These are probably the most elegant cupcakes I’ve ever made. Smooth and silky pomegranate frosting tops fluffy chocolate-pomegranate cupcakes. Yum. Even if this combination sounds weird at first, you can definitely be assured that these cupcakes are delicious.
Ingredients: Pomegranate Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 12)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup pomegranate juice (I used POM)
Cooked Pomegranate Frosting (adapted from here)
1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature and chopped into 24 pieces
1 tablespoon pomegranate juice
*optional purple food coloring
Recipe: Chocolate Pomegranate Cupcake
Preheat oven to 375F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Stir together sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
Add the egg, vanilla, butter, and milk on medium-high speed for 2 minutes or until smooth.
Stir in pomegranate juice.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool for ten minutes on a wire rack, then take cupcakes out of tray and let finish cooling.
Cooked Pomegranate Frosting
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Slowly whisk in the milk and pomegranate juice until the mixture is smooth. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium saucepan and pour the milk mixture through the strainer into the saucepan.
Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and is thick enough that it starts to become difficult to easily whisk, almost the texture of lemon curd before it sets. This could take anywhere between 5-10 minutes, depending on your stove, heat, etc. It should bubble quite a bit at the end (be careful of the splatters) and thicken considerably.
Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and cool to room temperature – this is extremely important! If it is even slightly warm, the frosting won’t beat up properly.
Once the frosting is completely cooled to room temperature (it should have no hint of warmth at all!), beat the mixture with the vanilla on low speed until it is well combined, about 30 seconds (a stand mixer will work best for this).
Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat the frosting until all the butter has been incorporated fully, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and let the mixer work it’s magic. Beat the frosting for five minutes, until it is light and fluffy, then add the tablespoon of pomegranate juice and purple food coloring.