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Sinfully Good: Devils Food Cupcakes with Roasted Strawberry-Balsamic Buttercream

You know, I wasn’t even planning to write about these cupcakes. They were just a quickie Valentine’s Day treat I whipped up at the last minute when my original plans went awry.  But, they turned out so well, that I just had to share them with you.  Isn’t it funny how these things happen?   I had originally planned to make a much fussier chocolate cake.  Unfortunately, it was a big, fat fail.  I didn’t have enough ingredients to remake it, so I then found myself scrambling around my kitchen to find something else that I could do instead.   My salvation came to me in a box of Devil’s Food cake mix.  Thank you, Duncan Hines!

Ordinarily, I would have never used a boxed cake mix. The crumb is usually too flimsy, and the chocolate ones are never chocolatey enough. But, I was desperate!

To bump up the chocolate factor, I added a few tablespoons of my richest cocoa powder to the mix. I also swapped out a cup of water for the same amount of strong brewed coffee. It worked like a charm! My cupcakes were moist, dense and full of deep, dark chocolate flavor.

I had just enough eggs left to attempt a silky Swiss buttercream to frost the cupcakes with.   I also had some of my wonderful slow roasted strawberries [1] in the fridge, so I decided to use them to flavor the buttercream.   The strawberries are roasted in a mixture of sugar and balsamic vinegar, so they are slightly caramelized and intensely flavorful – a perfect addition to the buttercream.

The final flourish to my cupcakes was a super rich bittersweet chocolate glaze drizzled over their tops.

My inspiration for the cupcakes [2], as well as the glaze recipe, came from one of my new favorite blogs, Sweetapolita. [3]  It is filled to the brim with the most magnificent cakes I’ve ever seen.  Honestly, it’s absolutely stunning!  If you haven’t ever visited Rosie’s beautiful blog, you must do it now.   Go ahead, I’ll wait.

See!  Didn’t I tell you it was fabulous?

And, don’t these cupcakes look impossibly indulgent?  They are sinfully good!  Would you have ever guessed that they got their start in a cardboard box?   Neither did all of the people I gave them to.  And, don’t you dare tell them, either.  I have a reputation to maintain!