Valentine’s Day is just days away, and I like to make a little something sweet for my husband verses dining out. This year, I decided to make cupcakes (what with the cupcakepalooza explosion here in DC) for his whole office. I know, it’s so grade school-send your kid off to school with presents so everyone likes them-kind of thing. But really, I wanted to try my hand at cupcakes and a bit of decorating, with the benefit of not having more than TWO DOZEN CUPCAKES leftover just staring us in the face! Believe me, it would be tempting because these cupcakes are dense with intense chocolate flavor which is deepened by the coffee. The honey in the icing is a sweet counterpoint to the cake. It’s subtle, and it works.
This recipe is adapted from Zoe Bakes. If you want baking inspiration, this is the site to see!
Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!
Devil’s Food Cupcakes with a Lavender Honey Scented Icing
makes 3 dozen cupcakes
For the Cupcakes
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 1/8 cups (1 cup + 2 tablespoons) Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cups vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups strong coffee, hot
- 1/4 cup brandy
For the Icing
- 1 8oz. package Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature or softened
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature or softened
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey (I used lavender honey-you can use any kind you like)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.
In another bowl, mix eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and whisk to combine fully. Slowly whisk in coffee and brandy and combine into a smooth batter (batter will be loose at this point).
Pour batter into a pitcher or large measuring bowl. Slowly pour batter into cupcake/muffin cups, about 3/4 of the way up.
Place cupcake tins into center of oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Allow cupcakes to cool, and remove for icing.
For the icing-combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and cream together until smooth. I added red food coloring to make the cupcakes pink for Valentine’s Day, but the cupcakes look spectacular just white!
I used a piping bag with a large rosette to pipe icing on top, but since my technique is truly awful (and I was using too much icing for each cupcake), I switched to an icing knife to get the job done!
Finally, I garnished with chocolate hearts–Nestle’s Crunch and Reese’s Peanut Butter.