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Chocolate Cupcakes with Seven Minute Frosting

Billowy, pillowy, marshmallowy Seven Minute Frosting has always been my favorite atop cupcakes, not only by virtue of their look and ease (no need to spread neatly or pipe through a piping bag) but by the fact that they are made with egg whites and sugar, no half pound of butter or shortening to weigh those cupcakes down.

If your kids are all about the sprinkles, these make a perfect canvas!

Classic Chocolate Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk (regular or soy)
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee or boiling water

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt, breaking up any lumps of brown sugar and cocoa.

Add the milk, oil, eggs and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add the coffee and beat on low speed just until blended. The batter will be thin.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake 20-25 minutes, until the tops are springy to the touch. Let them cool, tipped in their pans, on a wire rack. Cool completely before you frost them. Makes about 2 dozen.

Seven Minute Frosting

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. light or golden corn syrup or honey
1/3 cup water
2 large egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla, coconut, maple, mint, or other flavored extract

In the top of a double boiler or in a clean stainless steel bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and egg whites. Make sure the simmering water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl or double boiler you only need an inch or two of water in the pot.

Beat the sugar mixture with an electric mixer on high speed for about 7 minutes, until it stands in billowy peaks. Remove it from the heat and beat in the vanilla. Use immediately. If you use sprinkles, add them right after you frost your cupcakes, before the frosting has a chance to set, so that they’ll stick.

To make Seafoam (Brown Sugar) Frosting: Substitute packed dark or golden brown sugar for the white sugar.

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