Billy's Bakery Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Tuesday Update:
Thought you might like to read this email from I received from Billy's Bakery today:
"Thanks for writing. It's wonderful to hear that you had such a success with the cupcake recipes. I just checked out your blog and see that you found the recipe for chocolate cupcakes- that's great! It was wonderful to see us featured on your fantastic blog, it seems to be very popular. Thanks again, you've made our day!"


Since I had such great luck with Billy's Bakery Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes, I decided to see if I could find a chocolate recipe by Billy Reece (the owner of Billy's Bakery)....and I did find one. I was so excited! He was on NBC's Today Show on October 18th for National Chocolate Cupcake Day...hmmmm...I never got that email. I'm surprising someone tomorrow morning with a dozen of these puppies...her name is Karen...she's been my physical therapist for the operation I had on my hand in late February. I "graduated" last week. She is awesome and loves cupcakes...Say Hi to Karen!

Anyway, I was overjoyed to discover the recipe. And, once again, I used the giant Kitchen Aid mixer...hereafter referred to as was so much fun and much easier than my hand mixer...who care's about that old thing anymore?? The one problem I have had with KA is that what's known as the "pouring sheild" is MIA...I need to order one, because when I pour in flour or powered sugar, at first it tends to fly out of the machine! And, it's not a pretty picture, folks!

I also managed to get to the most awesome cake decorating store and bakery in's called Cakes Plus. Here is the url: I know I've blogged about this place before, but it is definitely worth a visit. They have all kinds of supplies and are so happy to help you. And they have cake decorating classes...I am thinking of doing a cake decorating class at Michaels. Has anybody done one of these? Let me know what you think!

Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Cupcakes by Billy Reece
Yields 24 to 27 cupcakes

• 2 sticks unsalted butter (8 ounces)
• 1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
• 1 cup light brown sugar (7-3/4 ounces)
• 4 large eggs (one at a time)
• 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
• 2 cups cake flour (9-1/4 ounces)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 sticks unsalted butter (8 ounces)
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
1 cup light brown sugar (7-3/4 ounces)
4 large eggs (one at a time)
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate (chocolate should be melted, then cooled for approximately 15 minutes before being added).
Add and alternate:
2 cups cake flour (9-1/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place cupcake paper into each cup of 2 muffin pans (each pan yielding 12 muffins). Then fill each cup with 1 leveled off scoop of an ice cream scooper.

Bake at 350 degrees in regular oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Simple Chocolate Buttercream by Billy Reece
• 4 sticks butter
• 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
• 2-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
• 1/4 cup whole milk
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cream (with hand or stand mixer):
4 sticks butter (16 ounces) until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes

Melt (in microwave or double boiler):
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

Set aside and allow to cool for approximately 20 minutes. After chocolate has cooled, add it to the creamed butter and mix on low speed until just combined. Scrape sides of bowl then …

2-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

On low speed of a hand or stand mixer, mix until fully incorporated; no confectioners' sugar should be visible. Mixture should be smooth and medium brown in color.

Do not refrigerate; use immediately or store in airtight container for up to 2 days.

Now, go make 'em!

Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting...from Billy's Bakery!

Billy Reece, owner of Billy's Bakery, NYC, was on Martha on May 10th and shared his "Vanilla Vanila Cupcake" recipe. I tried it today and it's awesome.
The recipe called for using the BIG Kitchen Aid which I never use...I prefer my Kitchen Aid hand mixer. But, whoa baby, when I saw how it worked this recipe...I'm a convert to the BIG KA from now on! It worked the batter like a dream. Then the same thing on the frosting. What took me so long to get on the stick? Fear, I think...but after this I'm pushing that hand mixer to the back of the drawer!

I gotta tell you...this has got to be THE best vanilla cupcake recipe ever! Before this one I always tagged Magnolia as my favorite vanilla cupcake. Hey...sorry Magnolia. This one is the winner, hands question...and that includes his Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.

Here's the recipe:

Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes about 30 cupcakes
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.

2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.

3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.

4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Billy's Vanilla Buttercream

Colored sprinkles, for decorating (optional)
Makes enough for 30 cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.


Tiramisu Cupcakes with Mascarpone Cream: Happy Birthday, Jesse!

