I saw this post last year on Cake Journal's site and have been looking for the #12 Wilton tip ever since. Of course I only looked a couple of places and did a few half-hearted searches online but never ran across it. Today, while doing some unrelated Christmas shopping, I noticed that a store that I go to infrequently now has a cake decorating display, including a whole rack of tips. Sure enough, there was the tip I wanted.
The truth is that I had absolutely no reason in the world to make cupcakes today -- but seriously -- look at how cute those are!!! (I think it's the closet girl in me coming out...)
Since I had no reason to actually make cupcakes though I didn't want to make a huge recipe. I finally remembered that Dorie had a chocolate cupcake recipe in her book that only makes 12 cupcakes, and despite the fact that chocolate and buttercream frosting wasn't at the top of my list of flavor combinations, I decided to do it anyway. After all, I really cared far more about what they looked like then what they tasted like, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who will be delighted with chocolate cake and buttercream frosting.
And the sad thing is that those super cute little cupcakes are really, really easy to make. The hardest part is filling the piping bags... honestly. The grass/fur tip is really forgiving, and if you smudge a bit or go a little heavy-handed, it just looks like a particularly hairy furry monster. :)
For the cupcake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Fit the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan with paper muffin cups, or butter them with flour and tap out the excess.
To make the cupcakes—
Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until it is blended into the butter. Add the egg, then the yolk, beating 1 minute after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the vanilla, then reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear. Scrape down the bowl and add the buttermilk, mixing until incorporated, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl, add the melted chocolate and mix it in with the rubber spatula. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin molds.
Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes are dry and springy to the touch and a knife inserted into their centers comes out clean. Transfer the muffin pan to a rack and let the cakes cool for 5 minutes before unmolding. Cool to room temperature on the rack before frosting.