Floreine Hudspeth’s Hoosier Cupcakes

Hoosier+Cupcakes+w+choc+glaze

I love recipes named after people, especially when they have names like Floreine Hudspeth. It appeals to that part of me that craves connection not only with the source of our food, but with those who prepare it. (The same appeal that makes Aunt Jemima and Betty Crocker such popular brands.)

Today was like Christmas and W’s birthday all rolled into one. October 15th has been talked about for at least a month around here, it being the release date of How to Train Your Dragon, only the very best thing that has ever happened to a certain 5 year old boy who lives here. And so since there’s no school on Friday afternoons we arranged an impromptu soiree with W’s cousins and a couple BFFs from kindergarten. He asked as he was leaving for school if there might be cupcakes, and I remembered at close to noon that I had yet to produce any.

Instead of flipping through the internet, I pulled The Fannie Farmer Baking Book off the shelf and in the chocolate cake section found Floreine’s recipe (which was actually for a cake, not cupcakes, but they worked swimmingly) – although I have no idea why it was called a hoosier cake, how could I not make it?

Of course I changed it – knocked down the sugar and swapped some canola oil for the butter, and although I am totally making her “Gravy Icing” someday, which oddly contains flour but which Marion Cunningham describes as “the fluffiest frosting imaginable”, I had exactly ten minutes to frost them before running out the door and leaving Mike with the little boy madhouse. You can see speed was the only important factor when ladling the batter into the paper cups.

So I made – seriously, don’t snicker – a quick ganache. Which I swear is infinitely faster than the beaten butter-sugar method – ganache is a word like deglazing, which only means to splash any kind of liquid into a hot pan after you’ve cooked something to get up the browned bits. A ganache is just warmed cream with chocolate stirred in – toss in a handful of chocolate chips and leave it – they’ll melt in the cream after a minute or so – then stir until smooth. I was trying to avoid the inch-thick swirl of buttercream that just gets eaten off the top of a cupcake anyway, and so didn’t even wait for the ganache to cool – I dipped the tops of each into the chocolate and then, wanting to appeal to a room of four to seven-year olds, sprinkled them with green sugar. (I didn’t have any sprinkles.)

The cakes themselves are nice and dense and moist, not too sweet and nicely domed on top. You make a paste out of cocoa and boiling water, which is cool, and as with most of my favourite chocolate cake recipes, there’s coffee – it won’t make them taste like coffee, I promise. If you’re worried about the caffeine, pick up a jar of instant decaf and keep it in your cupboard to use for baking, as you would a bottle of vanilla.

AuthorJulie

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup boiling water
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup cold strong coffee
2 tsp. vanilla
Chocolate Glaze:
1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 cup corn syrup
4 oz. chocolate, chopped

1

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugars for a minute, until well blended. Add the eggs and beat for two minutes, until pale and creamy.

2
3

Meanwhile, stir together the cocoa and boiling water - it will make a thick paste. Beat it into the butter-sugar mixture. Add half the flour, the baking soda and salt, beating on low just until combined. Add the coffee and vanilla, then the rest of the flour, beating just until blended. Divide among paper-lined muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes, until the tops are springy to the touch. Tilt them on their sides to allow steam to escape and help them cool before frosting. To make the glossy chocolate glaze, heat the cream with the corn syrup, then stir in the chocolate and set aside for a few minutes, until it melts. Stir until smooth and use it to dip or drizzle the cupcakes.

4
5

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes.

Category

Ingredients

 1/4 cup butter, softened
 1/4 cup canola oil
 1 cup sugar
 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
 2 large eggs
 1/2 cup cocoa
 1/2 cup boiling water
 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
 1 tsp. baking soda
 1/4 tsp. salt
 1 cup cold strong coffee
 2 tsp. vanilla
 
Chocolate Glaze:
 1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
 1/4 cup corn syrup
 4 oz. chocolate, chopped

Directions

1

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugars for a minute, until well blended. Add the eggs and beat for two minutes, until pale and creamy.

2
3

Meanwhile, stir together the cocoa and boiling water - it will make a thick paste. Beat it into the butter-sugar mixture. Add half the flour, the baking soda and salt, beating on low just until combined. Add the coffee and vanilla, then the rest of the flour, beating just until blended. Divide among paper-lined muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes, until the tops are springy to the touch. Tilt them on their sides to allow steam to escape and help them cool before frosting. To make the glossy chocolate glaze, heat the cream with the corn syrup, then stir in the chocolate and set aside for a few minutes, until it melts. Stir until smooth and use it to dip or drizzle the cupcakes.

