We have a winner!

After trying about six chocolate cake recipes and a few frosting recipes, I have chosen my favorite. This recipe received raved reviews from my testers - the VK family, the Feely family, and our Monday night Bible study. Since the cake recipe comes from Test Kitchen (and you can't access that without a password), I have copied it for you below. Note that this is for a layered chocolate cake. To make the cupcakes, simply fill the cupcakes 3/4 full and cut baking time to 14 -17 minutes. These cupcakes are very soft and delicate, so give them plenty of cooling time. I also found it worked best to let them cool in the fridge overnight and frost them the next day. This is a big recipe and makes about 30 cupcakes (at least), or a large chocolate cake. The frosting recipe is the one I had posted earlier, but I'll put it here since I did make a few helpful changes.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

Do not substitute semisweet chocolate chips for the chopped semisweet chocolate in the frosting—chocolate chips contain less cocoa butter than bar chocolate and will not melt as readily. For best results, don't make the frosting until the cakes are cooled, and use the frosting as soon as it is ready. If the frosting gets too cold and stiff to spread easily, wrap the mixer bowl with a towel soaked in hot water and mix on low speed until the frosting appears creamy and smooth. Refrigerated leftover cake should sit at room temperature before serving until the frosting softens.


12tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), very soft, plus extra for greasing pans
1 3/4cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces), plus extra for dusting pans
4ounces unsweetened chocolate , coarsely chopped
1/4cup Dutch-processed cocoa (3/4 ounce)
1/2cup hot water
1 3/4cups sugar (12 1/4 ounces)
1 1/2teaspoons baking soda
1teaspoon table salt
1cup buttermilk
2teaspoons vanilla extract
4large eggs
2large egg yolks
  1. 1. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch-round by 2-inch-high cake pans with softened butter; dust pans with flour and knock out excess. Combine chocolate, cocoa powder, and hot water in medium heatproof bowl; set bowl over saucepan containing 1 inch of simmering water and stir with rubber spatula until chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup sugar to chocolate mixture and stir until thick and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool.

  2. 2. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in small bowl. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk eggs and yolks on medium-low speed until combined, about 10 seconds. Add remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar, increase speed to high, and whisk until fluffy and lightened in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Replace whisk with paddle attachment. Add cooled chocolate mixture to egg/sugar mixture and mix on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated, 30 to 45 seconds, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add softened butter one tablespoon at a time, mixing about 10 seconds after each addition. Add about one-third of flour mixture followed by half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds). Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture (batter may appear separated). Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans (or cupcake pans); smooth batter to edges of pan with spatula.

  3. 3. Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Cool cakes to room temperature before frosting, 45 to 60 minutes.

    Buttercream Frosting

    2sticks butter, very soft
    1/4cup flour
    1cup milk
    1cup sugar (NOT powdered sugar)
    1teaspoon vanilla extract

    1. Over medium high heat on the stove, slowly mix together 1 cup milk and 1/4 cup flour. Do this by placing about 1/2 cup of the milk in and slowly whisk the flour, adding more milk so that it doesn't get too gooey or lumpy. It's important that there are no lumps, so take your time on this step. Keep whisking until all the milk and flour is mixed. It will look like glue! Let cool, and whisk occasionally so it doesn't get lumpy or stuck to the pan.

    2. With a mixer, beat butter until it is smooth and creamy, around 3 minutes. Add in sugar and beat for an additional three minutes until fluffy. Add cooled milk/flour mixture and beat 5-7 minutes until the frosting is thick and creamy.

    3. Add flavoring. I like 1 teaspoon of vanilla, but you can also do a couple of teaspoons of strong espresso or another extract. A little orange zest or cinnamon is also a nice addition.

    4. To get a chocolate frosting, make as above and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, about 1/4 cup of cocoa powder (more to taste), and about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar to sweeten it up. (To be honest, I just added a little of each and kept adding til it was what I liked, but 1/4 cup to begin should be good.)


  1. Good job, Can! Will was so inspired by your hunt to find the perfect recipe that he researched the actual science of baking a cake and came up with his very own recipe. He's crazy. It turned out a little funny (which he said might happen the first couple of times till he fine-tunes it) but overall I was totally impressed! I can't wait to try this and act like I just tweaked his recipe a little to make it perfect. haha! I'll let you know how it goes.

  2. Those are the prettiest Halloween cupcakes I have ever seen, Can! Maybe you should open a bakery!


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