By now, I'm sure most of you guys have your menus planned out, ingredients all chopped and prepped, your desserts made ahead of time, etc, etc. But today's recipe is more for the folks like me, the guys who left everything last minute, Team Procrastinators/There'sTooMuchGoingOnPlzLeaveMeAlone. I present to you — these cupcakes:
I know that cupcakes aren't really a traditional Thanksgiving dessert (if you want something more traditional, check out last week's recipe for pumpkin pie). But hear me out. From scratch, cupcakes come together much faster than any pie. And because they're almost always so pretty and darling, nobody will notice that you didn't bring a pumpkin or sweet potato pie. In fact, quite the opposite. Because everybody loves a good cupcake, right?
And these cupcakes are more than just good. They're friggin' great. The chocolate cake base has a healthy dose of crème fraîche, a cultured cream similar to sour cream, but milder in flavor. The crème fraîche in the batter acts in the same way buttermilk would, giving the cake a subtle tangy flavor and keeping its crumb incredibly moist.
But the real star of the show is the chocolate crème fraîche frosting. It's incredibly chocolatey, creamy, and velvety. And what's more, it's low maintenance — all you need to do is top each cupcake with a generous dollop of the stuff, and watch it set into a beautiful, shiny frosting.
And that's not even all. Because the best part is that the whole thing comes together in an hour or so. I promise. It's perfect as a last minute Thanksgiving dessert. And with cupcakes like these, who needs pie, eh?
Thank you to Vermont Creamery for sponsoring this post by providing compensation and ingredients for the recipe. I worked with them the entire month to provide recipes like red velvet cake and pumpkin pie centered around their amazing crème fraîche. It's genuinely one of my favorite ingredients to bake with, and I hope you guys give it a try sooner rather than later. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Hummingbird High and my sponsors!
Some baker's notes:
- After dividing the cupcakes, you'll likely have enough batter for one or two more additional cupcakes. DON'T, however, be tempted to use that leftover batter and fill the cupcakes some more. Because this batter creates such a light and airy crumb, overfilling the cupcakes in their tin will cause their tops to spread out weirdly across the pan. The ideal proportion is around 2 tablespoons per cupcake for that classic domed look.
- The frosting will initially seem too runny after you make it, but believe me — it will thicken as it cools. Just be patient and wait for the ideal texture. The ideal texture will be silky, spreadable, and will set into a beautiful gloss pretty soon after frosting. But also, beware! If you wait too long, however, the frosting will be too thick to spread. But don't worry — if that happens, you can always warm the mixture over a double boiler until it becomes spreadable again.