Aug 4, 2014

Celestial Chocolate Cupcakes

I've always been fascinated by events in the night sky. I took a course in university undergrad called "Origins of the University" - we studied how stars are born and how they die, beginnings of the universe and how to determine the chemical composition of distant planets and stars. 

Nowadays, I like receiving the "astronomy events" updates from National Geographic on my Facebook feed, and there's a LOT happening in August (e.g. meteor showers!).  So we thought we'd dedicate this cupcake post to the celestial events that happen in August. 

I was inspired by these celestial cupcakes I saw on the Canadian Living website. However, we decided to use a vanilla buttercream instead of plain frosting, and milk chocolate stars instead of fondant. I've never used "Royal Blue" icing colour before, but it produced this beautiful deep blue colour reminiscent of the night sky. This was so much fun to bake and decorate!


Celestial Chocolate Cupcakes 

  • 1 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 cup 2% whole milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cupcake tray with paper liners
  2. In a bowl, add your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and instant coffee. Stir with whisk. 
  3. In a separate bowl, beat your wet ingredients: milk, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla. 
  4. Add wet ingredients gradually to dry ingredients bowl and beating with a mixer on medium. Add boiling water and beat.
  5. Fill your cupcake liners 3/4ths full of cupcake batter. 
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before icing. 

Royal Blue Vanilla Buttercream Icing

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar (aka icing sugar)
  • 2.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 2.5 tbsp 2% milk, slightly colder than room temperature. 
  • Royal blue icing colouring and black icing colouring. 
  1. Cream butter on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Add confectioner's sugar a half cup at a time and beating on medium speed. 
  3. Stir in vanilla and salt.
  4. Add milk until you have the desired consistency - add more milk if you want softer frosting add less if you'd like it firmer. 
  5. Add royal blue colouring first, THEN darken it with very little black icing colouring. 
  6. Put in icing bag, then use Wilton 1M icing tip to frost your cupcake in a swirl pattern. 

Chocolate Stars

You need: 
  • Yellow milk chocolate wafers
  • Star chocolate mould
  1. Melt the chocolate wafers in the microwave 30 seconds at a time. 
  2. Fill the melted chocolate into the star mould.
  3. Put in freezer for about 5 minutes, or until solid.
The cupcakes in my special "cupcake transporter caddy" from Wilton.


The recipes are adapted from Add a Pinch.


So we decided to make it a girls' baking day. The chocolate cupcake batter was so moist. Cindy took on the wet ingredients while Lynne took care of the dry ingredients.

Lynne's friend Danny commented that if we wanted to be "more accurate" the circular chocolate wafers would be more reflective of the actual shapes. We had a good laugh lol. 


Icing on the cupcake

My go to icing tip is the Wilton 1M icing tip which gives this beautiful rose like pattern when your swirl it. 

I loved the contrast in colours - chocolate, to royal blue to a light yellow. 

The cupcakes in my special "cupcake transporter caddy" from Wilton. 

We even made the big cupcakes too. 

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  1. Those cupcakes look so delicious, I love the colours too - so bright :)

  2. Annie, did you know about Tanabata in Japan, too? It's celebrated in July in a lot of prefectures, but I was lucky enough to experience it a second time in the beginning of August when I was in Sendai and Aomori. Either way, nice designs. I bet they were delicious!