Secret Ingredient Chocolate Cupcake…….

I have my two favorite chocolate cupcakes that are my go to chocolate cake. This is pretty much the same recipe as those, but these have a secret ingredient. Cranberry juice. You don’t taste it….you would never even know it’s there. But it does cut the sweetness a bit and makes for a fluffy cupcake.

If a cake or cupcake recipe ever calls for water, I rarely use water. I will use hot coffee, leftover coffee, milk, ginger ale, 7 up, fruit juice and even beer. I highly recommend trying this especially if you are using a boxed cake mix.

Anyway, let’s get back to this cupcake. Yum. The frosting is a milk chocolate frosting and it is DELICIOUS. It’s creamy, rich and decadent.

Just plop a fresh cranberry or two on top to make it look holiday-ish.


Secret Ingredient Chocolate Cupcake

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cranberry juice (or water if you don’t like cranberry juice)
1/2  cup sour cream
1/4  cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350°. Line standard muffin pan with paper liners. Sift cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, cranberry juice, sour cream, oil, and vanilla. Mix until smooth by hand whisk or mixer.
Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 15-18 minutes or until you poke a toothpick in the cake and it comes out clean. Let cool. Frost (makes 18-20 cuppies)

Milk Chocolate Frosting

8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2-3 Tblsp unsweetened cocoa powder (add more if you like a more intense chocolate flavor
1 tsp vanilla
1  16 oz box of powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the butter and cream cheese until very creamy and smooth. Add the vanilla, cocoa and sugar. Whip until very fluffy. If it’s too thick, add a few drops of milk or cream. If it appears too thin, add more powdered sugar.

Frost cupcakes and top with fresh cranberries or any berry, or some shaved white chocolate, dark chocolate, etc.