Chocolate Cupcakes ~ A Celebration

Chocolate Cupcake

Today is a big day (like a really big day), a day we have been looking forward to for some time now, it is the 3-month anniversary of Inspired Taste. Okay okay, it may not be such a big day to you, to you it might just be a Tuesday in November, but to us, today means we have in a very small way, made it. Let me explain….Ever since Adam and I were young we have been dreamers – I have dreamed of writing my own cookbook and Adam has always dreamed of traveling the world… since then, those dreams have come and gone as we have tried and tried to figure out an answer to the all too common question everyone asks a middle school, high school and college student, so, what are you going to be when you grow up? Knowing full well that we could never tip toe around the question and that whoever asked would be waiting and staring until we came up with a full, coherent and exciting oh, they are going to change the world answer, we usually would reply with something that sounded cool….marine biologist, professor, doctor, physicist…but, not surprisingly, we never became marine biologists, professors or doctors; we hated chemistry, lost interest and instead kept on searching for the right answer.  Since then, we have learned that everyone has gone through, is going through or will eventually go through confusing, to much pressure, trying to adapt to what I am supposed to be times and that most people do just fine and come out stronger when they do. So, why is all of this relevant to our Inspired Taste 3-month anniversary?

Adam and I have had a lot of successes in our lives – so far, we almost always did well in school, graduated with a college degrees from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies), met, dated and married our best friend and have found a career that we are both very good at.  But all of those were following “The Plan” – the first you go to school, then you graduate, then you get a job, find a mate and have a pet plan.  Don’t get me wrong – we love the plan we followed, but just as most people do, we wanted something more, that is where Inspired Taste comes in. Coupled with the love and support of Adam, his expertise in the web, blogging, business and me, and my expertise of food we were able to create and be a part of something a little a lot different to what we do Monday – Friday. Today, on our 3-month anniversary we know that we have created an opportunity that we both thoroughly enjoy. It is a path for our past and possibly future dreams (like that cookbook, traveling and creating something together) and we could not be happier. So, today is a great day and we just cannot wait until our 6-month anniversary, just image the possibilities. We just love writing, cooking, and taking all those photographs, even though we will often burn out after the 100th photo of the same dish, especially when we have to go through them all; more importantly, however we have been so incredibly touched by your feedback about our site, our recipes and our photographs.

Which brings me to my next point, our relaunch, about a month and a half ago we asked you to comment about things you liked/did not like about our site, after careful evaluation and many many lets change this, but no I think I liked it better before, but then again it did look nice over there moments, we think we are on to something with our layout and look. With the help of Heather at Quite Like It, who has patiently worked with us and our lack of knowing what we want, we have slowly come in to our own. We have tried very hard to focus on the things you mentioned, like decluttering the sidebar (still a work in progress) and making it easier to move around the site with such things as a “recent posts” and “related posts” features. Those of you who commented were so helpful (we knew you would be), which is why we wanted to make it a contest!

random integers

We did go to RANDOM.ORG to find out who our winners were for the contest, the randomly chosen numbers were 2,7, and 12, which means Wendi, Esme and Tracy are our three winners (congratulations!). We found an adorable mini mortar and pestle from Crate and Barrel for you prize, perfect for making spice mixes, crushing garlic and herbs for a dipping oil and many many other things.

To celebrate the last 3-months and our contest winners, we made something sweet and chocolaty (we thought it was a good excuse). While I would love to say the cupcake recipe is all me, it isn’t ,we got some help from Barefoot Contessa on that one. The cupcakes are just so delicious and moist and then when you top them with our so-simple-it-will-shock-you ganache icing or our raspberry whipped cream icing they are incredible.

Chocolate Cupcakes ~ A Celebration
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Created By:
Yield: 36
You Will Need
Cupcakes
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (we used Ghirardelli)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (about 2 chocolate bars), chopped
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Raspberry Whipped Cream Frosting
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream or whipped cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup thawed frozen raspberries
Directions
Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and lightly spray the top of the pan with some cooking spray so nothing sticks.
  3. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. In another large bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Use a hand mixer to combine the wet and dry ingredients by adding the wet ingredients slowly to the dry ingredients (Make sure the mixer is at a low speed). Once the wet and dry ingredients are combined, add the hot coffee and use a spatula to mix until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter 3/4 way up each cupcake liner (the batter will be thin) and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester can be inserted into a cupcake and come out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then take them out of the pan and allow to completely cool on a cooling rack.
  5. Once cooled, top each cupcake with frosting of your choice.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
  1. In a small saucepan bring a small amount of water to a simmer then take the pot off the heat or turn to very low heat, place a heat-safe bowl over the water, without allowing the water to touch the bottom of the bowl, add the chopped chocolate, cream and butter to the bowl, add the chopped chocolate, cream and butter to the bowl and stir gently until the chocolate has melted into the cream and butter- this is using a double boiler.
Raspberry Whipped Cream Frosting
  1. Add the cream, vanilla and sugar to a large cold bowl, Using a hand mixer, whip the cream, vanilla extract and sugar until you have soft peaks (when you remove the mixer beaters the whipped cream will be slightly sturdy, but the peaks will fall over onto itself). Add the raspberries and continue mixing until you have hard peaks (when you remove the beaters, the whipped cream peaks will stand up by themselves).
  2. This frosting will last in the refrigerator for a number of hours, however we would recommend you make this the same day you plan to enjoy your cupcakes.
Notes and Tips
You have 3 options for the Chocolate Ganache Frosting, all are delicious Add the warm mixture to the top of the cupcakes for a glossy look (what we did) Allow the mixture to cool and then spread the mixture over the cupcakes, this will be more of a fudge-like texture. Allow the mixture to cool, then use a hand mixer to whip the ganache into more of a whipped cream-like texture that can be piped or spread onto the cupcakes.