I took on a challenge the other night at our dinner (really, it's about eating) make these Tiramisu Cupcakes with Mascarpone Cream from Cupcakes Galore...which I did make last night, in honor of Jesse's birthday...which is Friday! I'll say just one word about these cupcakes and especially the Mascarpone Cream: YUM!

The author of CG, Gail Wagman, points out that "Tiramisu is an Italian cake usually made with sponge cake or ladyfingers soaked in a mixture of coffee and Marsala, filled with mascarpone cream and topped with grated chocolate."

I love this book. Wagman's recipes are so fun and different that you never get bored. But, this was one of the most challenging cupcake recipes I've made, first because I don't really know how tiramisu should look, and second because it calls for lots of "folding" of ingredients. I mean I know how to fold laundry, but "fold dry ingredients" or "gently fold in remaining whites"....this type of folding is still a bit of a problem for me!

The topping was straightforward and easy to make and turned out to be delicious and so creamy...I used both Kahlua in the Mascarpone Cream, and sprinkled Marsala over each cupcake. Everything turned out so well that even Layla came around to try to get a taste of the Jesse's birthday cupcake!

Happy Birthday, Jesse!

Hey Kids...You Could Win an IPOD NANO!

I know this isn't about cupcakes...but I thought you'd like to know...the University of Maryland has a contest going right now for a chance to win a 150th Anniversary iPod Nano. It's pretty cool...blank front and silver back with the Maryland logo engraved on it. The sweepstakes end on October 23...that's the end of our 150th Anniversary. What have you got to lose??

Dont' forget to vote for TurtleBoy...Taste theTradition...when you get there!

All Things Cupcake...You, Too, Can Have a Cupcake Welcome Mat!

I was checking up on "All Things Cupcake" today and I found some goodies!

This is pretty cool...It's a cupcake box to give someone a cupcake in! Here's the description: "Ivory cupcake box with simple linen design is great for packaging cupcakes. Boxes have hinged lids and are collapsable for quick and easy assembly. Box size: 7cm x 7cm x 7xm. Boxes are also available in white. Ribbon and cupcake are not included." You can find it at

Now how cute is this door mat?? It's being auctioned on EBay (the UK version)...bidding goes until May 12th! Go for it!

And then I found this adorable duvet cover through a web site called Kelkoo...You can also get curtains, a light fixture, some cushions, and decorative stickers!

A new cupcake book that doesn't seem to be available here yet...Cupcakes and Fairy Cakes...from the Australian Women's Weekly...Here's one review: "Cupcakes are wonderful for afternoon tea of course, but these splendid and original little cakes should be given a much bigger role than that. Serve them as a special dessert at a chic dinner party (a different cupcake for each guest) or make a loved one (adult or child) a cupcake as a birthday cake. While the cupcakes in this book look like little works of art, the instructions on making them are clear and undaunting."

And, last...but definitely not I know this is random, but these things are called ...seriously... Cleavage Cupcakes joke...they even come with a recipe:

"Cleavage Cupcakes are plump little 'pick-me-ups', pop them in and they will leave you 'perfectly risen'
one size fits all clear in colour, real in feel

Cupcakes Recipe (serves 2)
1. Remove soft gel inserts from box
2. Layer gel insert into bra or bathing suit sliding gently into place directly underneath breast,
3. Repeat.
4. Watch cup rise. Serve hot."

Now, these folks know how to make cupcakes!

Cup-A-Cake Hits the Washington Post!!

Kids: Check this out...Cup-A-Cake...the cupcake holder I blogged about a couple of weeks a really cute little story in the Washington Post today!!! So cool!

Here's what they say:

"One Singular Confection
Thursday, May 4, 2006; Page H03

Okay, so it's not a key to peace in our time, but the very modesty of its mission has a certain charm: a way to transport individual cupcakes. The Container Store is actually selling a plastic case big enough to fit just one cupcake without smearing the frosting. The organizational emporium jumped at the chance to sell shelter for the trendiest of baked goods -- now the subject of blogs, cookbooks and even national days of honor -- according to a company spokeswoman. No word yet whether anyone is buying.

The Cup-A-Cake holder is available in stores now and soon at in teal, pink and royal blue for $2.99 each. Also available at ."

Pretty awesome!