White chocolate mocha cupcakes (with homemade cupcake liners!)
White Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes
I have mentioned my great affinity for Starbuck’s peppermint white chocolate mocha before, so it should come as no surprise that I’ve had this particular cupcake on my “to be baked” list for a while now. (Next time I think I’ll add a little peppermint extract to either the frosting or the cupcake. Makes me smile just to think about it!) I made these today as an early Valentine’s Day gift. I thought I had everything – I had even picked up chocolate covered espresso beans to decorate with – but when I went to grab my cupcake liners from the pantry, guess what? I only had TWO! I do have gads of Christmas liners, but that just doesn’t set a Valentine’s Day mood, so I figured there had to be some way to make my own. I googled a little bit and found these directions for homemade cupcake liners and I LOVE them. They are adorable and could so easily be decorated to suit any occasion. They are frankly just too cute.
I used parchment paper for my cupcake liners. Using a 4″ wide circle as my template, I lightly traced on the parchment paper with pencil. To speed things up, I folded each strip of parchment into a tri-fold so I was cutting three cupcake liners at a time. I used pinking shears to fancy them up a bit, but I think cutting out 4″ squares would look pretty too.
You will need to have a 1/4 cup measuring cup and a bottle or jar that fits just about perfectly inside the measuring cup. Place your cupcake liner on top of the cup so it looks even, then gently push it in using the bottle. When you remove the bottle, lightly press the pleats you’ve created so they keep their shape when you move them to your muffin tin.
I love that every cupcake liner is a little different from the next. I think they are so quaint and sweet. If I was in a big rush, I’d likely turn to the store-bought cupcake liners, but if I’ve got the time and want to make my cupcakes extra-special, I will definitely make my own liners. I think these would look especially pretty with a thin ribbon tied around the middle.
Now, onto the cupcakes! I used a recipe for Mocha Cupcakes that I found at I Heart Cuppycakes. It makes a nice, moist cake and it has a great flavor. The coffee isn’t too much for it, which was initially what I was worried about. Even someone who isn’t a coffee drinker will enjoy these.
Recipe: Mocha Cupcakes
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temp
Preheat to 350°F. Line cupcake pan with liners.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a measuring cup, combine the milk and brewed coffee.
In a stand mixer, using a flat beater on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the flour mixture.
Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool before frosting cupcakes.
**I got way more cupcakes out of this than I expected. I ended up with 22 cupcakes, so my liners must have been a little smaller than the original recipe used. I also cut the baking time to 13 minutes and they are perfectly baked.**
Recipe: White Chocolate Buttercream Icing
**I found this recipe at recipezaar, and even though it tastes good, I doubt if I’d use it again. It was so soft that I ended up not even adding the cream to it because I was afraid it would run right out of my pastry bag if I added any liquid. Maybe it actually would have worked as a thickener, but I wasn’t willing to risk it and ruin a whole batch of icing. I put the frosted cupcakes into the fridge in the hopes that the icing will stiffen up a little bit before delivering them to my son’s school.**
1 c. butter, softened
2 c. confectioner’s sugar
6 oz. white chocolate, melted and cooled (Be sure to check the label so you are buying genuine white chocolate and not a vegetable fat – look for cocoa butter in the list of ingredients.)
3-5 Tbsp. of whipping cream or half and half
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add white chocolate. Add whipping cream 1 tbsp. at a time until it is the desired consistancy.
Makes 3 1/2 cups.