Chocolate Flower Cupcakes

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners – this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together until completely smooth. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the buttermilk. Gently whisk – about 5 stirs. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until just combined; do not overmix.
  4. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners – fill only halfway to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake in batches for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

Vanilla Buttercream:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk*

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  2. Gradually add icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
  3. Gradually add milk; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.
  5. For pure white icing (stiff consistency), omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 teaspoon No-Colour butter flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes.

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