Nothing beats baking up a delicious homemade dessert with your friends and family over a holiday weekend. The sweet aroma that fills the kitchen; the mess you make while trying to crack open the perfect egg; begging your mom to finally let you lick the spatula; and of course, devouring the ooey-gooey goodness that is all things chocolate. Whether this dessert is cupcakes, a cookie cake, brownies or even a pie, it’s the time spent with loved ones over a shared appreciation of the sweet life that makes the experience worthwhile. And with Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, we wanted to share April Hamilton’s family-approved Chocolate Goddess Cupcake recipe with you—may it find a place at your kitchen table for more than just one holiday.
1 cup unbleached flour 1⁄3 cup cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup hot coffee or hot water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in middle position. Line a regular-size muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Place butter in a large microwavable bowl and melt at 30-second intervals. Whisk in brown sugar. Add milk, egg and vanilla extract, and whisk to combine. Add flour mixture and whisk just to combine (mixture will be thick). Stir in hot coffee (or water) and mix into a nearly smooth batter. Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan, dividing evenly.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until tops are slightly puffed and set in center.
Remove pan from oven, and cool cupcakes in pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Carefully turn cupcakes out and let them continue to cool, right side up, for about 10 minutes. When cool, scoop a melon-ball-size cupcake out of each cupcake and reserve for another use.*
Ingredients for icing and filling:
¼ cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 cup whipping cream
½ tsp. vanilla extract
12 small strawberries, rinsed, dried and hulled, plus additional for top garnish (raspberries also work well) *
Combine powdered sugar and cocoa in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in cream gradually. Chill mixture for 15 minutes.
Add vanilla extract to cream mixture and whip using an electric mixer or hand beater on medium speed until soft peaks form. Finish whipping on low to slowly create firmer peaks. (Goddess trick: whisk by hand!)
Transfer chocolate whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip or into a large zip-top bag with 1 corner cut off about ½ inch.
Place a hulled strawberry into each cupcake cavity and pipe with cream. Garnish each with a whole berry if desired. Refrigerate any extra cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days.