I started celebrating the winter holidays in October with excessive amounts of hot cocoa, Christmas carols, and twinkle lights. It has always been my favorite time of year–despite my family’s irritation and disdain. I believe winter is the best season to bake, and these delectable cupcakes are perfect for any holiday party or a cozy night at home.

Yield: 18-24 cupcakes


Ingredients

Cupcakes

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)

⅔ cup boiling water

large eggs

teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 cup vegetable oil

1½ cups granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon Kosher salt

⅔ cup whole milk

1⅓ cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

Frosting

cups powdered sugar

⅓ cup butter or margarine, softened

1½ teaspoons vanilla

1-2 tablespoons milk


Directions

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the cocoa and hot water in a large bowl. Whisk until the cocoa is dissolved. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Add the vanilla, oil, granulated sugar, and salt. Beat until well combined.
  4. Whisk the dry mixture into the wet ingredients.
  5. In a new bowl, whisk the milk, flour, baking powder, and baking soda until combined. Add and mix into the egg mixture.
  6. Line cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. Pour the batter into the liners and bake for about 18 minutes (or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and come out clean).

Frosting

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar and butter/margarine with an electric mixer on low speed or a spoon. Mix vanilla and 1 tablespoon milk.
  2. Gradually add the remaining milk (beat in additional powdered sugar if the frosting is too thin and beat in more milk if it becomes too thick)

Recipe adapted from:

Cupcakes: Real Simple (realsimple.com)

Frosting: Betty Crocker (bettycrocker.com)