The Raspberry Whipped Cream Frosting will last in the refrigerator for a number of hours, however we would recommend you make this the same day you plan to enjoy your cupcakes.

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

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16 comments… Leave a Comment

  • Tracy November 15, 2009, 3:41 pm

    I love the jaunty way the ganache almost slips off the cupcake. Now if only I could make ganache with my new mortar and pestle…

    Thank you so much (and you, too, random number generator) and continued success with your lovely blog. I look forward to seeing even more loveliness as it evolves.

    Reply
  • LoveFeast Table November 15, 2009, 3:45 pm

    I am visiting your site for the first time as well!! I think it looks great! And the chocolate cupcake looks like so delish!!

    I loved your story about how you “created” your opportunity…it is very similar to our story. We wanted to create an ooportunity to discover, learn, dream, explore, travel, and share!! We have two amazing husbands who are partners in our vision, they cook and work out our technology kinks!! We are about to undertake a blog redesign too!

    Good for you…going for your dream is what makes life spice-y!

    Reply
  • Von November 15, 2009, 3:47 pm

    These cupcakes look delicious! I’m just visiting your site for the first time, so I don’t know what i looked like before, but right now it looks great!

    Reply
  • Esme November 15, 2009, 3:49 pm

    This looks delicious. I cannot wait to use the mortar and pestel. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  • msmeanie November 15, 2009, 3:52 pm

    The cupcake looks delicious! I love that recipe and ALWAYS use it for chocolate cupcakes and chocolate cake. The coffee adds a great touch. Sometimes I make a chocolate pudding and fill each cupcake with it…divine!

    Reply
  • Wendi November 16, 2009, 7:25 pm

    I never win anything so this totally rocks. Congrats on your big win over at the Royal Foodie Joust. That burger and fries looked incredible. I love the creativity you guys bring to your food.

    Reply
  • Tracy November 22, 2009, 1:16 pm

    The mortar and pestle arrived yesterday — very cute sitting next to my larger porcelain one. (Both of which are far too refined to keep company with my lava rock molcajete.) I want to grind up a teensy tiny amount of cumin to christen it! Thank you. (And BTW, in my earlier post, jaUnty, of course….)

    Reply
  • Maria November 22, 2009, 10:35 pm

    I tried this recipe today, it said the batter was quite thin, so when it was obviously way too liquid, I tried not to panic. Later I noticed my mistake, while surfing this same recipe, and I found out what is missing in your recipe is one whole cup of flour.

    Reply
    • inspiredtaste November 23, 2009, 6:41 am

      OH NO!! You are absolutely right. When rewriting the recipe after we lost the website a week ago we must have typed it wrong. Thank you for letting us know and we fixed it. It should be 1 3/4 cups of flour.

      Reply
  • Ryan O November 23, 2009, 5:15 pm

    Congratulations! I can’t believe it has already been three months. I wish you guys many more anniversaries and many more tasty recipes :)

    Reply
  • Jessica January 4, 2010, 5:08 pm

    I googled this today …… what a simple and delicious recipe! Moist, rich, extra-chocolatey, and the coffee adds a delightful little kick! My only complaint is that I was expecting 12-24 and this gave me three dozen! Not a problem, except that I also made a batch of white cupcakes (that produces one dozen), so I now have four dozen cupcakes, which is a little much for my dinner-for-eight tonight. Oh well! More for me tomorrow! :)
    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • inspiredtaste January 4, 2010, 8:56 pm

      Oh boy, that is a lot of cupcakes. Adam and I have a large cupcake pan (like the extra large one). I should have noted this. So sorry, but I guess too many cupcakes is better than too little. Thanks for letting us know how things went and enjoy all those cupcakes!

      Reply
  • Zenith Bose February 2, 2011, 12:36 am

    How many cupcakes will this recipe yield? I really wanna try it out this week but I need at least a dozen of these cupcakes to feed all my guests. Thanks for the wonderful recipe! :-)

    Reply
    • inspiredtaste February 2, 2011, 7:54 am

      Zenith Bose – You should expect about 24-30 cupcakes. Although, one of our readers commented saying she was able to make 3 dozen out of this recipe. So, you should have plenty to serve your guests! Thanks!

      Reply
  • Zenith Bose February 6, 2011, 5:20 am

    I made it today and got 25 cupcapkes! There will be plenty to go around. Thanks for the great recipe. Everything turned out well. Only thing I struggled with was getting the tops of the cupcakes to turn out nice and round. The tops ended up really uneven. But I covered them up with the frosting! :-)

    Reply
    • inspiredtaste February 7, 2011, 8:19 am

      Zenith Bose – Awesome, 25 is perfect! We are so glad they worked out for you! Not sure about the shape, but a little extra frosting to cover anything up is never a bad idea ;)

      We truly appreciate you letting us know how everything turned out!!!

      Reply

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