Golden Yellow Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting - Sweet and Savory Kitchens

Margaux says…

It’s cake season around here…we have several birthdays in January and February in our family, so I’m basically making cake after cake for about two months. This is one of my favorite cake recipes…I typically make it as a 9″ layer cake, but my sister-in-law wanted cupcakes for her birthday party, and they turned out really great.  I’ve posted about the frosting before, on a similar cake that I’ve made often, and also love, but since I discovered this Cook’s Illustrated version I may just make this one from now on whenever I’m wanting a yellow cake.  Because of science-y Cook’s Illustrated details, this cake is fluffier and has a finer crumb.  And the frosting is silky and delicious…you have to try it!

Fluffy Yellow Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting - Sweet and Savory Kitchens

Fluffy Yellow Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting

from Cook’s Illustrated

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon table salt

1 3/4 cups sugar (12 1/4 ounces)

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

6 large egg yolks, room temperature

3 large egg whites, room temperature

1. Adjust oven rack to middle and heat to 350 degrees.  Place 27 cupcake liners into cupcake tins (or grease two 9″ round cake pans and line with parchment paper, then grease and flour).  Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl.  In 4 cup liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and yolks.

2.  In clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium-high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds.  With machine running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, continue to beat until stiff peaks form, about a minute or so.  Transfer to another bowl and set aside.

3.  Add flour mixture to now-empty mixing bowl fitted with a whisk attachment.  With mixer running at low speed, gradually pour in butter mixture and mix until almost incorporated (a few streaks of dry flour will remain), about 15 seconds.  Stop mixer and scrape whisk and sides of bowl.  Return mixer to med-low speed and beat until smooth and fully incorporated, 10-15 seconds.

4.  Using a rubber spatula, stir 1/3 of the whites into the batter to lighten, then add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain.  Fill each cupcake liner evenly, about 3/4 full.

5.  Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 17-19 minutes.  Let cool on rack in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.  Frost with milk chocolate frosting.

Milk Chocolate Frosting

While cakes are cooling, prepare frosting.

20 tbsp butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder

pinch table salt

3/4 cup light corn syrup

1 tsp vanilla

8 oz. high quality milk chocolate, like Ghiradelli, melted and cooled slightly

In a food processor, process butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, about 30 seconds.  Add corn syrup and vanilla and process until just combined, 5-10 seconds.  Scrape sides of the bowl, then add chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, about 10-15 times.

Fill a pastry bag with frosting and either cut the tip off so that there’s about a 1/2″ round opening, or fit with a piping tip.  Swirl frosting generously on cupcakes.  Eat and be happy!

 

Margaux says…

For my friend Billy’s birthday, I gave him the first honorary membership to the cake of the month club.  🙂  So every month, I will be baking a cake for him.  I’ll probably mix it up with cookies, pies and other desserts, but mostly cakes.

The first cake was his actual birthday cake, and I made him one of my favorite cakes of all time.  I’ve been making this cake almost yearly since I received my “Joy of Cooking” from Aunt Suzy, probably around 2000 or 2001.  The cake is very moist and tender, and has wonderful flavor! 

I used to make a basic chocolate butter frosting for this cake, with cocoa, butter, powdered sugar and milk.  It’s also delicious with a creamy vanilla buttercream.  But this frosting is THE BEST chocolate frosting I have ever had.  It is rich and creamy, has amazing flavor and texture.  Of course, leave it to Cook’s to come up with the best.

I’ve made this frosting several times now, and it always goes off without a hitch.  However, this time I didn’t let the chocolate cool enough, so when I added it to the mixture, all the ingredients separated and turned into a brown and white mess!  This was easily fixed (but time wasting, that’s for sure!) by putting it into the refrigerator for a few hours (I did it overnight), then bringing it out and letting it get back to almost room temperature.  I then just whipped it by hand with a wooden spoon, and it turned out perfectly.

You can also make this frosting with semi-sweet chocolate, and it is even richer.

Buttermilk Layer Cake
adapted from The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking

2 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups superfine sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottoms of two 8×2″ round cake pans with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt onto a large piece of waxed paper or into a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar and beat on high speed until lightened in color and texture, 2 to 4 minutes.

In another small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla lightly. Gradually add them to the butter and sugar mixture, beating on medium high, taking about 2 minutes.

Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk in two parts, beating on low speed or stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Divide the batter between the pans and spread evenly. Bake until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Let cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Slide a thin knife around the cake to detach it from the pans. Invert the cake and peel off the paper liners, and let cool right side up on the rack. Let cool completely before frosting, but do not let them sit out for too long or they will become dry.

Milk Chocolate Frosting
from Cook’s Illustrated

20 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup dutch cocoa
1 cup powdered sugar
pinch table salt
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz. milk chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

In food processor, process butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed, about 30 seconds. Add corn syrup and vanilla and process until just combined, 5-10 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl, then add chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10-15 minutes.