One could say I don’t “get” cupcakes. It seems to me cupcakes are all about the looks. Do you really enjoy eating a mountain of artificially dyed, overly sweet icing on top of an insubstantial small and again too sweet cake? Before you call the cupcake police I have to say in my defense that probably my German upbringing is to blame for my attitude: I’d rather eat something that looks plain, but tastes great.
Then again cupcakes have their advantage. They are quick to make and a great treat for kids. You can even pop one in a small containers and take it to school. That is why I have not given up on them and am very pleased that I came up with a recipe that received everyone’s approval.
As a side note and since I am already so opinionated today I can just go ahead and tell you about my hunt for vanilla. I don’t care for vanilla essence. The alcohol flavour is just too strong and does not work well for many recipes. For years I have used Dr. Oetker vanilla sugar, but that is an artificial flavour, which I am trying to avoid as well. So now I have gone back to the old-fashioned way and added a sliced open vanilla bean to a jar of sugar. It has a wonderful vanilla flavour. I use it to the rate of 2 Tbsp of Vanilla sugar for every 1 tsp vanilla essence and reduce the amount of regular sugar accordingly.
( makes about 30)
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 Tbsp instant coffee
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar ( minus 4 Tbsp if using vanilla sugar)
2 tsp vanilla ( or 4 Tbsp vanilla sugar)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C
Combine flour, coffee, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Add butter and sugar to another bowl, beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time then vanilla.
Add flour mixture and milk until just combined then add the chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into cups.
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes.
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cups cocoa powder
2 – 3 Tbsp milk
Mix sugar and cocoa, add small amounts of milk. Stir until spreading consistency.
You can find this recipe as an easy to print pdf document here.