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melissa palmer cake

Chocolate Stoopid Cupcakes

by Melissa Palmer

The Cakes

1 cup sugar

½ cup oil (if you have a half a cup of rendered bacon fat on hand … that’ll do too but I’m trying not to kill anyone.

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp rum extract (real rum if you have it)

1 large egg

1 ¼ cup Cake flour

¾ c Dutch processed cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 cup milk plus 2 T vinegar (trust me)

These are the fudgiest little devils you’ll ever try. First preheat your oven to 350 degrees (325 if you are using convection bake.) Line your cupcake pans. Resist the temptation to get mixing up first. You’ll thank yourself when those cups are ready for you when the batter is ready to go. Put your milk in the measuring cup. Add in the vinegar and forget it happened. Let it sit. Strange things will happen. In a few minutes it will look like you’ve done something terribly wrong. But you haven’t. What you’re doing is saving yourself a trip to the store to buy buttermilk. (It’s basically the secret elixir to fluffy cakes. But aside from that it’s basically gross. So save yourself.) . In a medium bowl combine your dry ingredients: your flour, your cocoa, your salt and baking soda. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat butter and extracts together on medium. Add your oil in slowly. Then comes the egg. Mix until fully incorporated. Now, the fun. Take a third of your dry bowl and add to the big bowl and thoroughly beat. Then add a third of your milk concoction and do the same. Continue adding thirds alternately, ending with your dry ingredients. Your final mix will look like a deep, dark, bowl of lava deliciousness. (Avoid drinking batter with a straw. Salmonella and all…)

Fill your cake liners about 2/3 full. You don’t want them overfilled and you don’t want a wimpy cupcake.

Bake for 18-22 minutes. Times will vary according to ovens but use your nose and a trusty toothpick. If they smell baked, it’s usually a great indication they are. And if a toothpick inserted comes up dry, you win.

melissa cake

The Frosting

3 ¾ cups confectioners sugar

½ cup butter (softened)

2 tsp vanilla

3 T milk or heavy cream if you have it.


*I have been baking since I was big enough to reach the table and the most important thing I learned as far is making buttercream is the importance of letting your butter soften correctly. Don’t jam it in the microwave and try to half melt it soft. This will not work. If you MUST use technology to help the process, I recommend a very low setting (like defrost) in thirty second increments. Trust me. Hard butter makes for curdled frosting, yes. But too soft or melted butter makes for a runny mess.

Beat your butter and sugar on a low setting, lest sweet snow will fall in your kitchen! Once it starts coming together you can kick up your setting to medium and add your vanilla. Beat at medium for at least a minute. It will become fluffier and more tempting as you aerate the mixture.

Add milk a little at a time until the spreading consistency you want is reached.


(I top mine with a chocolate chip to be sassy. But you can drizzle melted chocolate or sprinkle with cocoa powder and powdered sugar. You can go 50’s style and top with sprinkles. They’re your sweets. Have fun with them!)



Change your Chocolate Stoopids to Hell Kitties by adding a half tsp cayenne pepper to your dry mix.

And if that’s not jacked up enough you can sub whiskey for milk in the frosting. :]