Lunchbox Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Filling

My little peanuts are very tired from their first few weeks back at school, so I baked them a special treat for their lunchboxes. They were so tasty, with a light and soft texture that is like a boxed cake mix. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes. It comes together pretty quickly. The cupcake part is adapted from Taste of Home, with my mom’s chocolate frosting recipe.

The cupcakes:

You will need:

3 cups flour

3 cups sugar

1/3 cup cocoa

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup of milk

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup of water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

1. In your stand mixer combine all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt). If you are using a hand mixer, use a very large bowl.

2. Add all the wet ingredients. Beat until smooth.

3. Bake at 375 degrees for 17-20 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.

4. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Allow to cool completely before putting in filling.

The filling:

*You will want a big piping bag that can hold its shape.  I use the large size of these, which will hold the full recipe just fine, and can be washed in the dishwasher.*

You will need:

1/4 cup of softened butter

1/4 cup of shortening

2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Tiny pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients and blend on low speed. Then turn up the speed to medium high and beat until very fluffy. This will take a few minutes.

2. Prepare your piping bag with a small star tip. Fill the bag with the cream filling.

3. To fill the cupcakes, flip them over and stab them through the paper liners with the pastry bag tip. Squeeze about five seconds. Cut open the cupcake and see how much filling is inside. Adjust your next squeeze accordingly.

4. If you are having a hard time breaking through the paper, you can poke a hole with a toothpick. You should use all the filling with 24 cupcakes. Wipe off the bottoms when you are done.

The frosting:

You will need:

1/2 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup baking cocoa

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup of milk

1 tsp. Vanilla

Directions:

1. Using electric mixer, combine melted butter and cocoa on low speed.

2. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, increasing speed slowly. Add vanilla. Let frosting beat on medium speed until spreadable. Add more milk, very slowly, if needed.

3. Frost your cupcakes! (There will be extra frosting.)

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