January 21st, 2010

Easy Kids Party Menu (Finale!): Chocolate Chip & Devil's Food Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Buttercream

chocolate chip cupcakes

Photo: Martha Stewart

You can’t have a party without cake, right?! I love serving cupcakes, at children’s parties especially, because they allow you to offer a range of flavor combinations without too much extra work. And they are just the right serving size—cute little packages of baked goodness!

Lately, my ChowBaby has been very excited by all things chocolate chip. Even just 5 chocolate chips—all on their own or thrown into our “trail mix” with walnuts and dried cranberries—totally make his day, so chocolate chip cupcakes were a gimme.

Because, as I said, variety is part of the joy of cupcakes, I wanted to make a second flavor cake that would go with the chocolate chip icing (so I wouldn’t also have to make two kinds of frosting). Devil’s food cake, a moist chocolatey delight made with sour cream, sounded perfect. So, with Martha’s help (I wasn’t about to experiment with recipes for my son’s party—this was all about reliable sources), I got to it. There’s not much more to say, except… utterly delicious

Planning Ahead & Storing Cupcakes
I made the buttercream 2 nights before the party and the cupcakes the night before. According to Martha, both buttercream and most cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The buttercream should be kept in the fridge, but she doesn’t specify for the cupcakes. I’d say on the counter for overnight, in the fridge any longer (then allow them to return to room temp before serving). You can also freeze cupcakes (without frosting) in an airtight container for up to two months. Several other sources said that they thaw into tasty treats as good as new so long as they don’t get freezer burn. So, if you do this, package carefully!

Don’t forget to bookmark the entire menu and planning timeline for your next kids party!

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
makes about 25 (from Martha Stewart)
(can be served to kids 12+ mos*)

3 1/2 c sifted organic cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
7 oz (1 3/4 sticks) organic unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 c organic sugar
1 c plus 2 tbsp organic milk
1 tbsp vanilla
5 large organic eggs whites, room temp
2 c organic semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.

2. Reduce speed to low. Mix together milk and vanilla—these are your wet ingredinets. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl.

3. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks, and fold into batter. Then fold in chocolate chips. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.

4. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 22 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.

Devil’s Food Cupcakes
makes about 25 (from Martha Stewart)
(can be served to kids 12+ mos*)

3/4 c unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
3/4 c hot water
3 c organic all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 1/2 c (3 sticks) organic unsalted butter
2 1/4 c organic sugar
4 large organic eggs, room temp
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp vanilla
1 c organic sour cream, room temp

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

2. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be kept, covered, for up to 3 days.

Chocolate Chip Buttercream
makes 5 cups** (from Martha Stewart)
(can be served to kids 12+ mos*)

12 oz (3 sticks) organic unsalted butter, softened
1 lb organic confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c organic semisweet chocolate chips

1. Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.

2. Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. (After every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high.) Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Fold in chocolate chips. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using. (I did not beat on low speed before using and, though not the prettiest icing job, everything worked just fine!)

* These cupcakes can be served to kids younger than 12 months—there is no unsafe ingredients for finger food eating kids without allergies—but I suggest 12 months due to the high sugar content.

** For me, the 5 cups of icing was just right for about 2 dozen cupcakes.

8 Responses

  1. Kate says:

    I freeze cupcakes all the time, including frosted ones from my favorite bakery 5 hours away. They come out fantastic and just about like new!

  2. SY says:

    My younger son was allergic to eggs so I would bake a dozen egg-free cupcakes and freeze them. Then at his preschool when someone had a bday celebration I would whip one out of the freeze and sprinkle just a bit of confectioner’s sugar on it and by the time they had snack at school, the cupcake was good to go. I tasted a cupcake just to make sure it was okay after freezing and it’s true, if you pack it right and don’t wait too long, the cupcake stays fresher than I thought it would.

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  7. [...] The menu was simple, wholesome, and easy to make ahead: mama made chicken fingers corn pudding carrot sticks (which never made it out… oops) guacamole black bean dip tortilla chips and chocolate chip & devil’s food cupcakes with chocolate chip buttercream [...]

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