Dark Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream
A friend of mine recently made an amazing three layer cake with dark devil’s food cake and a dark chocolate pomegranate Swiss meringue buttercream. I think there may have been some additional points of awesomeness, but you get the idea. Anyway, upon tasting this delicious cake I knew that I must have the recipe. She happily sent it along, both recipes being from Sweetapolita. Here are the originals: cake and frosting. I’m not going to go through the whole recipe because Sweetapolita explains it really well, including with pictures of what each stage should look like. One batch of her cake makes about thirty cupcakes, though, and I baked them for ~15-20 minutes.
I had never made devil’s food cake *or* meringue before, so this was a new and exciting adventure in my baking! The most surprising thing to me was the way the devil’s food cake batter was very puffy/bouncy… it almost felt like a mousse!
I was also pleasantly surprised that the meringue really did fluff up and change to an opaque, shiny white after several minutes of beating. I’m sure that this isn’t terribly surprising to those of you who have made meringue before, but I thought it was nifty.
So, I made the full batch of cake, and wound up with 30 cupcakes. I halved the frosting (and used 4.5 sticks of butter instead of 5) and had more than enough to frost all of the cupcakes. I used chocolate, cinnamon, and chili powder to flavor the frosting, which turned out really well. I definitely need to invest in a pastry bag and tips for icing, because these would be so much prettier that way than just having the icing dolloped on with a spoon. I also want to get my very own stand-mixer (this one is on a VERY generous loan) and a second bowl so I can start on frosting even before cooking up all the cake batter.
The cake itself turned out really moist and fluffy, which I love, and the centers didn’t fall! I don’t know what it is, but about half the time I make cupcakes, the centers end up falling. The frosting was really fluffy, almost like marshmallows, and the flavoring was spot on. I think I prefer my standard buttercream, which is a little more sugary and a little less fluffy, but I could definitely see this frosting being better for a cake than cupcakes. Future experiment: Bailey’s Irish Cream Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting.