Monday, January 27, 2014

Chocolate "Pupcakes" for a Puppy Paw-ty

Once again, I saw a picture of something and thought, I can do that. Too bad mine didn't turn out as nicely as hers but at least I got to try this out for a fairly small family gathering before I attempted to make them for the entire first grade class! (Note: I will not be doing that. I have a simpler game plan in mind for the actual birthday-at-school cupcakes.)

The main problem I faced was that the cake was so wonderfully moist and the frosting was a bit dry, so those two didn't pair as well as I had hoped. While they didn't look as lovely as I had hoped, they were quite delicious! Here's how I made my chocolate "pupcakes."

Dark Chocolate Cake (makes 28 cupcakes)


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used extra virgin olive instead.)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup boiling water (recipe calls for 2/3 - 1 cup)


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare pans. (Recipe says two 9 inch rounds or one 9"x13". I was planning cupcakes, so I lined two muffin tins with brown paper liners that I had found on clearance at Walmart for $1.50.)
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients.
  4. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.
  5. Stir in boiling water by hand. Batter will be thin.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes for cupcakes. (Mine were done after 18 minutes, and they were filled about 2/3 full.) For 9 inch rounds, the recipe says to bake for 30-35 minutes, and about 5 minutes longer for a rectangular pan.

No-Cook Fudge Frosting (recipe from my friend Jenifer)


  • 4 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Mix dry ingredients.
  2. Add butter, water, and vanilla. 
  3. Beat at low speed until combined and then for an additional minute at medium speed.
  4. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes. (Huh? Okay, I skipped this, so maybe that was why it came out dry? Also, she told me I probably shouldn't have skimped on the sifting. I started this, but gave up part way through... And now I know that if nothing else works, add more liquid.)
Decorating Pupcakes:
For the eyes: I used either brown mini M&M's or brown Reese's Pieces.
For the noses: For the faces with mini M&M eyes, I used a brown Reese's Pieces. For the others, I used a mini Reese's peanut butter cup.
For the ears and mouths: I used large pretzel twists and broke them (easier said than done) to make pointy ears. With the remaining pieces, I did my best to shape them into cute mouths (again, easier said than done. And just now, I notice that the original picture shows different types of puppy faces...)
For the tongues: I used my kitchen scissors to trim strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups into the proper shape.

All around, I had a problem with having decorated these pupcakes the day before they were to be eaten. The Fruit Roll-ups turned kind of melty. The pretzels became stale, oddly enough. And since that frosting was a tad bit dry, the eyes and noses really didn't want to stay in place whatsoever. Not my best cake ever, but probably not my worst either. Oh well, like I said, I have another idea in mind for the next round.

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