Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Birthday Cupcakes

About a month ago I made Pioneer Woman's infamous chocolate sheet cake for company.  I was going to blog about how completely, drop dead, amazing it was but the cake was gone before I had a chance to take a picture - and then life moved on.  However, today is your lucky day because it just so happens I used the same recipe to make Ella's birthday cupcakes and true to form - it's a  keeper!

This recipe produces the moistest, chocolateyest (ha - I think I just made a new word) batter ever!  In it's sheet cake form it borders on fudge.  I think the secret ingredient is probably the buttermilk - but you can decide that for yourself.  All I know is  - it's good.

Chocolate Sheet Cake ~ Pioneer Woman


  • 2 cups Flour

  • 2 cups Sugar

  • ¼ teaspoons Salt

  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa

  • 2 sticks Butter

  • 1 cup Boiling Water

  • ½ cups Buttermilk

  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs

  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda

  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

  • Note: I use an 18×13 sheet cake pan.
    In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
    In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
    Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

    In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.

    And you can't have chocolate cupcakes without frosting right?  I decided to go all out and make homemade frosting.  It's hard to argue with a recipe titled "That's the Best Frosting I've Ever Had!" - so I didn't argue - I frosted. 

    That's the Best Frosting I've Ever Had ~ Tasty Kitchen via PW

    • 5 Tablespoons Flour
    • 1 cup Milk
    • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
    • 1 cup Butter
    • 1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)
    Bake your favorite chocolate cake and let it cool.
    In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If I’m in a hurry, I place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step. Stir in vanilla.
    While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it. If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.
    Grab a spoon and taste this wonderful goodness. If there is any left after your taste test, spread it on a cooled chocolate cake.
    Cut yourself a piece and put it on a pretty plate. Grab a fork and prepare to experience the most divine pairing you can imagine. This frosting on chocolate cake is to die for. Sure, the recipe sounds strange — it has flour in it — but it’s sublime. Try it, you’ll see. You’ll love it so much you won’t go back.

    Final review:  the cake recipe turned out great in cupcake form.  I would definitely do it again, although I still prefer the sheet cake version the best.  The frosting is really, really yummy - however it's a little tricky.  I messed up somewhere along the way and ended up with a few rice textured lumps.  Also, it's a little bit of a strange consistency - somewhere between needing to stick it in the fridge and not.  Pioneer woman recommends serving it the same day you've made it but that's often not always practical.  That said - the taste is really fantastic and not overpowering for the chocolate.

    We had the best time at Ella's party!  I would highly recommend Create a Memory to anyone for a kid's party venue.  I was very impressed with the staff and the girls loved it.  I think it may have been the calmest, easiest kid party I've ever done.  It helps that Ella invited some amazing girls  - aren't they beautiful?

    Have a terrific Tuesday all!