Every now and then I get a very real craving for cake. I usually steer this craving toward cupcakes, since there's no need to make an entire cake for two people. Earlier this year I made classic yellow cupcakes with a rich chocolate frosting: that combo was my go-to birthday cake request for about 5 years in a row when I was a kid, so I know I just can't go wrong with it. I actually even halved both of the below recipes, which made for a more manageable number of cupcakes for two people to consume. Both recipes were delicious classics that everyone needs in their cupcake repertoire.
Classic Yellow Cupcakes
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs plus 4 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and butter. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
Blend in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. In a small bowl or measuring cup, blend together the sour cream and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners. Bake until the cupcakes are just set and pale golden, about 20-22 minutes. Let cool in the pan about 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, frost as desired.
9.5 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
4 Tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp sour cream
To make the frosting, melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Set aside to cool until just barely warm. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Gradually mix in the confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Beat in the melted and cooled chocolate and then the sour cream. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Frost cupcakes immediately before the chocolate hardens and the frosting sets.