How to Make the Best Chocolate Cupcakes

Learn how to make the best chocolate cupcakes from professional cake decorator Amanda Oakleaf in this Howcast video.

"Hi, my name is Amanda Oakleaf . I am owner, head baker, decorator of Amanda Oakleaf Cakes in Winthrop, Massachusetts, where we do cup cakes, custom cakes, wedding cakes , birthday cakes, anything you can thing of we can make it into a cake and today I will be talking to you about baking cupcakes. We’re going to start with room temperature butter, 5 and 1/3 ounces. We’re going to add it to a 6 quart mixer, a 5 quart will work as well, with the paddle attachment. And you want to mix it and beat it until it’s light and fluffy and there’s a lot of air incorporated into it. So 2 cups of sugar and we also have a 1/3 of a cup of oil. Butter gives the cake flavor and the oil keeps it moist. And while that’s going we’re going to heat up our coffee so we have a cup of water and once it boils up, we’re going to add 1 tablespoon of coffee grind or instant coffee and that will give the chocolate cake a really nice flavor. Scrape it down, make sure all the butter’s incorporated, and while that’s going we can also get our dry ingredients ready. We have 2 ¬Ω cups of all purpose flour to that we’re going to add a cup of cocoa and a teaspoon of salt, and baking powder. And our cocoa we have is Dutch processed cocoa so it already is processed with alkai so we don’t need baking soda, we just have extra baking powder. So you want to whisk it together, get rid of any big lumps. We can set that aside and once the butter and the sugar is nice and fluffy, we’re going to add almond and vanilla extract, a teaspoon of each. Almond gives it that extra flavor, it really enhances the chocolate. Next add the eggs, we’ve got 2 eggs. You want to do one at a time. And once the coffee’s hot we can turn it off, add a tablespoon of instant coffee, give it a stir. After the eggs are in, we can turn it down to low and we’re going to add our flour and the milk. We have one cup of milk and you want to alternate the flour and the milk in 3 or 4 additions. A little bit of flour, a little bit of milk. Once you get to the last one, you can stop the mixer. Scrape it down, make sure there’s no butter and sugar stuck on the bottom. So it’s pretty thick right now, but we’re going to add the hot coffee and that will thin it out. So on low, you just add a steady stream of the coffee. And you just want to mix until smooth, you don’t want to over-mix it. Give it one more scrape down, get everything off the side of the bowl. And I like to use an ice cream scooper and it’s a 2 ounce ice cream scooper, if you don’t have one you can also use a ¬º cup measuring cup. And you can fill it pretty full, a heaping scoop is good. And this much batter should make about 2 dozen cupcakes. Clean off the pan so that extra doesn’t burn. We’re going to put them in the oven on 325. So after 12 or 15 minutes are done we can take our cupcakes out of the oven. You want to check them with a toothpick to see if they’re done. Stick a toothpick right in the middle of a cupcake and if any crumbs come out that’s okay, as long as you don’t have any liquid batter. And if it’s liquidy batter then you want to throw it back in the oven for another 2 to 3 minutes. That’s how you make chocolate cupcakes.