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Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cocoa Tahini Frosting

 

These were a 'just because' dessert...no special reason for them. Well, not really. I was just looking for something to pass the afternoon and to trade with a friend. She was dropping off burgers and fries; I wanted to give her a treat, too. So, I guess there was a reason after all. These are rich and chocolate-y with a splash of coffee flavor in the cakes and the savory bent of tahini in the frosting.

Ingredients makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcakes
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup organic dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/3 cup hazelnut butter (such as Nutella, you could also use tahini here as well)
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
Cocoa Tahini Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks)  butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1-1/2 cups organic powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coffee extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • Also needed: piping bag and star tip

Serving
  • chocolate for shaving

Procedure

Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.

In large mixing bowl whisk together egg, sugars, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla until well blended. Add in the cocoa powder, coffee, and warmed hazelnut butter. Mix until just combined.

Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chunks. Whisk until all dry ingredients are moistened.

Pour into prepared liners, about 1/2 cup per hollow. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cocoa Tahini Frosting
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and tahini until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix to combine. Mix in the extracts. I divided the frosting in half, mixing the cocoa powder into one half to have a pale frosting and a cocoa frosting. Place the frostings in a piping bag to top the cupcakes in a swirl pattern. Or you can up the cocoa powder to 1 cup and make the entire frosting darker. Up to you!


Serving
Once the cupcakes are completely cool, pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. Shave chocolate over the top, if desired. Refrigerate if not serving immediately. Let them stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving though.

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