These were intended to be a Valentine’s day treat, but after tasting them I decided they’re a good idea for any occasion! And it’s not like these are any great deviation from the norm here – pink, ruffles and chocolate are a common affair at SprinkleBakes – at any time of the year. So I decided to go ahead and post them today.
The chocolate cake recipe comes from my favorite quick “one bowl” batter, but I’ve pared down the quantity considerably. This recipe makes exactly 9 standard cupcakes. You might squeeze in an extra cupcake (to make an even 10) if you effectively scrape every last bit of batter from the bowl with a rubber spatula. That means no sampling the batter or licking the bowl – which is why I will always end up with 9 cupcakes instead of 10.
One thing is for certain, these cupcakes are all about variety. You get a little of everything – rich chocolate cake, vanilla and strawberry buttercream, and a surprise flavor-filled bonbon on top!
I chose a small box of Belgian chocolates with an assortment of fillings: strawberry, hazelnut, almond, coconut, pistachio and Cointreau. I also bought some gold-foil cordials because they are my absolute favorite!
The frosting technique uses two decorator piping tips, both of which come in this Ateco set (you may remember that I recommended it in my gifts for bakers post). You can buy the tips individually too, so I listed them separately in the “supplies” section under the recipe.
I certainly think these are perfect for Valentine’s day, but I can also see them being made for a girly birthday party or bridal shower. They are super simple to make and the decoration could not be easier – just pop a chocolate on top! I had a lot of fun with these. Hope you do too!
Neapolitan Bonbon Cupcakes
Yield: 9 or 10 cupcakes. Usually 9 for me.
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. hot water
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsp. canola or other vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line muffin tin with cupcake papers; set aside.
- Sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda,
baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, water, heavy cream,
oil and vanilla. Mix with a hand held mixer until smooth.
- Divide batter among cupcake papers, filling each
¾ full. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool before frosting.
Vanilla and strawberry frostings; topping:
unsalted butter, softened
cups confectioners’ sugar – the finest you can find (usually 10 x)
tsp. vanilla extract
Few drops of liquid red food coloring
flavoring (McCormick makes Strawberry extract, but I like to use a couple of
drops of LorAnn Strawberry flavoring oil to taste.)
or heavy cream, optional
10 assorted filled bon-bon type chocolates
- In a
stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the butter and confectioners’
sugar. Begin mixing on low speed until crumbly, and then increase to high
and beat for 3 minutes. Add vanilla
extract and beat again for another minute until light and fluffy. Transfer 1/3
of the vanilla frosting to a piping bag fitted with Ateco 40S decorator tip or Wilton drop flower tip 2D.
- Beat the remaining frosting on medium speed,
adding the red food coloring in a little at a time until the desired pink color
intensity is achieved. Add strawberry extract or strawberry flavoring oil. Transfer pink icing to a piping bag fitted
with a large open star tip, Ateco brand #828 or Wilton tip 8B. Pipe small stars of icing around the outside edge
of the cupcakes with the white vanilla frosting. Pipe a large swirl of pink
frosting in the middle of the cupcake, making two passes with the piping
bag. Top each cupcake with a chocolate
*Note: If you find the buttercream is too stiff, you may add
milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is spreading