Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Chocolate Dirt Cupcakes (Paula Deen)

I can't help to associate kids with dirt, mud and sand. Kids especially boys ... are always so dirty! I'm always in the constant battle with dirty shirts, sand in pockets and muddy socks and shoes. All I do is clean and nag!

As always, this is a typical scene at my house...

Mum, feeling frustrated: Why are your pockets always full of sands? Why are your white socks so brown and black???

Boy: Mummy, are you feeling stressed? I think you should keep calm and keep baking!

Mum: hmmm...

Ok ok... For a second thought, my boy is right! I should stop whining and make dirt my friend... How? How about baking these fuss-free muddy dirty looking chocolate cupcakes? That would be nice!

To make my dirty cupcakes looking real dirty, I have decorated them with Stevia (also known as sugar plants). Sugar plants? Yup! We can eat these plants and they are really sweet!!! Best of all, they are calories free!

chocolate dirt cupcakes Paula Deen
Chocolate Dirt Cupcakes
Baking this dirty mocha cupcakes is super easy.
Add sifted dry ingredients and whisk! Easy, isn't it?
Divide this chocolate soupy cake mix and bake...
Making this fudgy frosting is fuss-free and easy too!
Ta-Dah! Smooth, chocolaty and fudgy!
To make dirty cupcakes, we need dirt... and I'm sacrificing 1 cupcake to make it look like dirt! 
One layer of mud plus one layer of dirt... Dirty enough???
Not looking dirty enough? A-ha! A stalk Stevia plant (sugar plant) should do the trick!
chocolate dirt cupcakes Paula Deen
Didn't know that mud and dirt can be so therapeutically delicious :)

Here's Paula Deen recipe from Food Network
(with my modification in blue)

Makes 36 cupcakes
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
(reduced to 100g for 1/3 of the recipe)
2 cups / 300g all-purpose flour
3/4 cup / 75g unsweetened cocoa powder
(I used Valrhona Dutch processed ones)

1 1/2 tsp baking soda
(replaced with baking powder)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 cup strong brewed coffee
(I used 1 tsp instant decaffeinated coffee to make 80ml for 1/3 of the recipe)
1 cup vegetable oil
(I used rice bran oil)
8 ounces / 240g sour cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Chocolate Fudge Frosting:

Makes 2 1/2 cups
1 cup heavy whipping cream
The cream cheese that I used
(replaced with 80g spreadable light cream cheese with 13.6% fat for 1/3 of the recipe)
1 cup granulated sugar
(I didn't add this)
Five 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
(I used 50g of Callebaut ones with 55% cocoa)
10 tbsp butter
(I didn't add this)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
(I used 30g for 1/3 of the recipe)

30 to 40 chocolate wafers or sandwich cookies
36 gummy worms
or cake crumbs from 1 cupcake to decorate 8 cupcakes

For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F (or 160°C fan forced). Line three 12-cup standard muffin tins with cupcake liners.In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda (I didn't add this), baking powder, salt, coffee, oil, sour cream, vanilla and eggs. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth or whisk the batter by hand. Pour into the cupcake liners, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 16 to 18 mins. Let cool in the tins for 10 mins. Remove from the tins and let cool completely on wire racks.

For the frosting: In a medium saucepan, combine the cream and granulated sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and butter, stirring until melted and smooth. Let cool for 10 mins. Whisk in the confectioners' sugar. Let the mixture cool until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Top the cooled cupcakes with the frosting. If you are making my cream cheese version, all you need to do is to melt the chocolate and allow it to cool slightly. Mix in icing sugar. Don't worry if the mixture looks lumpy at this stage. It will be smooth after the addition of cream cheese. Stir in cream cheese in small batches and slowly the frosting will become smooth and fudgy. 

For the topping: Place the cookies (or an unfrosted cupcake) into a resealable plastic bag. Crush the cookies or cake with your hands to make a "dirt" consistency. Sprinkle the frosting with cookie or cake crumbs, top with a gummy worm (or nothing) and enjoy.

