Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Espresso “Buttercream”

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This recipe is an adaptation from Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake.

A good chocolate cake is hard to come by. This one is great as a cake, cupcake, loaf, or cake pop. I’ve been making this chocolate cake recipe for about 10 years.

Feel free to get creative with this cake. Try topping it with fondant, sprinkles or toasted walnuts. This recipe is very adaptable. Swap out the icing for vanilla, chocolate, or any other flavour you can think of. One of my favourites is to make this as a two layer cake with whipped cream and strawberries inside, topped with chocolate frosting.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup almond milk (can swap for skim or soy)
1/2 cup extra light tasting olive oil (can also use canola)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
2 tbsp espresso powder

For the Frosting:

1 cup (2 sticks) non-dairy margarine, at room temperature
2 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp espresso powder

Directions:

For the Cupcakes:

Makes 24 cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Prepare two cupcake trays with liners.

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.

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Add eggs, almond milk, olive oil and vanilla extract and mix well for 1-2 minutes.

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In a small bowl mix boiling water with espresso powder. Allow to sit for a minute before adding to batter.

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Mix slowly. Batter should be thin.

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Bake for 22-25 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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While cooling, prepare the whipped espresso frosting

For the Frosting:

In a small bowl, mix the vanilla and espresso powder. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, whip the margarine for 5 minutes. Scrape the sides. With the mixer off, add the powdered sugar a 1/2 cup at a time, mixing in between to incorporate.

Add the vanilla espresso mixture and continue to mix on medium-high.

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Science Fact of the Week:

Using almond milk allows this recipe to be dairy free, and adds some hidden nutritional value. Almonds are low in fat, and may help maintain a healthy heart and reduce blood pressure.

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