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Devil’s Food Cupcakes

February 2, 2011

I am in constant pursuit of all things chocolate-y, butter-y and how to combine the two.  My taste buds are no longer satisfied with the status quo of the baking aisle and I’m sure that if I keep looking I will eventually find the perfect marriage of rich chocolate and silky butter.  You know, the type of unassuming dessert that after one bite it makes you stop, chew more slowly, and savor the intense flavor.  And probably remark to the person next to you about how incredible it is and how they really need to try it.

In this pursuit, I have tried countless chocolate cake recipes, chocolate cookie recipes, brownie recipes, some truffles (wow that was a messy one!), all good but still needing more.

I’ve come to two realizations

1. you have to use the best quality ingredients you can afford

2. the joy of baking is that as you pursue perfection, you get a lot of yummy treats along the way

I stumbled across the following recipe.  When made with basic grocery store ingredients it is really good, but when made with just slightly better quality ingredients it becomes incredible.

Sift dry ingredients together

Cream butter and sugar

Add eggs

Combine milk and coffee.  try not to drink.

Mix everything together to create deliciousness

Bake and cool

Melt chocolate and cream together for ganache

Whisk in butter

Set aside

Devil’s Food (Cup)Cake

(original recipe from David Lebovitz, adapted to cupcakes)


for the cake:
9 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self rising)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup hot, strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup whole or low-fat milk

for the ganache:
10 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (try a bar of scharfenberger, thank me with a cupcake)
1/2 cup cream
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly colder than room temperature (a european style butter, like plugra, has a higher fat content and makes this ganache super smooth)


1. Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

2. Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake papers.

3.  to make the cake: sift together the cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.

4. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy.  Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.

5. Mix together the coffee and milk.  Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, then add the coffee and milk. Finally stir in the rest of the dry ingredients.  (make sure fully incorporated but do not over-beat)

6. Fill each cupcake liner about 1/2 full (I like to use a 1/4 cup measuring cup).  Bake about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let cool 10 minutes in cupcake pan before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

7. to make the frosting: melt the chocolate with the cream in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted.  Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

8. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk them into the chocolate until completely melted and the ganache is smooth (this part actually takes up to 45 minutes so time accordingly).  Cool until spreadable, which may take about 1 hour at room temperature.

9. Frost the cupcakes generously and enjoy!

Something about a deep, dark devil’s food cake screams, “surround me with pink!”  either that or I’ve just been fed way too much pink for the upcoming holiday.  Either way I’m in love with the following rooms.  Different styles, one begging for cupcakes and movies with the girls, and the other a more sophisticated afternoon with family.  But whichever is your preference, serve with an incredible side of chocolate.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Vesta permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:50 pm

    Ok!! I can not wait to try those cupcakes!!!! and where do you keep finding these amazing rooms?! I love it!

  2. deanna permalink
    February 13, 2012 9:44 am

    Sounds great! Could i use this recipe for a 9 inch 2-layer cake as well?


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