Chocolate Cupcakes: (makes 24)
I doubled and slightly-modified a chocolate cupcake recipe from thescranline.com - check out Nick's site and his Instagram feed if you haven't already; he does some incredible work!
Of note...you'll need either a kitchen scale to measure ingredients in grams OR - just use the conversions I ballparked for you. You’re welcome!
350g all purpose flour (roughly 2 1/4 c)
450g caster sugar (roughly 2 ¼ c)
100g cocoa powder (roughly 1 ¼ c)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c /250g /16 T unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, at room temperature
350ml milk (about 1 ½ ; I used a 2c pyrex liquid measuring cup with mL marks on the back)
2 t vanilla extract
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (180C) or 320 FC (160C) for a fan forced oven. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar. Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to mix for a couple minutes to help everything combine well (or sift the ingredients together). Add in the softened butter until no lumps of butter are visible and it’s well incorporated into the dry ingredients.
Next, add milk, eggs, and vanilla together and whisk until well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in a slow and steady stream until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.
Fill each paper 3/4 of the way (using a large cookie scoop to transfer the batter into the cupcake liners makes this a quick and easy process otherwise you can use two tablespoons). You may find that you have some batter left over - don't over-fill the cupcake tins or they *will* overflow – trust me. :/ (I often bake some mini cupcakes with the leftover batter).
Bake for 20-25 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting. If you insert a skewer and it comes out with wet batter, bake for another few minutes at a time until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:
8 oz (one package, about 225 g) cream cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks/1 c/227g) butter, softened
6-7 c powdered sugar (about 720-840g)
2-4 Tablespoons (30-60 mL) milk
1 Tablespoon (15mL) clear vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon (1.5g) salt (if using unsalted butter)
1/4 cup (50 grams) caramel sauce
(Save and use later for cupcake filling - 1/2 cup/120 grams peanut butter + 2 tablespoons (30 g) of caramel)
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla, salt if needed, and caramel sauce and beat until well combined.
To make your cupcake filling, combine 1/2 cup frosting with 1/2 cup peanut butter and 2 tablespoons of caramel and stir to combine. Transfer to a small piping bag or ziplock.
- 12 Mini Snickers bars
- 2-4 T chocolate Sprinkles
- 1 c peanuts, chopped
- 1-2 Tablespoons extra caramel sauce
- Large piping bag & tip – I use this set of reusable large bags & tips more than almost any of my others!
Once the cupcakes have cooled, you're ready to core them. There are a few ways you can do this....you can buy a cupcake corer, you can try using the non-business-end of a large piping tip, or....you can do what I sometimes do and cut a cone-shaped core out with a plastic knife. Up to you. I haven't the foggiest idea why cupcake crumbs don't stick to plastic knives like they do regular knives, but the plastic knife's been working too well for me to feel the need to invest in any fancy corers. Pipe your ganache into your cored cupcakes - it doesn't have to look pretty, so I often use a zip-lock bag for this part.
Now you're ready to decorate! Transfer your frosting to a large piping bag, and pipe in large swirls onto your cupcakes (or however you feel like icing them). Unwrap 12 mini Snickers bars and cut them in half – I thought the cupcakes looked cooler when the inside of the Snickers bar was visible on the top. Decorate each frosting swirl with a drizzle of caramel, chopped peanuts, sprinkles, and halved Snickers bar - tadaaaaa! Enjoy!