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)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- 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.)
- In a mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients.
- Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.
- Stir in boiling water by hand. Batter will be thin.
- 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
- Mix dry ingredients.
- Add butter, water, and vanilla.
- Beat at low speed until combined and then for an additional minute at medium speed.
- 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.)
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.