Me: I’m such a dork. I’m totally bummed that there are so many people who won’t be coming out for my 30th birthday party on Saturday.
Friend: You’re not a dork. People are busy, and Jim didn’t start planning this thing until a week ago.
Me: True. So, I’m thinking I’ll be making chocolate cupcakes with vanilla malted frosting for the party.
Friend: What? You’re making your own birthday cupcakes? Now that makes you a dork.
Me: That’s what’s clinching it? Well, if I don’t make them, who will?
Friend: What about Jim?
Me: Really? Who would want to eat that?
Friend: Well, then buy them.
Me: Buy them?!?!? Why? I can make some that taste better and don’t cost as much. Seriously though, I don’t mind, and I’m excited to try out a new creation.
So, even at the risk of pronouncing my dorkiness to the entire blogosphere, I am presenting you with my newest cupcake. Inspired by the Crunchy Chocolate Malt Cupcakes from the January/February issue of Food Network Magazine, I decided to use my tried and true chocolate cupcake and top with an adaptation of our new favorite buttercream. I really like how this frosting came out, and it’s not a frosting that I would plan on coloring. It’s got a pretty color and look from the malted milk powder and the specks of vanilla bean. There is a great flavor too, and it smells delicious, which is something I’ve never really noticed about buttercream before. The batter made 1 ½ dozen regular cupcakes and 2 dozen minis, and the buttercream yielded more than enough to generously top them all.
Oh, and as for my dorkiness? After 30 years of living with it, I really think it’s time to fully embrace it and live proudly as the food dork I was intended to be. Coolness be damned, if they turn out as great as these, I plan on making my own birthday cupcakes for years to come.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened Cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot, strong brewed coffee
- 1 ¼ lbs (5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 8 cups Confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup malted milk powder
- 1 tsp table salt
- 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of stand mixer.
- In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
- Add to mixer, and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in hot coffee, and pour into muffin tins, filling about 2/3 to the top.
- Bake 17 to 20 minutes for full size and 10 to 12 minutes for minis, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.
- Add salt and half of the sugar; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Add the rest of the sugar and continue mixing until combined.
- Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds.
- Add in malted milk powder, and stir at medium to combine.
- Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.