Last weekend our co-op celebrated housemate E’s 22nd birthday. It was quite the event; there were balloons and streamers, take-out Indian food, a fridge filled with champagne and cheap beer. But before all that, there were cupcakes!
Back in February, my housemates baked thumbprint cookies for my birthday. It made me feel so happy and loved, and I wanted E to feel that too. My go-to baked good is banana muffins, but I make them approximately twice a month, so that didn’t feel very special. Instead, I settled on these chocolate cupcakes with raspberry buttercream frosting. They were so tasty, I made the recipe in cake version later in the week.
Chocolate cake, adapted from 500 Cakes by Susannah Blake — Add 2 tbsp coffee to make it chocolate espresso cake, if you’re into that. (I am).
- 1 1/2 sticks butter,
- 3/4 cup sugar,
- 3 eggs,
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350. If making a cake, grease the pan. If making cupcakes, good choice.
- Beat butter and sugar in stand mixer until pale and fluffy. Reflect on how lucky you are to live in a co-op that gives you access to a stand mixer.
- Beat in eggs one at a time.
- Sift flour, baking soda and cocoa over the top, then mix on low speed until fully combined.
- Bake 20- 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
Raspberry Buttercream Frosting — A note here: this is the recipe I started with, but not the one I ended with. I used frozen raspberries, and they caused the butter to cool and un-cream when I added them. Wild improvisation followed, resulting in delicious frosting with mysterious ingredient proportions. Mostly I just kept dumping powdered sugar in until it looked right. This lead to more frosting than I intended, but that contributed to my decision to make a second round of cake. All’s well that ends well??
- 1 cup raspberries
- 2 tsp milk
- 2 cups butter
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar + extra in case you fuck up
- Using stand mixer (thank u, co-op), cream butter until it is lighter in color.
- Add in powdered sugar a 1/4 cup at a time, mixing on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla, milk and UNFROZEN raspberries. Whisk until it looks like frosting. If it doesn’t look right, add more powdered sugar.