Portraits of my Daughter

            I spent some time photographing her this weekend.  I was so intrigued by her drawing with the chalk on the wet concrete.  She created one masterpiece after another and just like that washed them away and started all over.   There was something really magical and beautiful about the whole process and I got swept up capturing it.

The Best Chocolate Cupcakes

  She kept asking me for cupcakes.  Day after day.  Finally, one night after work I agreed to make them.    These really are the best chocolate cupcakes.  Ever.  They are insanely moist.  Literally they were still moist a week later.  I’m not joking.  It was insane.This girl most certainly has my sweet tooth.  She loves chocolate.  And ice cream.  And cookies.  She’s clearly our daughter.  We made these a few weeks back and I’m sitting here writing this, drooling over them, wishing I had made another batch tonight.  If she wasn’t asleep I’m sure she would be wishing the same.

Chocolate Cupcakes


For the cake:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
For the Frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.  For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 cupcake pans with liners.

2.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed. In a bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.

3.  Pour the batter into the pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then remove to wire racks.

4.  Make the frosting: Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.  Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.  Frost cupcakes.  Makes about 2 cups frosting.