Easy Chocolate Cupcakes With Sweet Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frostingI'm not one much for Valentine's Day fanfare. Get me a card, perhaps a flower, and we're good to go. And of course, I'll bake you something decadent and sweet -- maybe something chocolatey, maybe something with sugary red frosting. Or maybe, if you're good, I'll bake you Chocolate Cupcakes With Raspberry Buttercream Frosting.

Of course, a chocolate cupcake is a chocolate cupcake. Yes, it's always delicious, and I'm yet to meet one I dislike, but something different happens when you add a sweet, reddish-pink-tinged frosting on top. It takes one of the easiest, most common desserts in the world, and adds a little something special, a little something fancy.

And, clearly, it's the perfect sweet treat for Valentine's Day.

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Chocolate Cupcakes With Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk

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For the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract 
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (about 1 lb.)
  • 1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves
  • Pink food coloring or gel icing (optional)
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries (optional)
Instructions:
For the cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
3. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
For the icing:
1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla; mix well. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add raspberry preserves and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
2. If desired, add a drop of food coloring to deepen the pink color. Ice cooled cupcakes. Garnish, if desired, with a fresh raspberry.
Image via whitneyinchicago/Flickr
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