The Perfect Cupcake

author: sarahjane

created: 2006-06-05 15:35:50

servings: 12


These cupcakes come from Cooks' Illustrated and do indeed seem perfect, as least to me. Simple yet sophisticated, they are sure to appeal to adults and kids alike (I can attest to this having just tested them at an all-ages baby shower). The original recipe makes 12, but I doubled it and it made 24 beautifully.


Chocolate Ganache Icing 1 cup heavy cream 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped Rainbow sprinkles Make icing before cupcakes in order to allow it to cool (I actually made it a couple of days in advance, which the original recipe doesn't recommend, but it seemed fine to me). Bring cream to boil in small saucepan. Stir in chocolate and whisk until melted and combined Chill in fridge until cool, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Whip at medium speed until fluffy and mousse-like and mixture forms medium-stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. If making in advance, return to fridge, but be sure to allow to room temperature before using, as it is very dense. Reserve rainbow sprinkles for topping. Cupcakes 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flower 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup sugar 8 tbsp/1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup sour cream 1 large egg, at room temperature 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature 1 1/2 tsp vanilla Adjust oven rack to middle position (if baking a double batch, you will have to use two racks and rotate cupcakes halfway through baking). Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners (preferably silver) on baking sheet. Sift together flour and baking powder. Whisk in salt. Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture. Beat until smooth and shiny, about 1 minute. Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners using an ice-cream scoop. Bake 20-25 minutes until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into centre comes out clean (I would use the latter as your guide as cupcakes probably won't bake evenly and some will be gold and others quite pale - you don't want to overbake these). Cool on wire rack until room temperature, about 1 hour. Spread 2-3 generous tbsp icing on each cooled cupcake. Top with rainbow sprinkles. Serve.