the perfect cupcake!

Article first published as Chocolate Coffee & Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes on Technorati.

Let me pose to you a question.

Why is it that people are so willing to pay $3 for an overly sweet and dense cupcake at Magnolia yet balk at Bank of America’s new $5 surcharge on dedit cards?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a BoFa customer and I don’t like it one bit. That’s why I don’t plan on using their debit card (you only get charged if you use it). However, I completely understand their rationale. They recently got slapped with ridiculous regulation that caps fees they can derive from merchants. If you’re not happy about the fee, then I suggest you change banks (but pretty soon most banks will have some sort of similar fee) or you can stash your cash underneath your mattress. They’re not charging you money on your own money; they’re charging you for the convenience of not carrying around cash. You can also write a letter to Messieur Durbin telling him what an idiot he is.

Why am I telling you this? Because I think it’s ridiculous to pay $3 for a cupcake. It’s overpriced and most times, it’s not even that good (don’t get me wrong, sometimes there ARE some pretty darn good cupcakes that are $2.50 and under!) So, I choose to make my own.

cupcke quad

A couple of weeks back, I came home to a package on my porch. When I opened it, I got super excited since it had the GODIVA script plastered on the bag. Then, I reached in. It was coffee. I LOVEEEE COFFEE!

Long story short, I wanted to incorporate the Pumpkin Spice flavor into cupcakes! I decided to do this two fold- in the cake part itself (to enhance the chocolate flavor) and then in the frosting.

pretty cupcake!

But first, about the Pumpkin Spice coffee from Godiva…
Honestly, I’m not a big fan. It’s decent but not spectacular. I’m not a big fan of the scent either. However, it actually worked quite well in the recipe.

What I AM a fan of is their Caramel Pecan Bark coffee (a limited edition flavor). I could actually get high off of smelling that. And the taste? It’s delectably caramel-y and sweet. It’s enough to make Mark not want sugar in his coffee. He typically hates coffee because of its bitterness, but didn’t mind this one at all. Overall, this is a great weekend coffee to brew, but it’s not strong enough for my weekday caffeine needs.

pumpkinspice cupakes

Now onto the cupcakes-

I ended up turning the original buttercream frosting into a cream-cheese buttercream frosting simply because I can never get the damn recipe down correctly! It always ends up either too buttery or the consistency is off.  However, I love the consistency that the cream-cheese gives and makes the frosting thick enough to pipe out those gorgeous swirls.

As for the cake itself, make sure you do not omit the sour cream. In my first batch, I had none so I substituted with 1/4 cup of milk. The cupcakes came out decent but where a bit on the dry and dense side. In my second batch, I made sure to get some sour cream and it made all the difference in the world.

pumpkin spice coffee cupcakes

Chocolate coffee & pumpkin spice cupcakes
Adapted from Paula Deen

(Makes about 24 cupcakes)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Coffee Cream Filling, recipe follows
  • Coffee Buttercream, recipe follows
  • Chocolate covered coffee beans, for garnish, optional

Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcakes pans with paper liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, pumpkin spice cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add oil, coffee, and eggs and beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Then, miix in the sour cream and vanilla.

Spoon the batter evenly into prepared cupcakes cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, for 16 to 18 minutes. Let them cool in pans on wire rack.

Coffee butter cream-cream cheese frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 8 oz cream cheese (1 package)
  • Pumpkin spice for sprinkling

Recipe:

Make sure your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature and softened before you start. In a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Then beat in the cream cheese. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth, then beat in the coffee.

After piping/frosting, sprinkle with additional pumpkin spice

cupcake bench

This post is part of a Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Godiva Coffee.