Rose cupcakes and a Valentine’s Day Minted giveaway… I’d say Monday is off to a pretty sweet start, wouldn’t you?
There’s all kinds of good stuff going on here today: perfect chocolate-chocolate chip cupcakes, an incredible strawberry cream cheese frosting that will knock your socks off, and $100 towards Valentine’s Day cards from Minted. – because every Valentine needs a sweet treat and a cute card, right? Right.
I actually have another chocolatey V-day treat to share with you guys sometime soon which I’m super excited about, but then I just couldn’t resist going the cutesy route too and swathing a dessert in pink frosting roses and little sugar pearls. I’m a sucker for pretty cakes and cupcakes; it’s true. :/ Plus, I definitely needed to have a continuation of the chocolate and strawberry thing I had going on last Valentine’s with that strawberry bundt cake. All this is another way of saying that my Sunday plans got buried somewhere under a bowl of rich chocolate cupcake batter, rosy swirls of strawberry frosting, and a heavy dusting of cloudy-white confectioner’s sugar covering my kitchen like sweet snow. It was worth it.
I have in fact made these chocolate cupcakes before, although it was back in the days of… umm.. my 10th blog post ever, when nobody knew this little space of the internet existed. I knew they were good, but I’d forgotten just how perfect they are until now. They somehow manage to be moist without being wet at all, and so tender that you can bite into them just as easily as you can sink your teeth into the frosting on top. And because I can’t leave well enough alone, I stirred chocolate chips into the batter. It had to be done.
Must say though, what I’m loving about these cupcakes is that luscious Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting. It may look innocent in all its blush-colored rose glory, but if anything was ever dangerously delicious, it’s this frosting. It’s got that sweet tang of cream cheese frosting laced with a pure, bright strawberry flavor. Plus, the fresh strawberry purée gives it a gorgeous pink hue without using any food coloring. The roses are super easy to frost and a few sugar pearls sprinkled here and there complete the look in a snap.
(Images c/o Minted.)
It goes without saying that these would be such a sweet treat to bake up for friends and loved ones on Valentine’s Day, and they would no doubt be a huge hit at classroom Valentine’s Day parties (those were the best in elementary school!). All you need is to win some gorgeous cards and you’ve got Valentine’s Day in the bag! I’ve been a big fan of Minted ever since I came across their designer paper products a year ago, and I’ve actually purchased business cards from them which I LOVE. I’m so excited that one of you will get a chance to own some of their products for free! One reader will win $100 credit for Minted. Valentine’s Day Cards with 3-day shipping included. You can use the Rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway, which is open until midnight PST on Wednesday, January 29th. You can earn lots of entries for this giveaway, so go for it and good luck!
- 1 1/8 ounces (1/3 cup) dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 6 ounces (3/4 cup) hot coffee
- 5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 3 1/8 ounces (3/4 cup) bread flour, spoon and level
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 7/8 ounces (6 tablespoons) canola/vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 ounces (1/2 cup) bittersweet (or semisweet) chocolate chips, chopped
- 6 1/4 ounces (1 1/4 cups) chopped fresh strawberries
- 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 14 ounces (3 1/2 cups) confectioner's (powdered) sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- heavy pinch of salt
- pearl sprinkles, optional
- To save time, start steps 1-3 of the frosting while baking and cooling the cupcakes. The strawberry purée should then be ready to use once the cupcakes have cooled and are ready for frosting.
- Combine the cocoa powder and 3 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate in a large bowl. Pour the coffee on top and whisk together until smooth. Refrigerate until no longer warm (about 20 minutes).
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin or line with cupcakes liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, bread flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk in the chopped chocolate chips.
- Add the vegetable oil, eggs, white vinegar, and vanilla extract to the cooled coffee mixture and whisk together until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir together gently just until evenly combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups - each will be about 3/4 full or slightly more. Bake in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean or with just a couple small crumbs.
- Cool cupcakes in pan for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Sprinkle the granulated sugar over the chopped strawberries in a bowl. Toss together and let sit for 1 hour to allow the sugar to pull out the juices from the strawberries.
- Transfer the strawberry mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan.
- Bring strawberry mixture to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally and reducing the heat as needed to maintain simmer. Once done, the mixture should have reduced substantially and be fairly thick. Allow to cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a bowl with a handheld electric mixer), cream together the butter and cooled strawberry purée until completely smooth, wiping down the bowl and beater as need. Add the cream cheese and continue to beat until smoothly incorporated, again wiping down bowl/beater as necessary.
- Add the confectioner's sugar in parts, beating in on low speed until incorporated and then increasing speed to whip frosting until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and salt.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip (I used Ateco 846). Starting at the center of each cupcake, pipe in a spiral out towards the edge to create a rose. Top cupcakes with a few pearl sprinkles if desired.
- Store cupcakes in an airtight container. For short term storage (a few hours) they can be stored at room temperature, but for longer storage they should be kept in the refrigerator.
Chocolate Cupcakes Adapted From: Cook’s Illustrated, Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting is a Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker Original
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