4
5

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes.

Floreine Hudspeth’s Hoosier Cupcakes
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23 comments on “Floreine Hudspeth’s Hoosier Cupcakes

  1. Manon from Ontario
    October 16, 2010 at 5:40 am

    I will have to try this recipe, they look mouth watering ;p

    Today is our open house at the new kiosk…wish me luck! We have worked very hard to make all our products and this morning we are working on our maple cotton candy….

    Have a great weekend Julie 🙂

  2. Melanie
    October 16, 2010 at 8:36 am

    This is a great idea for discussion. As a mom of four plus a dog and a husband, I feel continuously challenged when it comes to meals and supporting locally grown / sustainable food sources. I think, for us, it comes down to accessibility and affordability. I love the local farmer’s markets however, being in a smaller community, these are now done and our only option is to drive into Calgary. Working full time and commuting takes away much of my day and so actually ‘living’ this dream becomes so incredibly challenging as time becomes of the essence when grocery shopping… I’d love to hear how other families meet this challenge when living in smaller communities where access is more limited – ease and convenience somehow seem to slip right in there…

  3. Sharlene
    October 16, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Looks delicious. I’m not sure what makes them “hoosier” either but my stomach doesn’t need to know the reasons for such things anyhow 🙂

  4. Cathy
    October 16, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Thank you so much for the Crockpot! I am so looking forward to replacing my 30 year old relic.
    Last night was German night at our house. My Med School daughter is home for a few weeks,loves themed dinners and got together with her friends for spaetzle, chicken and veal schnitzel, sweet and sour red cabbage and baked apples. The spaetzle maker was the hit of the evening. Guess who did most of the cooking??

  5. Carol SB
    October 16, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Manon! Maple syrup cotton candy! If only I lived four provinces closer.
    Melanie– I think you are right about the challenges. You are making conscious decisions, and that’s half the battle right there. I kind of look at it this way: you have your responsibility to yourself, your family, your community (immediate), and your greater community (world). Sometimes you compromise: you have to. When you can, you make purchases/ decisions that are “right” for all four of your areas of responsibility. Your patterns over a lifetime are what are important. Yes, those patterns are made up of all the things you do in the meantime. But this stage is (believe it or not!) short. The compromises you make are necessary. When you can buy/ consume in a sustainable fashion, you do. And as we all make noise for more local, sustainable food… accessibility is following. Affordability will, too.
    Julie, you are a rock star among moms! The cupcakes look amazing. Perfectly domed. I agree with W. about the movie; the art, the story, the people in it are just the best.
    I think I’ll put it on my Christmas Wish list.

  6. Colleen
    October 16, 2010 at 11:41 am

    OOOH. I haven’t made cupcakes forever and I am dying to try the silicone cupcake cups I bought on sale at NOOD. Has anyone ever used them? I think I will make these this weekend. And I have cream and choc chips – ganache it is. Thanks Julie.

  7. Barb
    October 16, 2010 at 11:58 am

    How did it get to be World Food Day without me knowing? I realize I have been busy lately but still; I missed it. I had some Harvest Pumpkin Soup for lunch that might be worthy but the rest of the day doesn’t even deserve a mention. The soup also featured some sliced mushrooms and a bit of curry. It was very good.

  8. Ellen
    October 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I was lucky enough to attend World Food Day at the FAO in Rome last year. (Has it already been a full year? wow.) Call me naive, but it was shocking to me how bureaucratic, one sided and unproductive it was. A lot of the same rhetoric on repeat, all the while emphasizing the one! billion! hungry! and how that number continues to increase. There was no practical discussion about what’s causing this inequality, or recognition that increased food production and technology (ie. GMO’s) has proven to not be the answer. It was disheartening.

    Sorry, rant for the day. I feel a lot like your sister when it comes to these issues; although it is the opposite of relaxing, it is very satisfying to do something that you’re passionate about.

  9. Leah
    October 16, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I have yet to try coffee in my cupcakes, but it almost sounds like it could streamline my morning a little ;} it’s definitely on the to do list this weekend!
    Tonight I am excited to go to an Indian Potluck. It will be full of amazing food and even better friends. Hurray for Curry!

  10. Linda
    October 16, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Tonight dinner was corn chowder (with bacon) and freshly made buns.

  11. Merry120
    October 16, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Thank you for the new crockpot! I can’t wait to try it out!

