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Double Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Citrus Infused Frosting

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I am going to be honest with you, summer is not my favorite season. I know, the girl from Florida hates summer? How does that happen? While most people are laying out on the beach, I tend to spend the majority of my time hibernating in air conditioned facilities (hence the pale skin tone). Despite all these negative connotations, I will say that like most instances in my life, food is what saves the day. Even though the weather sucks, it is responsible for providing endless amounts of melons, corn, berries, and citrus! I could eat my weight in these ingredients all season long. This brings me to my new favorite cupcake recipe which highlights the classic combo of orange and chocolate, and let’s be honest, anything paired with chocolate is going to be good!

Whenever you see water in a chocolate cake recipe you should always sub it out for coffee! By adding coffee to a chocolate cake you’re immediately intensifying that decadent chocolate flavor. These cupcakes are super moist and light in texture and the hint of citrus gives it that refreshing twist for summer!

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For the cakes…

makes about 24 medium cupcakes

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed coffee (on the strong side)

For the citrus frosting…

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2/3 cup dark cocoa powder
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 milk
2 TBS freshly squeezed orange juice (OR orange liquor if you have it)
1 TBS orange zest (could be more or less depending on your preference)

A little bit of this frosting goes a long way, so I simply used a small spatula to spread a little on each cupcake.

Directions:

1.Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or line 28 to 30 muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups.
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 coffee (batter will be thin).
3.Pour batter into prepared pans or fill cups about 2/3 full with batter. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans or 22 to 25 minutes for cupcakes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

To prepare frosting…

1.Melt butter, Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk/orange juice combo, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in zest.

*I stored these cupcakes in an air tight container in the fridge and they kept for about two weeks! Just take them out to warm up before eating.

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