A cupcake version of Black and White Cookies, with extra chocolate. There’s no butter, only a tablespoon of oil.
Black and White Cookies puzzle me. Are they cookies? Are they cakes? Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in-between.
When it comes to cookies, I prefer mine on the soft and chewy side. Sometimes I’ll be in the mood for a crispy, crunchy cookie instead. But there’s one type of cookie that I rarely have time for: cake-y cookies. They’re not bad (they’re still cookies, after all), but cake-y cookies and I are not the best of friends.
I have to give Black and White Cookies some kudos for preventing a feud between chocolate and vanilla (why settle for one flavor when you can have two?). But that sponge cake-like texture? Sorry, but no thanks. If I wanted something with a cake-like texture, I’d bake some cakes.
And, as you can see, that’s exactly what I did.
Cupcakes haven’t been ‘in’ for a while now, but I still love them. Cute, sweet and individually portioned – what’s not to love? Also, my cake-cutting skills are atrocious. If you ever receive a piece of cake that was sliced by me, expect it to be seriously lopsided. The Leaning Tower of Pisa will look remarkably straight by comparison. But with cupcakes, there’s no need to worry about any of that.
The absolute best part about cupcakes has to be this: taste-testers. You can surreptitiously eat a ‘test’ cupcake or three) and no one will know. If someone asks why there are only nine cupcakes, say the recipe only made nine (or ask them why they’re being so darn nosy).
By the way, this recipe makes 16 mini cupcakes, so you’ll get plenty of taste-testers before eating into the usual dozen.
I didn’t just make these cupcakes because I really wanted cupcakes – they were also to celebrate the fact that New York’s primary is actually considered important this year! It’s rare for the presidential primary contests (or the general election) to be contentious in New York, but this is one of those years where everything seems back-to-front, upside down, inside out, or just plain crazy.
So, to mark the April 19 primary, here’s my actual-cake version of New York’s classic, cake-y Black and White Cookies. Instead of the usual vanilla and chocolate icings, these cupcakes are topped with melted dark and white chocolates. That was partly because I love chocolate, and partly because I’m lazy (I couldn’t tell you which one was my primary motivation).
Greek-style yogurt and buttermilk keep these cupcakes nice and moist, so there’s only one tablespoon of oil in the whole recipe. There’s also no need to get out the electric beaters – or one of those insanely heavy stand mixers – since these cupcakes are made without butter.
By the way, do you know if anything became ‘the new cupcake’? It seems that everything from macarons to doughnuts to pies have been labeled ‘the new cupcake’ at some point in time. Personally, I’m not convinced that anything has truly taken the crown from the not-so-humble cupcake.
- ¾ cup (95g) all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (cornflour)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup (50g) brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup (60g) Greek-style yogurt
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon (15mL) canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup (80mL) buttermilk
- ¼ cup (40g) chopped white chocolate
- ¼ cup (40g) chopped dark chocolate
- Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease 16 mini muffin/cupcake holes (from two 12-hole pans) with cooking oil spray.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda. Add the salt, and stir to combine.
- In another large bowl, whisk the egg with a fork. Whisk in the brown sugar, yogurt, lemon zest, canola oil and vanilla extract. Add the buttermilk, and whisk until well combined.
- Pour the dry ingredients (the flour mixture) into the wet ingredients (the buttermilk mixture). Mix until just combined.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared muffin/cupcake pans, filling each hole approximately three-quarters of the way up.
- Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until the tops are dry and a skewer comes out clean (or with a few crumbs). Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooking rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before decorating.
- Toppings: Place the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on a low wattage for short intervals of 10 – 20 seconds, stirring frequently, until the chocolate has melted. Spread the white chocolate over half of each cupcake top.
- Place the dark chocolate in another microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on a low wattage for short intervals of 10 – 20 seconds, stirring frequently, until the chocolate has melted. Spread the dark chocolate over the other half of each cupcake top.
- Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.
Instead of melted white chocolate, you could use a more traditional simple sugar icing.