Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Pretzel Buttercream Frosting

Two special birthdays call for lots of special cupcakes! When your dad and your bf have the same birthday you know you better whip up something special.This year I took a risk with a new recipe and it turned out great! These cupcakes are the perfect balance of sweet and salty! I don’t know a man in my life that wouldn’t want to celebrate his birthday with these!

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Start by making the cupcakes (you have seen this one before):

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcake Recipe:

Makes about 20 cupcakes

Ingredients:

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil

1 3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 tsp salt

2 large eggs

2 large egg yokes

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and baking soda. Carefully pour in boiling water and whisk until bubbling subsides and mixture is well blended, allow to cool for 5 min. Meanwhile, in a separate large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on low speed, blend together melted butter, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt until well combined. Stir in eggs and yolks, mixing just until combined. Blend in cocoa mixture then blend in heavy cream. Slowly mix in flour and blend until combined, while scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Divide batter into lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 of the way full. Bake in preheated oven about 18-20 min. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Pretzel Buttercream:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup ground pretzels (about 2 cups whole pretzels)

In a large bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar. Stir in vanilla extract, then fold in the ground pretzels. Since the pretzels really thicken up the buttercream, don’t try to pipe the frosting. Instead, scoop the frosting on top of the cupcake and spread into a cute little mound. (If you want to heavily frost your cupcakes, like in the photos, you’ll need to double this recipe. If you’re going for a simple spread, this is enough buttercream to cover all 24 cupcakes.) Top with chocolate covered pretzels, if desired. Don’t forget to add the sprinkles!