Classic Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

“Dessert Party!” read the Evite, in big purple letters.  What could get my attention faster than that?!  Classic Cupcake

I immediately began planning what to bring.  Since the party was to celebrate a friend’s birthday, cupcakes seemed like a logical choice.

I considered going crazy with a fancy cupcake flavor, but I didn’t know a lot of the party guests, so I wasn’t sure if they’d be into coconut, mocha, Oreo, or other fun flavors.  You also never know about food allergies. I decided to “play it safe” with a classic flavor, and I’m glad I did!

I used Williams-Sonoma’s All-Natural Chocolate Cupcake Mix, which I bought on a whim when it was on sale.  I followed the directions to warm the ingredients to room temperature and was rewarded with 12 beautiful, glossy cupcakes (and enough batter left over to make 8 mini ones for myself!) Note: the mini ones baked at 350 for about 12 minutes.

The cake was not too sweet, which was perfect since I planned to top the cupcakes with a sweet frosting.  Actually, I liked eating the mini cupcakes without any frosting, but you can’t bring naked cupcakes to a party!

I made a simple vanilla buttercream frosting (secret: use a generous amount of bourbon vanilla extract) and used my new disposable pastry bags to top the cupcakes.  They were easy and quite popular at the party, despite all the other temptations there.  I definitely have to make them again!