Last week as I was looking through my semi-empty refrigerator I spotted a rather large, unopened container of buttermilk I purchased some time ago. With the expiration date looming I realized I was in a race against the clock before I would be forced to throw it out. The challenge? Find recipes using one ingredient – buttermilk - but NOT introduce new ones into the mix. It was a challenge I accepted (although only the cat was around to witness and she’s keeping quiet for now.)
After scouring recipes, sites and my cupboards I found a few options, one being a Devil’s food buttermilk cake recipe printed on the side of an unopened box of cake flour. A friend recently mentioned that the recipes on boxes of products (eg., cake flour, chocolate chips) are somewhat foolproof because they’ve been thoroughly tested by the manufacturer to ensure a quality outcome.
The outcome of my leftovers was a tasty batch of cupcakes and the satisfactory feeling that something so good isn’t all that bad (except for the buttercream frosting piled on top.) Despite it’s name, buttermilk is lower in fat and calories than regular milk and high in potassium, vitamin B12 and calcium. It’s also more easily digestible than whole milk and contains more lactic acid than skim milk.
All good news given the amount still left in the rather large carton in the fridge. If I’ve learned anything here it’s to buy the smaller carton next time or give the cat a treat!
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup butter (softened)
- 1 t clear vanilla
- ¾ t almond extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 ½ cups Pillsbury softasilk cake flour
- 1 cup dutch processed cocoa powder or unsweetened cocoa powder (valrhona)
- 2 t baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ cups buttermilk
Heat oven to 350 F. Place paper cupcake fillers in a pan (approx. 24-30)
Beat sugar, 1 cup butter, 1 t clear vanilla and ¾ teaspoon almond extract in a large bowl with electric mixed on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat eggs on at a time. Mix cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl; beat into creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk on medium speed. Beat 1 minute longer. Pour into cupcake liners.
Bake 18 to 24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely.
Makes approx. 24 – 28 cupcakes.
Recipe courtesy of Pillsbury.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 8 ounces unsalted butter (1 cup) cut into cubes, room temperature
- 2 pounds powdered sugar (8 cups)
- ½ cup milk (start with ¼ cup, add more until desired consistency)
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 oz. melted bittersweet chocolate, cooled
In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and milk, alternately then add vanilla and salt. Mix on low speed until fluffy and smooth. Melt chocolate until smooth. Cool. Add to the buttercream.