Chocolate Cupcakes

It's such an amazing feeling seeing your son happy - almost teary eyed and jumping for joy. I saw him like that when he saw the prepped cupcakes ready to be transferred to the cupcake stand before the party.

I promised him I'll make him chocolate cupcakes on their joint graduation party (with his cousin). See, it's been an issue for me whether to give him any material reward for him being in the honor roll. There's an ongoing debate on my head whether a stick-and-carrot approach on his studies will work - but my instincts say it won't. 

So I told him I'll make him cupcakes because he's been a very good son - and not specifically for his graduating with honors. I felt giving him any material reward might overshadow the "real reward" which is "graduating with honors" because he studied diligently. 

Anyway, I know that these cupcakes made him feel really good. And that's what mattered most. =)

:: :: ::

Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing
(I forgot where I got this recipe from - I've jotted it down on my recipe pad for quite some time now & forgot to note down the source.)

For the Cupcake -
1 1/3cup Flour
1/4tsp Baking Soda
2tsp Baking Powder
3/4cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/8tsp Salt
3T Butter, softened
1 1/2cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
3/4tsp Vanilla Extract
1cup Milk
For the Icing -
2cups Confectioners Sugar
1/2cup Unsalted Butter in room temperature
1tsp Vanilla Extract
2Tbsp Milk
Food Color
Candy Sprinkles (optional)
***I bought store-made edible cupcake toppers in Cars theme. W loves Lightning McQueen! =)

How I did it:
I preheated the oven to 350degF.
I mixed the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl.
In another bowl, I creamed the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
I then added the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla extract.
On medium speed (electric mixer) I added the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the milk until well incorporated.
I filled 2/3 of the muffin cups and baked it for about 15-17 minutes or until the toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
Cool the cupcakes completely before putting on the icing.

To make the icing, the creamed the butter and the confectioners sugar in a bowl.
I added the vanilla extract, milk and a drop (or two) of the food color (I chose blue but since I used only 2 drops, it's lighter - a little towards green).
When well-combined, I transferred it to a piping bag and placed icing on my cooled cupcakes.
I used the regular tip (not much art on the icing as you can see on the picture below).

The edible icing toppers I bought are flat so I used plastic straws (like the ones we use to drink tetra-pak juices) and cut each into three parts then used the buttercream icing to "weld' the topper to the straw. Once hardened, I inserted the topped into the cupcake. I sprinkled some candies over the icing too.

:: :: ::

The kids enjoyed the cupcakes! I am truly delighted that the cupcakes turned out moist inside - just the way I want it!

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