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Election night cupcakes

Ease the stress of Election Day with cute red, white, and blue cupcakes. The batter and frosting can be made ahead of time; perfect for an election night party!

By Contributor / November 5, 2012

Everyone loves chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Decorate them with red or blue candy to show support for your political party, or both if you're feeling bipartisan.

Laura Edwins/The Christian Science Monitor

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There's no doubt about it, cupcakes work for every occasion. Banish any thought that these treats are just for kids, and quell your rollar coaster of Election Day emotions with a sugar rush.

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This simple recipe, which can be done ahead of the Tuesday night returns, is perfect for an election night party. Both the batter and the frosting can be stored at room temperature for a couple hours, or in the refrigerator for a couple days. The chocolate cake batter makes fudgy, moist cakes, and the vanilla frosting starts off velvety, but hardens a bit on the cakes to form a crispy, sugary coating that melts in your mouth.

This recipe is specifically for cupcakes, rather than an adapted cake recipe, so it's intended to make exactly 12. My muffin tin is a bit smaller than the standard size, and I found I had enough batter for about 14 cupcakes. I also found myself with a lot of extra frosting, even after I layered more frosting onto the cakes than I usually would.

Decorate the cupcakes with red or blue to celebrate your political party, or both if you're feeling a bit bipartisan. I used thin red licorice and the blue pieces from Hershey's York Peppermint Paddy Pieces for my American "flags." Blue M&Ms would work just as well. I also experimented with red food coloring and shredded coconut.

Even if you're watching the election results alone, you may want to have some cupcakes on hand. Is there any better way to celebrate your candidate's win, or drown the dismay of a loss than with chocolate and frosting?

Chocolate cupcakes with crispy magic frosting
Recipe adapted from "Flour" by Joanne Chang
Makes about 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 

1/4 cup cocoa powder (the original recipe calls for Dutch-processed cocoa powder, I used regular Hershey's, which worked fine)

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/3 cup water

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the frosting:
2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 egg whites

1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 2-inch chunks

1-2/3 cups confections' sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

About 2 tablespoons red or blue food coloring (optional) – experiment with the exact amount until you get your desired color, though I have a suspicion this frosting doesn't take coloring well. My red turned out more like hot pink.

For the decorations:
Thin red licorice cut into smaller pieces, blue and white candy, or decorations of your choice

For the cupcakes: 
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well mixed. Set aside.

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