Paula Deen’s Chocolate Cupcakes

About two months ago, my eleven year old son came to me and said…wait…are you sitting down?

“Mom, do you think we could have a cooking class for home school? I really want to learn how to make things.”

Holy shit, it was like the pearly gates opened up and a choir of angels started to sing…right there in my kitchen. Yes! Yes! Oh my gosh, yes!

In all honesty, I really shouldn’t be THAT surprised…and I wasn’t. I’m exaggerating. Ever since Jacob was a wee lad, I have had him in the kitchen cooking right beside me. Most children are naturally interested in cooking. I’ve always believed that particular curiosity should be nurtured. Of course, as he’s gotten older, he has realized it’s more fun to just reap the sugar rewards than stand in the kitchen and work for them. THAT is why I was so happy to hear his interest has returned.

Here’s the problem. A family of three + lots of baked goodies = jeans that don’t fit. I’m serious. Sugar addicts are us.“Hi, my name is Toni…”

Obviously, I didn’t want that to stop us from all of the kitchen goodness we call baking. We’ve decided to only bake on Tuesdays, which are the days my husband has Masonic Lodge meetings. Guess where all of the goodies go? Yup! Straight out the door. Sometimes it’s kind of sad…and we weap. On the other hand, not only is our son learning how to cook, he is also realizing the valuable lesson of donating…even when he doesn’t want to.

With that in mind and remembering that Paula Deen was the Food.(Just Sayin’) Celeb chef of the month, we decided to try our hands at her Chocolate Cupcakes. Originally, the recipe called for coffee cream filling and buttercream frosting. Since this is a 5th grade cooking class, we pared it down and went simple: mini-sized with homemade cream cheese icing, complete with blue, yellow and white starts to represent the Lodge. Yes, I sifted through the whole container to separate out the colors we needed. What? It’s all about the details.

So how did the recipe turn out? Let’s just say…um…I about made myself sick with eating too many. Since they were mini-sized and there were soooo many and…and…and…oh hell, I couldn’t help myself. They are moist, tender and flavorful – I will be making these again for sure. Enjoy!

Recipe: Paula Deen’s Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 c. Flour
  • 2 c. Sugar
  • 3/4 c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/2 t. Baking Soda
  • 1 t. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t. Salt
  • 1 c. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 c. strong brewed Coffee, cooled
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1 8oz. container Sour Cream
  • 1 t. Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add oil, coffee, and eggs. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla.
  3. Spoon the batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, for 16 to 18 minutes. Let them cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.
  4. Spread preferred frosting evenly over the cupcakes and garnish if desired.

Quick Notes

*I prefer to use as many organic ingredients as possible.

Variations

*Just FYI: the coffee doesn’t really add a coffee flavor to the cupcakes, it just adds a richness to the flavor. We decided to make them mini-sized and also topped them with a thinner cream cheese frosting.

With this…we say goodbye to March and bid farewell to Paula Deen and her recipes. Tomorrow starts a new day, a new month and a new Celebrity Chef!

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