Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
2 c all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c milk
*alternatively use a boxed cake mix (spice cake or yellow cake works well) mixed and baked according to directions for cupcakes
1 c whipped topping, thawed (like Cool Whip)
1/2 c canned pumpkin pie filling
5 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 Tbs brewed coffee
1/2 c unsalted butter, cut up
Preheat oven to 375.
Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs, vanilla, and 1/4 c milk. Beat until fluffy.
Alternately mix in the parts of flour mixture and the remaining milk, alternating and mixing well between each addition.
When well mixed, spoon a scant 1/4 c of the mixture into each paper-lined cupcake bin.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Blend together the whipped topping and pie filling. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a medium tip. Insert the tip into the top of a cupcake (about 1/2" deep) and squeeze until the top starts to rise slightly. Repeat with each cupcake.
Make the frosting. Mix together the chocolate and coffee in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave another 15 seconds. Stir until smooth. Add 4 pieces of butter at a time and stir until smooth. Let stand until the mixture is a spreadable consistency.
Frost the cupcakes and then chill until frosting is set.