Beautiful Fudge Chocolate Cupcakes

My friend, Brooke Vandever, is a photographer and she was needing some food photos to round out her portfolio. Where does one go for food????   The Gravy Company!  So, we did a planning session and then a couple days later, we got busy.  It was a full day of work.  Let me tell you, a photographer works hard.  I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was surprised to see how much equipment and props were used.  It requires the patience of Job, the eye of an artist, and the stamina of an athelete.  I admired her work and she admired mine.  All of the photos in today’s blog are Brooke’s.  Except for the cake mix box, that was mine.

I used cake mixes when we did the photo shoot.  We have been having extremely hot and humid weather and I didn’t want to be in the kitchen baking any longer than I had to.  The Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe cake mixes were on sale at my favorite grocery store.  So, that’s what I bought.  Thinking I was only making cupcakes for looks, a box mix would be just fine.  I doctored up the mix and the end result, they tasted as good as they looked!  I will be doing this again.  I loved the cake mixes I used. 

For the chocolate cupcakes, I used the Dark Chocolate Fudge flavor mix.  All I did to the cake mix was to replace the water the directions called for, with an equal amount of brewed coffee that was cooled.  I happened to be using the Starbuck’s House Blend coffee that day.  I followed the rest of the  directions for the other ingredients. 

To make the very mini cupcakes, I just used a teaspoon measuring spoon to dip one spoonful of the batter into the cups of the paper lined pan.  I baked them for 10 minutes.  Can you believe how cute they were?  They were a hit.  I frosted some with butter cream and some with chocolate butter cream.

The chocolate butter cream frosting was delicious.  However, I didn’t measure the Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder (sorry).  I just added it to the frosting, by the teaspoon and mixed and added more cocoa powder until it tasted just like chocolate milk I drank as a kid. The kind made with Nestle’s chocolate milk powder.  In fact, I just dumped about half of the butter cream frosting I had already made back into the mixing bowl and then added the teaspoons of cocoa powder until it tasted like milk chocolate.  A perfect topping to the chocolate fudge cupcake.

I sure have tossed around a lot of brand names today.  Have no fear.  None of those companies even know I exist.  I just like their products.  I will post a couple more blogs with more of Brooke’s pictures and how I did the lemon cupcakes and the cherry cupcakes. 

Here is the recipe I use for the basic butter cream frosting.  What I like about it is how versatile it is. I can add lemon zest and some lemon juice and have a delightful lemon frosting.  I can add unsweetened cocoa powder to the finished frosting and come up with a chocolate frosting.  I have colored the frosting and added a bit more powdered sugar to stiffen up the frosting.  Then, used it to decorate many a birthday cake. It is also good on sugar cookies, graham crackers, cinnamon rolls, and an occasional Oreo cookie.

Good For Anything Butter Cream Frosting

1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
2 pound bag of powdered sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
7 Tablespoons water

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, vanilla, and 2 Tablespoons of the water.  Beat on high.  Alternately, add some powdered sugar and the water a Tablespoon at a time, beating on medium until all is incorporated.  Beat on high for 2 minutes.  The frosting should be very light and fluffy.  I used a stand mixer.  I am guessing that the beating times will be a bit longer for a hand mixer.  It may not be as fluffy using a hand mixer, but it will taste just as yummy.  Store unused frosting in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

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One Response to Beautiful Fudge Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Julie says:

    They look so beautiful, makes me think of a baby shower!

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