Thursday, April 16, 2009

Flour Frosting V2 and Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake


Cleaner, smoother and quicker! After getting a suggestion from Kate, who commented in my other post to replace flour for cornstarch, I decided to give it a try. As soon as I had the excuse to bake cupcakes, I immediately knew that this would be the frosting to make along with Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake. I've been dying to make these two things for the longest time and finally use my 1M tip!! I don't know what it is about the swirl, but everytime I see it on a cupcake, it just makes me smile.

Flour frosting V2 definitely tastes better. I think it partly has to do with cornstarch itself and partly because the milk/sugar/starch mixture is heated for less time so the milk flavour is less concentrated. Thickening with cornstarch is a bit different than flour though and you can't just dump it in and stir like crazy.

Here are some tips I found on google for thickening with cornstarch
* Make a slurry - dissolve 1 tbsp of cornstarch in 2 tbsp of cold liquid (water or in this case, milk) to prevent lumps
* Add slurry to the heated mixture you want to thicken
* Do not stir too vigorously or the starch granules will break and lose its thickening power
* Don't let the starch mixture come to a rolling boil or cook too long
* Don't lick the spoon you are stirring with or the enzymes in your saliva might break down the starch
* Acidic foods might weaken the thickening
* Too much sugar might weaken the thickening

As for the cake, my favourite chocolate cake recipe is still the old fashioned chocolate cake from Cook's Illustrated. There are a few more steps and messy bowls, but there's something about butter and possibly the method they use that I think really makes the difference in texture. Hershey's is good in that it's insanely moist and generally a crowd favourite because of that. It will probably be my go-to for a quick and easy chocolate cake when I'm short on time. I'll probably add some melted chocolate next time for greater depth in flavour because this cake was just a tiny bit flat for me. I think it has more to do with the cocoa I used because it wasn't the best quality, but it was the only natural cocoa I could find.

Flour Frosting V2

1 cup milk, divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter, cut into tablespoon sized chunks at room temperature, but not too soft

Heat 3/4 cup milk, 1 cup sugar and a pinch of salt in a pot over medium heat until sugar is dissolved but do not let it come to a boil.

Make a slurry with the starch and remaining 1/4 cup milk. Stir to get rid of lumps

Pour starch slurry into milk and sugar mixture and continue heating over medium heat. Stir , but not vigorously or else the starch mixture might liquify. After 1 minute, tiny bubbles will appear on the side and mixture should thicken. Continue heating for 1-2 minutes to get cook out the flour taste. Mixture should be thickened by now. Don't let mixture come to a rolling boil or else the starch granules might break.

Pour thickened mixture into a bowl of standing mixer and cool until room temperature by leaving it out on the counter or in the fridge for 1 hour. Don't let it get cold or else it will take forever for the butter to incorporate with the mixture.

Cut butter into tablespoon chunks. On medium low speed, add the butter by the tablespoon until it is all incorporated. Increase the speed to medium or medium high and beat until it comes together (approx 5 minutes). During these 5 minutes, the frosting is going to transform from a curdled mess into a fluffy and soft frosting. If it takes a longer time to come together, just be patient and continue whipping until it gets fluffy.

Add vanilla and continue mixing at low speed for 1 minute.

Use immediately. If using later, you will have to rewhip the frosting.

Hershey's Perfect Chocolate Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa (natural)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
(I added 1 tsp of instant coffee)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.

ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.


  1. Please come decorate my baked goods for me - your skills are uncanny!!

  2. Oh goodness years ago I made that same Hershey's cake and it was amazing. After seeing this I need to do it in cupcake form. Nice!

  3. oh steph - that frosting decoration is so impeccable. i have to bake a cake for my father this weekend and i'd like to decorate his cake, but i have no experience whatsoever in treat decoration. do you have any tips on how to get started and what materials to buy?

    thanks :)

  4. I've been looking for a new frosting recipe to make next week for my friend's bday cupcakes. This just may be it. Thanks for posting!!

  5. wow! thnks for the frosting recipe! I usually hate making the frosting, but this sounds fool-proof even for me!

  6. This looks great! Wonderful job decorating these bad boys, I cannot frost like that to save my life :)

  7. You combined cooked frosting with my favorite choco cake recipe... I LOVE YOU!!!

  8. yummy sounding cuppie:) So prettily decorated too!

  9. I have to say that flour frosting doesn't SOUND very I'm glad it actually is. And I've had this recipe (the cake) on my list for ages and ages...if it's your favorite, Steph, then I know it's good!

  10. I used the Hersey's recipe for Michael's bday cake - it is perfect! These cupcakes look delicious!

  11. Beautiful picture and I love how yuo write about baking! Thansk for sharing your tips - can't wiat to try this frosting! x

  12. Those look really good Steph! I'm a big fan of the Hershey's chocolate cake recipe.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on the hamburger cupcakes. To answer your question, I really liked the vanilla cupcake recipe I tried. The cupcakes were tender and moist and the vanilla flavor really shines through. My only complaint about them (which is really only relevant to those hamburger cupcakes) is that they didn't brown quite enough for me. I think if they were darker they'd have made more realistic buns :)

  13. Love Hersheys recipe! I will have to try this frosting. Glad you liked it. The cupcakes are super cute!

  14. Wow! That frosting looks amazing.

    I liked your tips about making the frosting...not licking the spoon and putting it back.

