First of all, a big congratulations to my youngest (but not so little anymore) brother, Colin, for turning into such a great tennis player, making it to states, and for a whole list of other senior year festivities that could take up this whole post. I'm so proud! Tonight's the high school tennis banquet, and my mom asked if I could make a dessert for her to take. Of course I pitched this huge fit about how I hate to bake and I've got absolutely no free time...HA. Enjoy.
I made these darling little tennis themed cupcakes in Trenton High School colors with my favorite chocolate cake recipe and a thick buttercream frosting.
Although I don't make chocolate cake very often, in this case I thought it would look nice with the other colors I was planning to use and would also be a good flavor for a dish to pass. Whenever I do make chocolate cake, I swear by this recipe:
2 2/3 cup flour
1 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk (I rarely have buttermilk on hand, but luckily it's got a very simple substitute. Just add one tablespoon of vinegar to just under a cup of regular milk--we usually have skim--and stir. Let it sit for about ten minutes and poof! Buttermilk substitute.)
1 1/4 cup of brewed coffee, cooled
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 sticks of butter (I almost always use salted butter, but if you know me at all you know that things rarely taste too salty for me. That being said, no one has ever complained about it altering the taste of my cake too much either, but you could definitely use unsalted or skip the table salt.)
2 1/2 cups of sugar
1 tsp vanila extract
Preheat the oven to 350. in a large bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sift to combined. Add the buttermilk, coffee, oil, and butter and mix until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and sugar and cream until well combined, then add the eggs one at a time. Line cupcake tin as usual, and fill standard cupcake papers 2/3 of the way full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20-25 minutes.
*Note: I considered doubling this recipe, forgetting that it makes so. many. cupcakes. I got 32 full-sized cupcakes out of this recipe, and I didn't skimp on the last few.
For the frosting, I made a thick buttercream that I sort of made up as I went along today, but it looked something like this:
2 sticks softened butter (again, I used salted)
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp milk
Cream together till it's light and fluffy and the consistency you prefer.
The tennis balls were super easy--I just bought green melting chocolate discs from the cake store I'm head over heels for. Then I left some of my frosting food coloring-less and painted on the tiny lines. So cute.
Did I mention how awesome Colin is? Good luck giving your speech, bud. :)