Malted Chocolate Espresso Birthday Delight Cupcakes

While these ingredients aren’t overwhelmingly local, I am passionate that we should enjoy all things in moderation – including filled and frosted cakes!


The key thing I want to point out about these cupcakes is that I have literally halved the amount of sugar that one would normally put in them – and they always get rave reviews.

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The coffee flavor is fairly strong in these because I made them for a friend who loves chocolate espresso cake. If you’re not a fan, cut the coffee down by 2/3 and you’ll be amazed how it just makes the chocolate pop. Also, there is vodka in this recipe, but the alcohol completely bakes out, so it’s still kid-friendly.

Batter Scoop: I have a large round squeeze-handle scooper that’s perfect for ice cream or, say, filling muffin tins.  This thing seriously speeds up the process.

Kitchen Scale: The scale I use is tiny, stores inside itself, and cost less than $5 at Kroger a few years ago. Using weight ratios when baking is the best way to go to get consistent results, but I’ve also converted into measurements into volume for those who don’t have a scale at the moment.

Filling Cupcakes: I picked up a cupcake-filling tool at T J Maxx a few months ago. It is basically an injector-style plastic tube with a long thin nozzle attachment. Alternatively, you could scoop out some of the cupcake’s center and pipe filling in (you’d get more that way) or slice cupcakes in half and then pipe on a layer of filling (chill filled cupcakes to set everything if you go this route).

Freeze Leftover Frosting & Filling: I have a lot of patience for cooking, but not for baking. So when I make frosting and filling, I stick the extra in freezer bags. They thaw out perfectly for the next time I need them.

Inspired by: Savory Simple with Jennifer Farley and Sweetapolita blogs

Time: 1 to 2 hours (depending on how fast the cupcakes cool)

Servings: Appx 30 cupcakes

Cake Batter Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ sticks of butter, room temperature
  • 10 ½ ounces (1 ½ cups) sugar
  • 6 pastured eggs (Bluebird Hill Berry Farm)
  • ¼ cup honey (Drewry Farm & Orchards)
  • 10 ½ ounces (2 ½ scant cups) all-purpose flour
  • 3 ounces (3/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 Starbucks VIA packets
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • ¼ cup vodka
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla

Birthday Cake Filling Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) unflavored gelatin (like Knox)
  • 2 cups whipping cream (or heavy cream)
  • 63 grams (½ cup) icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Malted Chocolate Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 pound butter, room temperature
  • 250 grams (2 cups) icing sugar
  • 75 grams (¾ c) Ovaltine Classic
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate bar(s), chopped & melted
  • ½ cup whipping cream (or heavy cream)

Method: Make the Cupcakes

1) Prep muffin tin(s) with liners. Put oven rack in center of oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2) Cream butter and sugar together. Add and incorporate each egg individually and then the honey.

3) In one bowl, sift the dry ingredients together (flour, cocoa powders, coffee granules, baking powder, salt). In another, combine the wet ingredients (buttermilk, vodka, vanilla).

4) Alternately add parts of the dry and wet ingredients, just stirring until incorporated, but make sure to scrape the bottom.

5) Fill liners ¾ of the way full with batter. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

6) Carefully lift cupcakes out of tin and let cool on wire rack.

Method: Make the Filling

1) In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin on cold water. Let soften for 10 minutes.

2) Bring 1/3 cup of the cream to a simmer, then drizzle into the gelatin mix while whisking. Cover and refrigerate, stirring often, until cool but not set (about 8 minutes).

3) Sift icing sugar and flour together over the rest of the cream. Stir in vanilla and salt. Beat for a minute or two, until thick with soft peaks.

4) While continuing to beat, drizzle in gelatin mix. Beat until thick enough to spread (medium-firm peaks). Cover and chill until ready to use.

Method: Make the Frosting

1) Beat together butter and icing sugar until incorporated (about 1 min).

2) Add malt powder, vanilla, and salt. Mix until combined.

3) Drizzle in melted chocolate. Beat on medium until smooth (about 2 min).

4) Add cream and beat on medium-high for 1 min.

5) Cover and refrigerate until about 10 minutes prior to using.

Method: Assembly

1) Fill the cupcakes using one of the methods outlined in the recipe notes.

2) Transfer icing into a zipper bag and snip a ¼” diagonal off the end. Pipe a generous amount in a circle on top of each cupcake.

3) Refrigerate until shortly before serving so the frosting doesn’t melt.

Enjoy without a sugar crash!


Sun, 05/28/2017 - 03:41

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