    The first thing I thought of was rats! I love licking the spoon.

    I get Cook's Illustrated in the mail and all of their recipes are so amazing, you can't really go wrong with them!

    Thanks for posting such beautiful cupcakes!!

  15. These are gorgeous! I have horrible piping skills, it's sad really. I've never made a flour frosting before but I want to try.

  16. Those look really nice man I'm a big fan of the chocolate cake recipe.

  17. It's amazing what a difference a bit of corn starch can make. It's a miracle worker :) These cupcakes look fantastic--from the frosting to the rich chocolate cake, I'm in love.

  18. Yeah, I'm loving the swirl and the sprinkles on that cupcake! Definitely one happy looking little goody.

  19. The swirl is so whimsical isn't it - it could make cement look good. I have to try this chocolate cake recipe since we're doing 3 different kinds for Psychgrad's wedding and chocolate is one of the flavours.
    BTW - the cupcake liners came from Michael's - they have minis too.

  20. I love your blog! Thankyou!!

  21. that cupcake looks perfect. i've never tried hershey's chocolate cake before although i always use their recipe for hot chocolate since it's so easy.

  22. Your decorating skills are fantastic, and these cupcakes look amazing! Thanks for the cornstarch tips. I am way overdue to make some chocolate cupcakes, I think!

  23. Thanks for the frosting tips. With my cake collaborating with Charity I've been trying different types of frostings.

    I hate to say but all frostings make me smile though I can see why the swirled ones might make you smile a little more.

  24. Such a perfect frosting swirl - wish I could do that!

  25. I love the swirl! So cute! My fan club's favorite chocolate cake is that Hersheys one. Its quick and easy and always leaves you with a moist, light chocolate cake. I also like it with the Special Dark Cocoa too. Nice job, those cakes are so cute!

  26. Was it the weekend when it was happy?

  27. I love how chocolatey the cake looks. I need to try this one on the kids next. Your cupcake is perfect!

  28. I would have never thought to use cornstarch instead. What a great tip - and delicious looking cupcakes!

  29. Very creative frosting! I've never use a frosting recipe that called for flour or cornstarch. I will have to try this sometime.

  30. Thoser are so cute! I'm going to have to try that recipe...

  31. The colorful sprinkles alone make me happy! But it's that dark, moist chocolate cake that really puts me over the edge. Nice!

  32. While I was reading I kept scrolling back to look at the picture - the swirl and the sprinkles made me smile too! Weldone!!

  33. I am working on finding the best frosting recipe right now for my own recipe book for personal use and I think you have definitely come up with a great possibility for me....I am going to go for the V2 flour and Cassies SMBC combo since you say this is your fav choice for a frosting..I am going to use it on cupcakes. I found the Billys Vanilla to be the best out of all that I tried. I will be searching your blog to see what your choices are...thanks for all the info. Great ideas and tips and photos too!

  34. Yum, that cupcake looks like the perfect chocolate fix!

  35. Hi. I was just wondering what tip and size you use to make your frosting that big and pretty? :)

  36. Eeep. Sorry, my eyes must have missed the 1M part that you wrote. xD

  37. it looks perfect! i plan to make it for our sunday lunch. :)

  38. really delicious dishes my mouth has started watering to taste them.

  39. I just made this frosting and it is amazing, amazing.

    So, thumbs up!

  40. Do you think it would be fine if instead of using vanilla extract, I substitute in strawberry extract? I am also thinking of adding color to it but I don't have any liquid food coloring right now, only powder ones. Do you think that would work or would it affect the frosting? ^^

  41. I so can't wait to try this frosting! I loved your version of flour frosting the first time round!! Cupcake looks amazing!! I <3 your blog!

  42. I've made this frosting multiple times and it's magnificent. It's much easier than swiss meringue buttercream and it tastes just as amazing! :) One time, I even added finely diced mangoes for a delicious mango frosting paired with Billy's Vanilla Cupcake. Thank you for posting this recipe!

  43. it was a little time consuming, but well worth it!! We really liked it! And when I say time consuming I mean I didn't like to have to wait for it to cool down, cause I wanted to hurry up and taste it!! I liked how it held up for some lace borders.

  44. How much flour is used?

  45. i just tried this recipe and my search for the perfect butercream frosting is finally over!!! It's not too sweet and it can hold shape (I replaced half of the butter with vegetable shortening because we have a very hot weather here)! ...I was in doubt at first because the starch mixture is a bit liquidy and i was only using a hand held mixer, but then, i increased the speed of my mixer to high... beat it a little longer... added little more patience (lol!)... and my hard beating paidoff!!!... thank you so much for posting this recipe... and oh, the cupcake was indeed so easy to do, very moist and tender! Cheers!

  46. i just tried this recipe and my search for the perfect butercream frosting is finally over!!! It's not too sweet and it can hold shape (I replaced half of the butter with vegetable shortening because we have a very hot weather here)! ...I was in doubt at first because the starch mixture is a bit liquidy and i was only using a hand held mixer, but then, i increased the speed of my mixer to high... beat it a little longer... added little more patience (lol!)... and my hard beating paidoff!!!... thank you so much for posting this recipe... and oh, the cupcake was indeed so easy to do, very moist and tender! Cheers!

  47. I cannot wait to try this frosting. I LOVE the flour frosting and I think using cornstarch is just genius...



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