Black and White Cupcakes

It’s still December (barely), so that means one last sweet treat until diet month! Actually, this will probably be my last post for a few weeks anyway because I’m moving to a new city and I don’t imagine I’ll have time for much posting until we get settled in our new apartment. Plus I need time to look though all my cookbooks and find new, heathly(-ish) recipes to make!

Anyway, back to today’s recipe. I had so much fun making Black and White Cheesecake that I decided to try that method with regular cake. I’m listing yellow and chocolate cake recipes that I like, (been using them for years, so I don’t even remember where I got one of them…) but really, this is all about the method. If you have a better yellow or chocolate cake recipe in your arsenal, use that instead. You can even just buy some boxed cake mixes to make things even simpler.

One thing to make sure of if you are using your own recipes is to not make cakes with thin/watery batter (usually the last step will be to add 1+ cup of hot water or something like that). In my experience, these kind of recipes are usually for chocolate cake. I have several such recipes and they produce moist, yummy cakes, but they won’t mix well for these kinds of cupcakes. Also, remember to half the chocolate recipe because you won’t need as much.

I’ve sworn off making frosting with my lame-o little hand mixer after the last disaster (stood there for almost 20 minutes(!) trying to make “7 minute frosting” and all I got was a bowl of goop). So I chose to top my cupcakes with a simple chocolate ganache that you don’t even need a mixer to make. I love it! But, of course, those with better kitchen appliances may choose to make your own favorite frosting. Personally, I thought these cupcakes tasted pretty great even without frosting (plus they look cooler).

Black and White Cupcakes

Black and White Cupcakes

adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook

Dessert | Yield: 3 dozen
Prep time: 35 min | Cook time: 20 min | Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. buttermilk (or add 1 tsp. white vinegar to regular milk and let sit for about 10 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 oz. unsweet or semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Yellow Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 cups milk

Process

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (F). Butter and flour (or just spray if you are lazy like me) your cupcake tins.
  2. Start with the chocolate cake batter first. Melt your chocolate over low heat.
  3. Meanwhile, cream the butter for a few minutes until fluffy. Add the sugar and cream some more until light. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  4. Mix the flour and other dry ingredients together in separate bowl.
  5. Mix the water and milk in another bowl.
  6. Add the flour mixture and milk mixture alternately to the creamed mixture. Finally stir in the melted chocolate until well mixed. Put this batter in the fridge while you make the yellow cake batter.
  7. In a new bowl, cream the butter for a few minutes until fluffy. Add the sugar and cream some more until light. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  8. In a separate bowl (you can use the same one as for the chocolate batter) mix the flour and other dry ingredients. Add alternately to the creamed mixture with the milk. Mix well.
  9. Put a few spoonfuls of yellow batter in the bottom of each tin (enough to cover the bottom completely). Then get your chocolate batter and drop a few teaspoons on top (have fun with it!). Top that with the yellow batter until each tin is almost 2/3 full. Finally drop or drizzle a few more spoonfuls of the chocolate and swirl it around with a knife or fork.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted inside comes out clean. Let cool in tin for a few minutes and then take out put on metal rack to finish cooling after which you can frost them.

Chocolate Ganache

adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dori Greenspan

Dessert | Yield: about 2 cups
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 5 min | Total time: 15 min

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 tbsp. cold (important!), unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Process

  1. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of shimmering water (or melt over low heat and transfer to a bowl afterward). Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Using a small whisk, stir in confectioners’ sugar, followed by the pieces of butter. If it’s too thin to spread, place the bowl over ice water and stir for a few seconds or until it thickens. Spread on cupcakes (or you can even just dip the tops in there) and let set at room temperature.