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Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

May/June 2010

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These vanilla-infused cupcakes are made with applesauce as a fat-replacer for butter that’s traditionally part of vanilla cake batter. Thickened evaporated milk works as a great base for the rich and creamy chocolate frosting. Dark chocolate lovers, be sure to use bittersweet chocolate.



READER'S COMMENT:
"I made these cupcakes for my husband to take in to work and the cake tasted more like muffin rather than cake. The frosting did not turn out as it looks in the picture...it turned out as more of a glaze. Overall, these were OK but not...
Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Makes: 12 cupcakes

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Total Time:

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise (see Tip)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 12-ounce can low-fat evaporated milk, divided

Frosting

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup packed confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles for decoration

Preparation

  1. To prepare cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, cake flour, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Beat granulated sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Scrape the black paste out of the vanilla bean into the sugar mixture. Add applesauce, egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. With the mixer on low, alternately mix in the dry ingredients and 1/2 cup evaporated milk, starting and ending with dry ingredients and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until just combined. Divide the batter among the prepared cups (they will be full).
  4. Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  5. To prepare frosting: Meanwhile, whisk 2/3 cup of the remaining evaporated milk, all-purpose flour and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan until no flour lumps remain. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it looks like a thick, stiff paste, 2 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and continue whisking for about 30 seconds to cool slightly. Whisk in chocolate until completely melted. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add confectioners’ sugar, cocoa and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate the frosting until thickened and cold, about 2 hours. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the frosting (Step 5) for up to 3 days. Beat cold frosting with an electric mixer to make it more spreadable, if desired. Store cupcakes airtight at room temperature for up to 1 day. | Equipment: Muffin tin with 12 (1/2-cup) cups, paper liners
  • Ingredient Note: Look for whole-wheat pastry flour in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.
  • Tip: If you don’t have a vanilla bean, use 1 tablespoon vanilla extract in Step 3 instead.

Nutrition

Per cupcake: 295 calories; 8 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 40 mg cholesterol; 52 g carbohydrates; 30 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 2 g fiber; 253 mg sodium; 134 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 3 1/2

Exchanges: 3 1/2 carbohydrate (other), 1 1/2 fat


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