I guess saying “going away” isn’t the exact right term, Kyla is just leaving our office for newer, exciting things.  We’re going to miss her, but she has a fabulous opportunity that she has been offered.  And being the “Betty Crocker” of my office, I naturally asked her if she wanted some treats for her last day.  Her one request was vanilla cupcakes, with my choice in frosting, except for anything with peanut butter.  Well, that seems simple enough, but then at the same time the opportunities are endless.

Somewhere along the way I had read about chocolate cream cheese icing.  This was a new and exciting world to me, as I LOVE cream cheese frosting (but dislike carrot cake, so when I discovered red velvet cake, oh boy was I in heaven), but had never thought to flavor it.  Let me say, it’s my new favorite thing ever.  The flavor isn’t overpowering, you can still taste the cream cheese deliciousness without it being too strong of a chocolate flavor.  The cupcake recipe I used I found on the food network’s site, and it is supposedly from Magnolia Bakery in New York.

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (for this I used 2 3/4 cups regular flower and added 1 tsp. baking powder and 1 tsp. baking soda)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk (low fat works just fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers.

In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

The icing recipe I found on cupcake project, and it made just the right amount for 24 cupcakes.  I always hate when you make icing and end up throwing out half of it because the recipe makes far too much.  This one is so simple, and really good.

1 8 oz package cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 C butter (1/2 stick) at room temperature
5 C sifted powdered sugar (You can decrease this amount if you don’t care about it being as stiff for piping)
1/2 C cocoa powder (sifted)

  1. Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Mix in powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
  3. Mix in cocoa powder.

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