Rocky Road Cupcakes

Source: The Cupcakery

Rocky Road Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted (see Note)
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the chocolate, mixing until well incorporated.

6. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat.

7. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

8. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

9. VERY IMPORTANT: Cool the cupcakes completely before icing.

Caramel Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. cocoa powder (for color)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. caramel flavoring
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 Tbsp. heavy cream

1. With an electric mixer, cream shortening and butter together in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add vanilla and caramel flavoring to mixture and beat well on medium speed.

3. Add cocoa powder and confectioners' sugar (1 cup at a time). Beat on low to avoid powdered sugar from flying all over the place. Once everything is incorporated into the butter mixture turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for 30 seconds. Mixture will be dry.

4. Add cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a medium consistency is achieved. Keep beating for 5 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy.

5. Once icing is piped onto completely cooled cupcakes, sprinkle with mini marshmallows, chopped pecans, mini chocolate chips then drizzle with caramel and chocolate sauce.