Gretchen's table: A Valentine's Day cupcake recipe, with extra flavor from coffee

Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Entertaining

Valentine's Day is so intertwined with chocolate that the two are almost synonymous. Yet it doesn't have to come in a red, heart-shaped box to make your special someone(s) feel the love on Feb. 14. A really good chocolate cake hits the sweet spot on V Day too.

These moist and tender cupcakes should satisfy even the pickiest chocolate lover's cocoa cravings. Sweetened with white and brown sugars, the batter is enhanced with a secret ingredient most everyone has at the ready — a cup of very strong, freshly brewed coffee, which amplifies the chocolate flavor.

The original recipe in "Baking for the Holidays" is meant to make three 6-inch "gift" cakes, but I opted for Valentine-themed cupcakes. (You'll make enough batter for 48 mini cupcakes or 2 dozen regular-sized cupcakes.)

Made from simple, everyday ingredients, they're easy enough to whip up on a school night with the kids. Or, make them in advance to sneak into your sweetheart's lunchbox.

I added strawberry jam to the frosting to give it color and a sweet, strawberry flavor but you could also use strawberry puree or opt for plain vanilla icing. Sprinkles, colored sanding sugar, miniature sandwich cookies and chocolate kisses add texture, color and a bit of holiday flair.




PG tested

For cupcakes

1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature


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