A Big Batch of Chocolate Cupcakes
Today I’m finally solving a problem that many of us face a few times a year. It’s a kid-size problem with sugar and whipped cream on top, so I won’t hold my breath for the Nobel Peace Prize. But hey, anything that makes a school morning easier is worth doing, right? The problem is that if your kid brings birthday treats to school, one batch of cupcakes isn’t enough, but two batches is ridiculous, and a pain to make. So here’s a big batch of chocolate cupcakes with raspberry whipped cream, which makes 36 cupcakes. That’s enough to bring to a normal-sized class, give a few to teachers, helpers and the principal, and still have a few left at home for siblings and maybe mom and dad. Win win win win win…weekend.
This nice big batch of cupcakes is the perfect size for a class party or bake sale. You won’t have to worry about running out or stiffing the teachers and little siblings at home.
Piped frosting is the easiest. Trust me.
I know some of you are giving the side-eye to the medium-fancy looking frosting and saying, “Yeah, right,” in your head (especially if you’re from New Jersey). But please trust me that this is one of the world’s quickest and easiest ways to top cupcakes. After you make the raspberry whipped cream, you just spoon it into a disposable piping bag with a star tip, squeeze out a little bit of frosting from directly overhead, and move on to the next cupcake. Each one takes about five seconds. It’s magic. Slap an upside-down raspberry on top, and you’re done. The raspberry protects the frosting from the foil or whatever that you put on top when you box them up to take to school. Also, I recommend using leftover Christmas muffin liners, because red. Okay! Hope this helps as you gird your loins for the last few weeks of school. See you soon.
For the cupcakes
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
For the frosting
- 10 ounces frozen raspberries
- 2/3 cup sugar, divided
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 36 fresh raspberries, to decorate
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three standard muffin tins with 36 paper liners (or bake in batches, one or two tins at a time).
- In a very large bowl or the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with the paddle (I have this one, which is 6 quarts, and it still sloshed a little), stir sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined.
- Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until batter is smooth. Pour in boiling water and stir with a spoon or very carefully mix on low speed with the splash guard surrounding the bowl until just incorporated.
- Pour batter into muffin cups. Bake cupcakes for about 18 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
For the frosting:
- In a small pot set over medium heat, stir together the frozen raspberries and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the raspberries have broken down and the mixture has bubbled itself away to a slightly syrupy consistency.
- With a spoon, push the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. The liquid will go through on its own, but you'll have to work to get as much of the seedless pulp through the strainer as you can. I like to go through three or four rounds of smushing the pulp around inside the strainer and then, using a clean spoon, scraping it from the bottom of the strainer into the bowl. Cool completely before using. You can do this quickly in an ice bath or make the syrup up to a few days in advance of frosting the cupcakes.
- Whip the cream just shy of the soft peak stage, then add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and beat a little more. Spoon in the raspberry syrup and stir with a spoon until incorporated.
- You can spread the icing onto the cupcakes, but I prefer to spoon it into a disposable piping bag (such as this one) fitted with a star tip (such as this one) and quickly pipe some icing onto each cupcake. You can get this look by piping vertically from directly above the cupcake.
- Place a raspberry in the center of each cupcake and send that kid to school.
Cupcake batter adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.