There's no beating around the bush with these Chocolate and Pepsi Cupcakes. We absolutely loved them. Not only were they delicious with their hit of chocolate and background notes of Pepsi, they were also light, super soft and a doddle to make. Rather than being made with the classic techniques of creaming and folding, these delicious cupcakes were made with a simple melting method, which even Mr E, a self professed non-baker, would manage to rustle up!
Like many keen bakers, the Only Crumbs Remain kitchen is packed with recipe books which have been collected over the years. When I find myself with a spare half hour during the week before starting to make our evening meal, I often select a recipe book from the shelves to pour over whilst enjoying a pot of tea. Earlier last week I perused the fabulous bakes in James Martin's recipe book, Desserts. Amongst the numerous delicious looking bakes was a Chocolate Cola Cake. The thick slice of moist chocolate cake, dressed with a chocolate frosting and served with a chocolate caramel sauce complete with mini marshmallows really caught my attention.
Not only did the cake look amazing, but it also intrigued me having been made with Cola. Would it really taste of Cola I wondered? So there being only one way to find out, I donned my pinny, reduced the quantities and made a batch of cupcakes with the resultant batter. However, being a household which prefers Pepsi Max over Cola, James Martin's recipe was adapted to make this easy to make delicious sponge with our preferred fizzy drink.
The main flavour in our Chocolate and Pepsi Cupcakes was chocolate, as expected. Happily though, my dad, Mr E & myself picked up on the subtle background taste of Pepsi, which had been used in the two frostings as well as the batter. However, my mum was unable to detect the caramel notes of Pepsi Max.
Besides replacing the Cola with Pepsi Max and baking the batter as cupcakes I also decided to use some wholemeal buckwheat flour in the mixture. Having read Easy Peasy Foodie's post about the virtues of buckwheat grains, I was keen to try the flour in some of our bakes. It's a flour I know little about having never used it before, but the package explained that 'buckwheat is a member of the rhubarb family which ripens in late autumn'. It is well suited to cake and biscuit baking, as well as 'providing a pleasing flavour to noodles, pancakes and pasta'. Despite its name, buckwheat in fact isn't a wheat and as such is gluten free. However, as confusing as it is, the Doves Farm buckwheat flour I used advised that the flour contained gluten and therefore isn't suitable for people who need to follow a gluten free diet, despite the listed ingredients simply only being buckwheat flour, and not a blend. Having been on the Dove Farm webpage, it transpires that the flour contained 'gluten from adjacent growing, storage or processing of wheat'. Having carried out a little search on the web, gluten free buckwheat flour is available to purchase from various places but its retail price is clearly even further elevated compared to the product we used in this bake. I guess the moral of the story is if you are preparing food for somebody who needs to avoid gluten, read the packaging of the product first to ensure it isn't tainted from other gluten sources.
Due to the chocolate and pepsi flavours used in our cupcakes, the buckwheat taste wasn't detected, which for some people may be a good thing given that the grains themselves are an aquired taste, but any health benefits associated with the buckwheat should still be received by the body. Of course though, these cupcakes would still be great if made with the usual plain flour instead.
And should you be wondering why I decorated the top of the cupcakes with white blobs of icing......well they're the bubbles rising in the fizzy pepsi drink, of course 🙂
Let's get to it and bake.
Hands on time: 30 mins Cook time: 20 - 23 mins Yield: 8 large cupcakes
8 x Muffin sized cupcake cases
For the sponge batter
- 125g Butter, unsalted
- 100ml Pepsi Max drink
- 125g Wholemeal Buckwheat Flour, or Plain Flour
- 125g Golden Caster Sugar
- 25g Cocoa Powder
- 5g Baking Powder
- Pinch Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1 large Egg, lightly beaten
- 38ml Milk
For the chocolate frosting
- 50g Unsalted Butter, softened
- 170g Icing Sugar
- 10g Cocoa Powder
- 1.5 tablespoon Pepsi Max drink
For the white frosting
- 25g Unsalted Butter, softened
- 50g Icing Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Pepsi Max drink