Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes

Moist chocolate cupcakes that lurk somewhere between cake and brownie seem to be perfect for Halloween. Topped with an orange cream cheese frosting and nestled in retro Halloween design cupcake papers, they seem to scream Halloween.

These great chocolate cupcakes feature sour cream to give them a moist interior and a touch of tang. Using high quality cocoa takes these from ordinary to extraordinary. Topping them with a cream cheese frosting gives them yet another flavor boost.

I used some sugar crystal sprinkles on these but the various Halloween sprinkles available in most supermarkets would be great as well.

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°. Line 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a medium bowl sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating after each addition. Add vanilla and beat. With mixer on low speed add half of flour mixture then sour cream then rest of flour mixture. Beat until combined.

Pour batter into cups until each is about 3/4 full. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean - about 20-25 minutes.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Frost with orange cream cheese frosting (see below). Decorate with sprinkles if desired.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
2 tbl. whole milk
2 tsp. orange extract
Orange food coloring (optional)

In bowl of electric mixture fitted with paddle attachment, combine all ingredients and beat at medium-high speed until frosting is creamy and smooth.

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