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Revamped boxed chocolate cupcakes

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It's not every day that your daughter turns 6 months. To celebrate, we decided we needed to have some chocolate cupcakes, even if she couldn't taste them herself. A month ago I made a doctored up boxed yellow cake for my son's birthday and this time I tried it with chocolate cake. The cake was just as moist and delicious.

This time, instead of using canned frosting, I decided to make my own from scratch. I found this recipe on Annie's Eats. I love cream cheese frosting, so adding chocolate seemed like a good idea. This frosting is fairly easy to make, but there are kind of a lot of ingredients for frosting and it turned out very thick, with a fudge-like consistency. But the flavor was excellent and added just the right amount of chocolate richness to the cupcakes.

Doctored-up Chocolate Cupcakes (recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction)
1 (15.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, applesauce eggs, and vanilla. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined.

Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.
Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes.

Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, top with your favorite buttercream recipe.

Homemade Chocolate Frosting (recipe from Annie's Eats)
9.5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

4 tbsp. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

2/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. sour cream

To make the frosting, melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Set aside to cool until just barely warm. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Gradually mix in the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Beat in the melted and cooled chocolate and then the sour cream. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Frost cupcakes immediately before the chocolate hardens and the frosting sets.

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