Flour’s Chocolate Cupcakes with Crispy Magic Frosting

Cupcakes! Oh, how I love cupcakes! But, I guess really who doesn’t?  There is just something about those thick swirls of frosting, covering a moist, delicious hand-held cake that is completely irresistible.  I have heard great things about Flour Bakery ever since Joanne Chang’s Sticky Bun Throwdown with Bobby Flay.  I chose to make her chocolate cupcakes mostly because I was intrigued by the name of the frosting- Crispy Magic Frosting.  And oh my gosh, this frosting is indeed magic.  With all the baking I do, I have somehow never made a cooked frosting.  I guess I was a bit intimidated, but it was so much easier than I thought.  First you make a meringue and then add butter, three sticks of butter to be exact. I almost had a heart attack when I read that.  It is amazing to me, how a frosting with so much butter could still taste so light and airy.  I just don’t get where the crispy comes from though. I guess it is supposed to develop a thin sugar coating as it sits, making it crispy.  But mine never did and from the reviews I read, I am not alone.  But, honestly, that really doesn’t matter, because this is hands down the best frosting I ever had, crispy or not.  And then, you pipe this delicious frosting onto a rich and moist, deeply chocolate cupcake.   Well, wow!  That’s all I can say.  My sister said she would trade one of her children for another cupcake. Now that’s one heck of a cupcake!! 😀  I think she was only half kidding Winking smile

Flour’s Chocolate Cupcakes with Crispy (?) Magic Frosting

Yield: 12 standard size cupcakes

2 oz (56 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine (I used Callebaut)

1/4 cup (30 gram) Dutch-process cocoa powder- I recommend Valrhona

1 cup (200 grams) sugar

1/2 cup (one stick/114 grams) unsalted butter

1/3 cup (80 gram) water

1/2 cup (120 gram) milk

1 egg

1 yolk (Tip:  Save the white for the frosting)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup (140 grams) flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Line your muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. In a large heatproof bowl, combine chocolate and cocoa powder.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the sugar, butter, and water, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves (3 to 4 minutes) . Pour the butter mixture over the chocolate and whisk until the mixture is smooth.  Let cool slightly and whisk the milk, egg, extra yolk, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until combined.
In a bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until blended. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.  Let the batter sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour to thicken.  Or, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F.  Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling until at least 3/4 full.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the tops spring back when pressed lightly with a fingertip and they pass a toothpick check. I would start checking at 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
2/3 cup (140 grams) granulated sugar
2  egg whites
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) of room temperature butter, very soft, cut into 2 inch pieces.  Yikes!!
1 2/3 cups (230 grams) confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
In a heatproof bowl, whisk the sugar and egg whites into a slurry.  Fill a saucepan about 1/4 full with water and bring to a simmer.  Set the bowl over the water but do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water.  Whisk for 3 to 5 minutes or until the mixture is hot to the touch. It will thin as the sugar melts and becomes more white in color.

Pour the mixture into a mixer bowl or with a hand mixer, whip on medium-high speed for 6 to 8 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and white like meringue and is cool to the touch.  At medium speed, add the butter a few chunks at a time, beating for 3 to 4 minutes or until it is all incorporated.   Add the powdered sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla and beat until smooth and satiny.  You should end up with 3 1/2 cups of frosting- way more than is needed for 12 cupcakes.  If not using immediately, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Or, you can store it up to two weeks in the fridge, allow it to soften at room temperature and then beat in the mixer for a few minutes until smooth.

Source: Flour: Spectacular Recipes From Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe

Helpful Hints:

  • Use scale measurement!
  • I had a lot of extra frosting left over- enough to frost at least 6 more cupcakes.
  • Save your extra egg white that is not needed in the cake batter for your frosting.
  • Use high quality chocolate for the best results.

Leave a comment


  1. Beautiful cupcakes! I love the swirl of frosting 🙂 Yumm!

  2. Gorgeous pics!! And the description of that frosting has me, a non-cupcake lover, wanting cupcakes! Nicely done!!

  3. |hopefully this post doesn’t appear more than once (seems like to freeze as i try and post my comment.. unsure whether or not it’s actually posting), but all I seriously wanted to say was good post and thank you for sharing.

  4. Ray

     /  May 10, 2012

    Did you use all purpose flour or cake flour?

  5. I worked at least 3 hours Sunday baking the Flour’s chocolate cupcakes with crispy magic frosting. I followed the recipe EXACTLY! The chocolate cake fell apart… Too dry? Too flakey? The minute you opened the wrapper and took a bite it fell to the liner… Like ashes. And I didn’t over bake… Maybe 25 minutes.
    The frosting was nasty… No crisp to it. It tasked like a SOLID STICK OF BUTTER. What a waste of my day off. 😦

    • I’m sorry they didn’t turn out for you Jill. I have made them a few times and we loved them. My frosting didn’t get crispy, but it was still delicious.

  6. Crystal

     /  July 21, 2013

    I used a different chocolate cake recipe, but used your frosting and the frosting was AMAZING. I took the cupcakes to work and everyone loved the frosting. My husband thought it was too buttery and asked if I could make it taste less buttery, but I’m not sure that’s even possible. This frosting is way better than cream cheese or buttercream. It was light, airy, and PERFECT. And it held its shape well during piping.

  7. Staci

     /  July 8, 2014

    Will it work to make the frosting with a hand mixer? I’m at a rental house and that’s all there is. Thanks!!

  8. Jess u

     /  November 7, 2014

    Can you add food coloring to make colored frosting?

  1. Flour’s Chocolate Cupcakes with Crispy Magic Frosting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: