A couple weeks ago, a friend approached me about making some cupcakes for her. She’s expecting her second child early next year and Tuesday afternoon she had an ultrasound to hopefully find out what she was having. She asked if I could make pink or blue-filled cupcakes, if she found out for sure. As it meant that I’d get to find out before anyone else and surprise the rest of our department, I agreed. That, and I didn’t require as much notice as one of the other bakeries in town.
She decided she wanted Halloween cupcakes, to sort of throw everyone off. As long as the cake part itself was chocolate, she was fine with that. The frosting on top had to be orange, to cover up what would be inside.
And there had to be sprinkles. Sprinkles make everything more fun.
To make the filling, I just scooped out some of the cupcake, using a grapefruit spoon of all things, then filled it with the correctly-colored frosting. I didn’t replace the cupcake “divet” because I was feeling lazy. That, and I figured the top frosting would hide the ugliness. It was time-consuming, but not as hard as I was expecting.
Combine the instant coffee with the boiling water, and let cool for 10 minutes or to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk together to aerate.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee, in three additions of the flour, and two of the coffee, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the lined pans, filling about 2/3 full. Alternately, to ensure there are chocolate chips in each cupcake, you can also scoop the batter into the liners, making sure you scrape the bowl from the bottom, as the chips will sink. Bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire racks.
To fill the cooled cupcakes, scoop out some of the cake from the middle, being careful not to go all the way to the bottom of the cake. An apple corer, grapefruit spoon, or melon-baller works fine to do this, although there are specially-designed gadgets for this exact purpose. Fill the hole with about a teaspoon of buttercream. Frost the top of the cupcake as desired.