After making several chocolate cupcake recipes and reading conflicting information from some of my trusted sources, I decided to try making a recipe on my own. Some decisions I made while I was formulating the recipe include:
- no “strange” ingredients like mayonnaise, etc.
- use a modified creaming method to assemble (for improved texture)
- use cocoa powder instead of bar chocolate (more chocolatey and 1 less bowl to clean!)
- use dutch cocoa (for the most intense chocolate taste)
- cook only 12 cupcakes at a time (for even baking)
I’m confident that these cupcakes will be your new favorites (at least your favorite chocolate ones). If you want, the recipe will make one 9-inch round cake. Doubled, it will make two 9-inch rounds, three 8-inch rounds, or a 9 x 13-inch sheet cake.
6 TB butter, at room temperature (3 ounces by weight)
1 scant cup of granulated sugar (6 ounces)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda (not powder!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (4.25 ounces)
1/2 cup sifted dutch-process cocoa powder (sift then measure — 1 ounce by weight)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup plain lowfat yogurt (6 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, cream together the first 5 ingredients until it is fluffy and noticeably lighter in color than when you began. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder.
Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, mixing for approximately 20 seconds after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add all of the flour mixture to the butter and mix on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides again, add the yogurt, and mix on medium for one minute.
Prepare the pan you will use to bake with (muffin liners for the cupcake pan or butter/flour for the others). Distribute the batter among your prepared pans. Bake according to the following chart (give or take a couple of minutes due to differences among ovens):
- cupcakes – 23 minutes
- 8-inch pans – 30 minutes
- 9-inch pans – 33 minutes
- 9 x 13-inch sheet pan – 35 minutes
Begin checking about 3 minutes before the time is up. Remove from the oven when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not over-bake, as this will destroy the taste and texture of the final product. Frost with a home-made buttercream or simply dust with powdered sugar.