    BTW – These cupcakes look YUMMY!

  12. Dorothy
    October 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Ganache really is one of those things that is easy to make and can be used so many ways. Hot from the pan as a sauce, then coooled a little and swirled on cupcakes or chilled, rolled and dipped to make truffles. America’s Test Kitchen came up with the idea to make ganache, chill it til it is solid, roll it into balls, freeze them and when you want hot chocolate, toss one of the balls into a mug of milk and zap it all in the microwave. Haven’t tried it yet but it sounds good to me!

  13. Donna
    October 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Supper was homemade turkey noodle soup with dumplings.
    It is so rewarding to create something so delicious from leftover bones and spices and fresh vegetables. Some of our favorite ingredients are local: potatoes from MIL’s back yard garden, lettuce, spinich, apples and tomatoes from our yard, beef from a friend’s ranch just south of town.

  14. Kris
    October 16, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Supper here was homemade turkey stew with dumplings and then a homemade marble-chocolate chip cake with chocolate ganache icing. Yummy…my fussy kids even ate it all.

    I must try the chocolate ganache balls idea for hot chocolate; sounds wonderful!
    lol, Julie about tea being dingy water made with floor sweepings. I am struggling to try & cultivate a taste for tea. I find I can only drink a couple of cups of coffee a day but in the cooler months I want something hot to drink. I like Chai tea and english breakfast (with sugar & milk) but have been struggling to acquire a taste for others. Herbal teas taste like dish water to me.

  15. molly
    October 16, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    angrychicken raved about a frosting a while back, an old family recipe, which also included flour. So strange. Must try.

    Must also see dragon movie. Have not (unbelievably) yet.

    Don’t all the best cakes have boiling water? So odd, but it works.

  16. JoJo
    October 16, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    The omnipresence of BPA has led me to be even more grateful for whatever we can produce in our tiny home garden. No tin with plastic lining, no cash register receipt even. Yes, gardening takes up some time, but it is quicker to head out the back door to get beet greens than drive to the store.

    I look forward to the time when general awareness, and the desire for sustainable food sources, reaches the point where it once again becomes the norm to at least grow a garden and maybe even preserve some of the bounty. When even landscaping is done with an eye towards production and sustainability rather than just decoration. “Form follows function” is a basis for good design. The beautiful yard will be the one that feeds our bodies and senses.

    I realize that not everyone has the opportunity to grow food. But if those who do seize that opportunity, I believe we all benefit, because it means that more of us are aware, and care.

  17. Angela
    October 16, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Cupcakes look yummy. I wish I had someone to bake them for.
    I love tea, would luv to win and try this brand of tea in such cute containers

  18. Elaine
    October 16, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Gorgeous cupcakes! Makes me kind of want to be a five-year-old boy in Calgary…

    I heard (and was excited) recently about a collective in cities wherein people with free backyards hook up with people who want to work them in exchange for a split of the produce. One of my British friends suggested that such a method had been tried before under the name of Serfdom, but I think it’s a stellar idea, esp. for places like here in Chicago, where ground is at a premium.

  19. Jan @ Family Bites
    October 17, 2010 at 6:49 am

    I have this cookbook and have never paid attention the recipe. I think I should now. Like you, I feel the best chocolate cakes have coffee in them and I don’t even drink coffee (only tea).

    The green sugar idea is brilliant. And I’m so glad October 15th finally arrived for W.

  20. Robyn in Mountain (Ontario that is)
    October 17, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Will have to try these cupcakes and see if the recipe is in my Fanny Farmer cookbook. W is a lucky little boy and you are such a great mom!

  21. erin
    October 18, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Friday’s supper was so not appropriate for World Food day, so instead I will tell you about my son’s playschool potluck yesterday. I brought lazy cabbage rolls, but there was also pancit (rice noodles), meatballs and rice, 2 versions of scwarzie’s hashbrowns, ribs, veggies and dip, brownies and cupcakes. Delicious!!

  22. Natalie (ga)
    October 18, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I think it is great how you always search for something new to try. I just grab “grazing” and whip up your chocolate cupcakes 🙂 Even when you are trying to be quick about it, you are trying something different.

  23. New Englander
    September 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I just happened across this blog. I’ve been making this chocolate cake for 25 years. I always make it with the gravy icing. Together, they taste like the best whoopie pie you’ve ever tasted. The icing is creamy and smooth, and not greasy. Here’s a tip though: don’t try to use “light” butter or margarine in the icing because the results look extremely unappealing!!

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