Or should I call them “chocolate and cassia cupcakes?” What I always thought of as cinnamon apparently is not as it seems. Why is food so tricky? Remember what I found out about currants?
“Ceylon” or “true” cinnamon comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree, originated in Sri Lanka and is the type of cinnamon commonly used in Mexico, India and Europe. “Cassia” cinnamon comes from the bark of a related tree and is what we are used to in the U.S., but also is popular in China. The latter is supposed to have a more pungent, less nuanced flavor. One of these days I’ll have to do a head-to-head taste test of canela vs. cassia.
Back to the chocolate. For a party, I made (way too many) cupcakes. So for now, I’ve taken a break from my ice cream eating and have switched it up to chocolate cupcakes. Not a bad deal. I was looking for something decadent but interesting, and these fit the bill. I think the addition of buttermilk is what keeps the cake nice and moist. I also thought that there might be too many flavors going on — chocolate, cinnamon and almond (in the buttercream frosting) — but they all work together well. You don’t taste the coffee — it just serves to enhance the chocolatey-ness. Bittersweet chocolate chips are a fabulous surprise when you bite into one.
This cake recipe would also be good for making a regular-sized cake — it’s one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve had.
Chocolate Cinnamon Buttermilk Cupcakes with Almond Buttercream Frosting
- makes about 30 -
Adapted from Epicurious.com
2 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups freshly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (such as Ghirardelli), chopped into small pieces
30 cupcake liners
Almond Buttercream Frosting
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
5 1/4 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons whipping cream
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract