fun! And like all fun things, you can play with them. You can just keep balancing more powdered sugar if it needs sweetness or thickness. Alternatively, use more cream if it needs to be smoother or more spreadable. Just remember, the more powdered sugar you add, the sweeter it becomes.
- I seal them in an airtight container overnight and that next day, whoa, are they even more moist. This recipe is king.