Cooking Fail – Cupcakes and Chocolate Frosting

My wife had been talking about cupcakes for about three days straight. And so, I had to accomodate. After all, she is making me a baby. Unfortunately, these cupcakes didn’t quite turn out. At least they tasted good.

double misnomer

As I always do whenever I am trying to make baked goods, I referred exclusively to the Western Dubuque Marching Band Cook Book. Because as far as I’m concerned, home dessert baking reached its zenith in the late 70s/early 80s. I picked the Easy Chocolate Cake recipe because it was 3 for 3 in terms of what I was looking for. Easy. Chocolate. Cake.

Also, becuase there’s only two of us in our house (until January, anyway), I always look for recipes that list eggs in an even number. That way, I can halve the recipe fairly easily.

didn't look good from the start

I’m really not much of a baker, so I followed the recipe pretty closely (substituting butter for Oleo, which I’m not sure you can even buy anymore). Nevertheless, the dough did not look right. Normally, cake batter looks like, well, cake batter. But this was runnier than pancake batter or even a custard. I was skeptical that this would turn out right, but I thought I would try and bake it anyway. After all, there was a ton of chemical levening in there, so I figured, what the hell?

chocolate frosting recipe

I’ve never made frosting before, chocolate or otherwise. So I referred again to the Western Dubuque Marching Band Cook Book and tried to follow the recipe. But when I did, it turned out really grainy. The two problems were probably that (1) when the butter was too cold, I put it in the microwave and (2) I used cocoa powder instead of actual chocolate (although the recipe told me that I could do this). So I added milk. Problem was, I added way too much milk. And it turned into a chocolate syrup.
just add milk?
By this time, the cupcakes were out of the oven, and they were weird looking. The baking soda and powder had completely pockmarked the cupcakes. They had risen a lot more than I had expected, but as they cooled, they began to collapse. They were also ridiculously difficult to get out of the muffin tin.

easy chocolate cupcakes?

I tried to frost the cupcakes, but I ended up just dousing them what ended up being a super sugary chocolate sauce. My wife didn’t seem to care how messy they were though, they hit the spot. And that’s strange, because even though the recipe calls itself a chocolate cake recipe, there isn’t actually any chocolate in the cakes. Instead, there’s coffee in it.

In actuality, I like the flavor of this cake. I like it more than white cake. And I like it more than chocolate cake. From now on, I think I’m going to put coffee in any cake I make. But, my wife wanted a chocolate cake. And this isn’t chocolate cake. 

That being said, I really liked the texture of this cake. It was nice and spongy and airy, like an angel food cake but without all that super annoying effort. Overall, the cakes were good and the frosting was good. But at the end of the day, it was really hard to call what I made a cupcake or frosting.



Filed under cookingFail, WD Marching Band

2 responses to “Cooking Fail – Cupcakes and Chocolate Frosting

  1. Sarah

    I totally understand the craving for Chocolate Cake. I had that craving everyday with Samuel and about half the time with this pregnancy. There is nothing better then Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing when you are pregnant. I have a recipe for a double chocolate pound cake (it has mini chocolate chips and instant coffee in it), if you are interested. It is yummy! Takes great with cream cheese frosting or chocolate frosting. Email me if you want it.

    • Do you have a recipe for chocolate cream cheese frosting? I don’t even kow if such a thing exists, but after reading this comment, my wife is taken with the concept.

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