I got it into my head the other day that I just had to make marbled cupcakes. I don’t know why. I scoured the internet for techniques but in the end, I just invented my own. I needed to use what I had on hand in the pantry and I didn’t have any buttermilk or orange peel or almond extract or baker’s chocolate or lots of other things that the recipes were calling for. So I improvised. I made two batters: one was a version of Mark Bittman’s (again?!) Golden Layer Cake batter from How to Cook Everything and the other was a pre-packaged brownie mix batter to which I added an extra egg. The extra egg in the brownie batter made it light enough to co-exist with cake batter in a cupcake. I spooned the golden batter into the cups first then added a large dollop of chocolate brownie batter. Then I simply swirled a knife through with a circular and upwards motion. Once baked and cooled, I iced them with a basic butter cream frosting and added some sprinkles. I don’t have any cake decorating tools, so my icing job looks pretty amateur (at best), but I’m learning.
Marbled Cupcakes – Chocolate Brownie + Vanilla Swirl
Makes 24 cupcakes
Vanilla Cake Batter
1 1/4 sticks butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1. Cream the butter until smooth. Add sugar gradually and continue to cream for 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each one completely before adding the next. Then beat in the vanilla extract.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk into the butter mixture, incorporating each completely before adding the next.
Chocolate Brownie Batter
1. Follow the instructions on the packaged brownie mix, but add one extra egg.
Assembling the Cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray two cupcake pans with cooking spray and insert paper cupcake liners.
2. Spoon in enough vanilla batter to fill about halfway up each cupcake liner. Then spoon in a heaping tablespoon of the chocolate batter. Take a knife and swirl it through the batter with an upward motion at the end. Don’t stir too much or the batters won’t remain delineated.
3. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. An inserted toothpick should come out clean. Cool on rack. When completely cool, ice with a simple buttercream frosting.
1 stick butter, softened
1 lb package of confectioners sugar
1/4 cup milk (more or less)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Cream the butter. Alternate adding sugar and milk, beating everything to a smooth, creamy texture. Beat in vanilla. Adjust thickness by adding milk or sugar, but remember that putting it back in the refrigerator will also thicken it up.