Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes:

My husband complains that there is too much chocolate on this blog and with this months bake from my Cake Slice Bakers Club I will have to admit that I'm guilty as charged! I really did mean to make the Italian Cream Cake but at the last minute I couldn't help myself and went for these cupcakes instead.  I'm very glad that I did! What can I say about these cupcakes other than they disappeared so fast in our house that they were in danger of not being photographed! Yes they were that good. Even my oldest son, who is no fan of my bakes approved of these. How do they taste? Velvety is the word that comes to mind! The browned butter cinnamon cream cheese icing does take some extra effort by browning the butter first but it really is worth it and trust me you will have icing that is out of this world. The original recipe for these cupcakes can be found here and the the icing recipe here. The recipes, as I have previously mentioned in other posts, are from Southern Living's Southern Cake Book. So far everything baked from this book has produced beautiful results. I'm so glad that I am baking along from it as I know it's not a baking book that I would normally have selected.   

This recipe will yield around 14 cupcakes (more if your cases are smaller):


For the cupcakes:

115g dark chocolate chips or chocolate broken into small pieces

57g unsalted butter, softened

225g brown sugar (light or dark. I used dark)

2 medium eggs at room temperature

128g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

150ml sour cream

100ml hot water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Icing: 

37g unsalted butter

140g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia full fat)

285g icing sugar sifted

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (even up to 1/2 a teaspoon if you are a cinnamon lover)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Preheat the oven to 160C and line muffin trays with at least 14 cases.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. (Or you can melt the chocolate in the microwave)

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and keep to one side.

Beat the butter and sugar for at least 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is fully mixed in before adding the next one.

Add the vanilla and melted chocolate.

 Reduce the mixer setting to its lowest speed and alternately add the flour and sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour.

Lastly, add the hot water in slowly, beating until you have a smooth batter.

Pour (the mixture is a little runny allowing you to be able to pour) the batter into the cupcake cases filling them two thirds full.

Bake the cakes for 20 to 22 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. 

Allow the cupcakes to cool in they trays for 10 minutes before placing them on wire racks to cool completely.

To make the icing, melt the butter in a small pan stirring regularly until it browns. This will take about 5 minutes. The butter will change in colour to brown (kind of obvious I know!) You will notice the nutty aroma filling your kitchen!

Pour the butter into a small bowl and cover and chill it until it has set. This will take at least an hour.

Once the butter has reset, beat the butter and cream cheese together until creamy. Add the icing sugar and beat until it is fully mixed in. Add the cinnamon and vanilla. Soon you will have a beautiful glossy icing flecked with cinnamon!

Pipe or spread the icing onto the cupcakes and garnish with chocolate curls, sprinkles or as in my case, minstrels!

Baking Notes:

If you want to make more cupcakes, see the original recipe (link above) where measurements are given to yield 36 cupcakes.