Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes [frosting recipe included!]

What is the likelihood of 3 out of my 6 co-workers have birthdays within a week of each other?  Good thing they all LOVE chocolate, because it was easy for them to agree on chocolate cupcakes.

So, of course, I went to my ABSOLUTE favorite chocolate cake recipe.  It has never failed me before, and it definitely didn’t fail me this time!  It’s been a while since I made it, AND I rarely make JUST chocolate.  But it was DIVINE.  A number of people said it was one of the best they’d had.  If you’ve never tried to make cupcakes from scratch use this recipe!

I also discovered this amazing frosting recipe.  [sidenote…, previously recipezaar, is one of my favorite things] Oh. Muh. Wurd… I’m not really a frosting person.  Especially chocolate.  But MAN was this frosting AMAZING.  And pretty easy too!  Do yourself a favor and try it.

I got a new piping tip and had fun (and made some ridiculously awful looking cupcakes) trying out new stuff!  I kinda tried to make a rose.  I was pretty excited about the possibilities!

Here’s the recipe I used for frosting.  Just in case you don’t know how to click a link.

Kittencal’s Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened (don’t you dare use margarine)
2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup half-and-half cream OR 1/3 cup milk (can use unwhipped whipping cream in place of half and half)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING  **use less confectioners’ sugar when you use more cocoa powder
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (for light)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (for medium)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (for dark rich)

1.  Cream the butter in a small bowl.
2.  Blend in the cocoa powder (the amount desired for a light, medium or dark flavor), vanilla, confectioners sugar, alternately with the cream.
3.  Beat with an electric mixer, until the desired texture is achieved. (I used the whisk attachment and beat it … maybe about 5 minutes?

I added a little bit of vegetable oil to make it shiny and pretty!

Adapted from kittencal on


Food Named After Places / States

I love Wednesday night dinners. There is always a theme, the food is always delicious, and it’s a great group of people!
This week, we came up with the plan based on the fact that Michael, the host and chef, bought a “blow torch” and wanted to make Baked Alaska.

So I came up with a list of state and place themed foods! I included it at the bottom of the post. And, while we forgot about the Baked Alaska, we had one of my favorite meals so far!

Our Menu:

Waldorf Salad

Brussels Sprouts

Chicken Kiev, Texas Toast, Belmont Cocktail

Key Lime Pie

And now, what you’ve been waiting for!  THE LIST:

State Themed Foods

  • Alaskan salad roll (sushi)
  • California roll
  • Georgia peaches
  • Idaho potatoes
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • Maryland crab cakes
  • Rhode Island clam chowder (it’s tomato based with Portuguese sausage)
  • Hawaiian punch
  • Mississippi Mud Pie
  • New York cheesecake
  • New York pizza
  • Texas sheet cake
  • Texas Toast
  • Virginia ham

Other US Places: 

  • Bismarck
  • Boston baked beans
  • Boston cream pie
  • Buffalo wings
  • Chicago deep dish
  • Coney Island dogs
  • Denver omelet
  • Dodger dogs
  • Fenway Frank
  • Fresno chilies
  • Key lime pie
  • Manhattan clam chowder
  • New England clam chowder
  • Philadelphia cream cheese
  • Philly cheese steak
  • Sweet Vidalia onions

Other Places: 

  • Bologna
  • Bayonne ham
  • Béarnaise sauce
  • Beijing duck
  • Belgian waffles
  • Berliner
  • Bismarck
  • Bombay duck
  • Braunschweiger sausage – Gerhard Postpischil
  • Brazil nuts
  • Brie
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Canadian bacon
  • Caprese salad
  • Carrizo sausage
  • Catalina dressing
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Chicken Kiev
  • Chinese dumplings
  • Darjeeling (tea)
  • Derbyshire cheese
  • Dijon mustard
  • Dodger dogs
  • Dome dogs
  • Dutch baby
  • Eggs Florentine
  • Frankfurter
  • French dressing
  • French fries
  • French onion soup
  • French roast
  • French toast
  • French Vanilla
  • Fresno chilies
  • Genovese salami
  • German chocolate
  • Hamburger
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Irish stew
  • Italian ice
  • Jalapeño
  • Java
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Jordan almond
  • Lima beans
  • Limburger cheese
  • Lincolnshire cheese
  • Linzer torte
  • London broil
  • Mars bar
  • Mayonnaise
  • Milky Way
  • Moon pie
  • Monte Cristo
  • Nanaimo bars
  • Nicoise salad
  • Nile perch
  • Parma ham
  • Parmesan
  • Pasta Florentine
  • Prince Albert apple
  • Polish sausage
  • Quiche Lorraine
  • Roma tomato
  • Roquefort
  • Russian dressing
  • Sacher torte
  • Salisbury steak
  • Sandwich
  • Serrano ham
  • Szegedi goulash
  • Spanish peanuts
  • Spanish rice
  • Stilton
  • Swedish meatballs
  • Swedish pancakes
  • Swiss cheese
  • Thousand island dressing
  • Turkey
  • Turkish delight
  • Valencia oranges
  • Vienna sausage
  • Waldorf salad
  • Welsh Rarebit
  • Wiener schnitzel
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Yorkshire pudding


  • Blue Hawaii
  • Alabama Slammer
  • Long Island Iced Tea
  • Belmont Cocktail

Here is another list that has some more ideas.