Black and White Cupcakes

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The Oscars were on Sunday night and I don’t think I have to tell you that my eyes were glued to the show.

Literally. I watched it in my brain.

To celebrate the big wins for The Artist, I wanted to make some black and white cupcakes. Get it? Because the film was in black and white?

So you see, my intentions were good. As The Artist kept winning, these cupcakes grew grander and fancier in my imagination. They would possibly end up being the Prettiest Cupcakes Ever Baked and Frosted and Eaten.

Well, that didn’t happen. It was my first time trying two-tone frosting, and my conclusion about that is: I need to Google a different tutorial.

My chocolate frosting came out too brown and my sprinkles looked silly. But you know what? These cupcakes tasted amazing. I wanted to get a picture of the middle of the cupcake to show you the cream cheese center, but they literally didn’t last long enough.

Maybe these won’t win whatever is equivalent to the Oscars for cupcakes, but they were surprisingly easy to make and crazy good. And eat.

Black Bottom Cupcakes
adapted from allrecipes 

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1-1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with baking cups.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, 1/3 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy. Set aside.

3. In a separate large bowl, mix together the flour, remaining 1 cup of sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla, stirring until just combined.

4. Fill cupcake liners 1/3 full with the chocolate batter, and then scoop a little less than a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture on top. Scoop one more tablespoon of the chocolate batter on top of that. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops of the cupcakes are firm and set.

Vanilla Buttercream

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

1. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar and salt until blended. Add milk and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy.

Chocolate Buttercream

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. Cream the butter and cocoa powder until blended. Add the milk and vanilla extract, mixing until just combined. Mix in the powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.

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