I’ve apparently been on a candy bar kick. Either that, or they’ve been haunting me in my dreams and I need to let them go. I made Twix cookies to get rid of the last of the Twix in the pantry, and now I’ve done the same with Milky Ways. Eric and I were invited to a barbecue yesterday and I thought this would be the perfect backyard treat.
You could probably put any candy bar in this cupcake batter (for example, if you’re going to use Snickers, I’d have a peanut butter frosting), but this is what I had to work with. I put the candy bars in the freezer for about 10 minutes so I could have clean chunks, and the caramel and chocolate wouldn’t melt as I was chopping.
Having cut-up Milky Way in the batter created little pockets of caramel gooey-ness, and let me tell you, they were gooey! And rich. Eat it with a tall glass of cold milk. And only have one, as they are VERY decadent, and you don’t want a stomach ache. Because then you’ll need Tums, and probably won’t want to eat these cupcakes anymore, and that’d be bad. What makes these cupcakes so good starts out with quality ingredients, and two ingredients I don’t skimp on are cocoa powder and vanilla. Buy a higher end cocoa powder and your cupcakes and frosting will taste that much better. And not all real vanilla extracts are made the same. I always use Nielsen-Massey.
I like to use Ghirardelli for the cocoa powder, (mainly because I can find it at the higher-end grocery store), but any high-end chocolate will do. (I’ve found that Nestle and Hershey’s cocoa powders are just too milk chocolatel-y and don’t yield a rich chocolate flavor.)
Whisk the sugar, vegetable oil, ground espresso, egg, and vanilla until smooth.
Alternately whisk in the flour mixture and some buttermilk until all is incorporated.
Fold in the candy bar chunks.
Spoon into muffin tins filling about 3/4 of the way. (You will have some batter leftover, so if you want to make 3 or so more, you’d have enough.)
Bake for 22-27 minutes, or until a toothpick entered comes out clean.
To make the chocolate buttercream frosting, sift 2 cups powdered sugar. Sifting the sugar is important because it takes the lumps out. They won’t come out when you beat it in the mixer. You want a smooth buttercream frosting.
Add cocoa powder and espresso and set aside.
Using a mixer, beat the butter until pale and creamy. Make sure it’s at room temperature first! Then add 1/2 of the powdered sugar mixture and all of the milk and vanilla. Mix until all is incorporated.
Then add rest of the powdered sugar mixture and beat for about 2-3 minutes.
Scoop some of the mixture into a pastry bag with a large coupler and tip. (If you don’t have a pastry bag with a large tip, you can just use a knife.)
Then pipe the frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes, and add some cut-up candy bar as a garnish.
For Christmas, my in-laws bought me a muffin tin with a plastic carrying case. As part of the top plastic transport was a cupcake tier that you could assemble when you arrived at your destination. Genious! Here it is at my friend’s house, all put together.
All 12 cupcakes fit perfectly. And they travelled so nicely. Great ending to a spring evening. xoxo
Candy Bar Cupcakesprintable version
makes 12 cupcakes
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 c sugar
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 T ground espresso
1 large egg
1 1/2 t vanilla
3/4 c buttermilk
2 large Milky Way bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk sugar, oil, espresso, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Alternately whisk flour mixture and buttermilk. Stir in chopped candy bars.
Bake for 22-27 minutes or until toothpick entered comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 c milk + a few Tablespoons to adjust consistency (do not use non-fat!)
1 t espresso powder
1 t vanilla
1 large Milky Way bar, chopped
Beat butter on medium speed in a mixer with a paddle attachment until pale and creamy. Mix cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and espresso powder (you can use ground espresso too) in a separate bowl. On low speed, add half of the powdered sugar mixture, followed directly by the milk. Bring the speed up to medium. Go back to low speed and add the rest of the powdered sugar mixture. If it seems too thick, add a little more milk until desired consistency is achieved. Beat on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes before spreading on cooled cupcakes. Top with cut-up Milky Way.