Piped buttercream starbursts and chewy gumdrops make playful toppings for these ever-popular chocolate cupcakes. As the name of the recipe implies, all the ingredients come together in one bowl. Using vegetable oil instead of butter makes an exceptionally moist cake; good-quality cocoa powder, such as Valrhona, produces a deep, dark color and the best flavor. White icing and clear gumdrops combine in this elegant monochromatic motif; use multi-colored gumdrops for a more whimsical effect. You can customize the cake flavor by using a different extract in place of the vanilla; for example, anise would complement the clear gumdrops used here (increase amount of extract to 1½ teaspoons).
- Yield: 18
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup warm water
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- ¾ pound gumdrops, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, extract, and the water; beat until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
- To finish, fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium French-star tip with buttercream. Pipe 5 starbursts around perimeter of cupcake, then pipe another starburst in the center. Cupcakes can be stored up to 1 day at room temperature, or refrigerated up to 3 days, in airtight containers. Bring to room temperature and place a gumdrop in the center of each starburst before serving.