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Dark Chocolate Cupcakes: A trick-or-treat stand-in

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Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Sprinkles' Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting are this year's vehicle for Halloween candy. 

All those Halloween candies that come into our lives (for many of us) once a year: Reese’s, Almond Joys, Kit Kats, Butterfingers. Well, they’re coming in a different form this year, as toppings for Dark Chocolate Cupcakes.

Trick-or-treating may be curtailed, but we still need our annual sugary fix. And because we are staying closer to home and the trick-or-treaters who we will treat are likely close friends and family, we can share something baked and unwrapped. 

The Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting from Sprinkles are, of course, a chocolate purist’s heaven. Candace Nelson isn’t famous for nothing. And when you stick a mini Halloween candy into the frosting on top, you have elevated your trick-or-treat game exponentially. 

2020 can wreak a lot of havoc, but let’s not let it mess with our Halloween treats. Happy Halloween!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
from The Sprinkles Baking Book

Ingredients for cupcakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2/3 cup buttermilk, shaken
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
Dark Chocolate Frosting (recipe below) 

Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Frosting: 

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 ½ cups confectioners sugar, sifted
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 tablespoons whole milk, if necessary

Recipe directions for cupcakes: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and vanilla.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, add the eggs one at a time, and beat until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add half the flour mixture, then the buttermilk mixture, then the remaining flour mixture, beating until just blended after each addition. 

Divide the batter evenly among the liners and bake until the tops are just dry to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting with dark chocolate frosting.

Recipe directions for Dark Chocolate Frosting: 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and salt on medium speed until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the confectioners sugar and beat until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and melted chocolate and beat until just incorporated, being careful not to incorporate too much air into the frosting. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, to achieve a spreadable consistency.

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