Note: Using 1/3 of the recipe, I have baked 9 cupcakes at 160°C fan forced for 18 mins. I have sacrificed one to use it as dirty cake crumbs topping and yield a total of 8 frosted dirty cupcakes eventually.

Happy Baking
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  1. I can't tell you how cute these are! I bet they were yummy!

  2. ok... don't stop me.. i'm gonna eat your plant

  3. I love these! My grandson would love them too, and he's coming for a visit next week. I don't have a stevia plant, but maybe some mint would do. :)

  4. Hahaha, this dirt is edible & I bet they are very yummy too! Love the series of the photos here! The herbs play an important role to make us believe that they are dirt, hehe.

  5. So pretty! Every time your blog post appears on my Feedly reader, I'm so excited and will take my time to read the whole post. :D

  6. Zoe, these really look like dirt LOL! Very cute and I bet your boy was amused. Mum is making him eat dirt :D

  7. Oh no edible dirt! This is super cute!! Love it!

  8. I love this idea!!! looks great :D very creative~

  9. Wow! looks very realistic with real "plants" part is your dirt is edible:) very nice!

  10. this looks really delicious... love that dirt on the top... :)

  11. Hey Zoe, these dirt cupcakes look so real, like small pots of young plants! They made great gifts for friends with green fingers!

  12. Your cupcakes look so unique and cute! I don't think it looks like dirt, haha.. Okok, I know it's just a name given to your cupcake babies.. But they are really so cute, rich and full of goodness! I think I can easily pop in 3 pieces in my mouth instantly.. Just wondering, you bake every weekend? Or every few days? Coz you always got a new baking post every few days, hehe..

    1. Hi Louiz,

      I cook almost everyday except on Saturday and bake goodies on every Saturday for me and my family :D


  13. Zoey, how creative you are ! I love your plant cake , hahaha...

  14. Hi Zoe,
    This is one dirt that I would mind having on my plate! What a smashing clever idea with the "dirt"! I used to have a stevia plant, but it died due to the extremely hot weather many months ago!
    Cute cupcakes, Zoe! All thumbs up!

  15. Edible dirt is such a fun idea! I just get dirty when I'm out working in the yard -- no idea how, it just happens. ;-) Really fun post -- thanks.

  16. Another awesome recipe! i haven't made chocolate cupcakes for a LONG time! These look so soft and delicious!!

  17. So cute! My son comes home with so much sand in his shoes, we should consider building a sandbox.

  18. Now not only do I want one of those Chocolate Dirt Cupcakes, Zoe, I want to go play in the dirt too!!! I use to love making dirt cakes with my pail and shovel, lol...Adorable, Zoe! Thanks for sharing...

  19. Zoe, what I love, love about your blog...that you always share the source with all your recipes, and you so creatively adapt them to your way. Also the way you make them are so incredibly shared each and every time by you. These cute little dirt chocolate cupcakes will put a smile even on adults' faces. Very, clever, super fun, and yummy!
    Thanks for sharing!

  20. I love your dirt and they looks so yummy . Thanks for sharing :)

  21. These dirt cupcakes are so cute, I can't imagine if I were to bake these, will my kiddies dare to eat them? :)

  22. This makes me drool, Zoe! And it's something I could probably eat more than I ^.^

  23. I love these!!! It's a great idea to use cake crumbs to make the "dirt". I am going to make these for Halloween. With gummy worms crawling out!

  24. Yumm looks so good, Good recipe to try with my boys.

  25. Oh boy, I am getting hungry. Think I'm going to add a few more pounds later of this week. haha....

  26. Oh my - these are gorgeous. Who wouldn't want to tuck into one of these.

  27. Hi Zoe, this dirt cupcake is so pretty. Your little boy is so cute.

  28. What a clever idea for your boys! They look great! Really cool to see stevia plants too... I've never seen them in real life (or tasted them) but worked with stevia product before. Would love to try the real plants!

  29. Wow these look so cool! Bet they taste amazing too!