July 5, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Speculoos Frosting

Remember this fabulous cake? For the frosting, I had to substitute peanut butter for Biscoff, because I didn't know where to find any. Turns out Whole Foods sells Biscoff (near the peanut butter), also known as Speculoos, but I know I looked there before and they didn't have any. My story is corroborated by the check-out lady, who, when she rang up the Speculoos, said that it must be new and she'd have to try it herself.


What is Biscoff/Speculoos? Have you ever flown Delta and been offered their cookies? The cookies are Biscoff brand, but are a cookie known as speculoos, a shortbread cookie with cinnamon. By some weird magic, they turn the cookies into a smooth spread, like nutella or peanut butter. The spread is what is used in the frosting recipe. I used a partial jar for the frosting and then ate the rest with a spoon. It's pretty yummy.

I had no need to make a fancy cake, so I made some chocolate cupcakes to top with the Speculoos frosting. This frosting was very good; the speculoos spread added a deep flavor to the chocolate that I almost couldn't identify as cinnamon spice. But if I closed my eyes and thought about it, I could detect the slight hint of cinnamon. All in all, this frosting is a sophisticated twist on just plain chocolate.

Another awesome discovery was this cupcake recipe. The recipe, by Mel's Kitchen Cafe, was mentioned by my cousin on her crazy baking blog. This may be my go-to recipe for chocolate cupcakes from now on.

Chocolate Cupcakes
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 ½ cups sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 ¼ cups warm water
1 ¼ cups buttermilk or sub coconut milk or almond milk plus 1 tsp. vinegar
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, with the rack in the middle of the oven. Prepare the cupcake pans by adding cupcake liners. Set the pans aside.

Sift together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the eggs, yolk, warm water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix on low speed (with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer) until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Fill each cupcake liner about three-quarters full. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Do not overbake! Remove the pans from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool. Once cool, remove cupcakes from pan and frost. Makes about 2.5 dozen cupcakes.

Speculoos Frosting - see this post

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