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Cocoa Cobweb Cupcakes 
Yield:  Makes 12 cupcakes  
Follow this fun technique for creating cobwebs with two different colors of 
frosting. You can do this on cookies and cakes, too. Kids can line the muffin 
tins, mix the ingredients, spoon the batter into the muffin cups and of course, 
supervise the icing. 

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch-process 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened 
1 1/2 cups sugar 
1 egg 
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
1 cup buttermilk 
For the icing: 
2 egg whites 
2 1/2 to 3 cups confectioners' sugar 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice 
Black or dark brown food coloring        

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 12 muffin-tin wells or line them with 
paper muffin cups.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, 
and salt; reserve.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat 
together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla 
and beat well. Beat in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternately with the 

Spoon into the prepared muffin tins, filling each cup about two-thirds full. 
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 16 
to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then 
transfer to a rack and let cool to room temperature.

To make the icing, place the egg whites in a bowl. Using an electric mixer set 
on high speed, beat until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners' sugar, 
vanilla, and orange juice and continue to beat until thick and shiny. The icing 
should spread easily. If too thick, add more orange juice. If too thin, add 
more confectioners' sugar.

Transfer one-third of the icing to a small bowl and color with black or dark 
brown food coloring. Spoon this dark icing into a pastry bag fitted with a tip, 
or pour it into a plastic squeeze bottle.

Now, ice the cupcakes and make the cobwebs: Spoon the white icing into the 
center of the cupcake and spread with a small spatula or butter knife. Starting 
at the center of a cupcake, pipe a spiral of the dark icing from the center to 
the outer edge. Then, drag a sharp knife point from the center of the spiral to 
the edge of the cupcake. Wipe the knife clean, move about a 1/2 inch to the 
left or right and drag the knife in the opposite direction from the outer edge 
to the middle of the cupcake. Continue in this way until you have worked your 
way around the cupcake and formed the cobweb. Repeat with the remaining 

Recipe reprinted by permission of Chronicle. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008  
Rhonda G in Missouri
Pen Pal, Friend, Mom and Chief Bottle Washer


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