When I was little, driving through Dairy Queen on a road trip was one of the finest pleasures known to me. A blizzard lover myself, I long lamented the lack of DQs near my home, but was able to satisfy cravings frequently on weekend trips to our lake house. When my youngest brother was about 2 years old he fell in love with Dip (or is it dipped? I live in Texas, here it’s just dip) Cones. He would savor it slowly, letting all of the melted chocolate and ice cream cover the entirety of his body, hair, and overalls. It was always a look of pure bliss.
I didn’t know you could apply the dip cone process to cupcakes until a few years ago. It’s called a “hi hat”and it’s much easier than it looks. It is a 3-step process – baking the cupcakes, making the frosting and piping, then dipping, but it’s worth the process. You could do this with any flavor of cupcake and buttercream, too, but Valentine’s Day kind of lends itself to chocolate covered strawberries. I call them “dipcakes”. When I last made these, I did make the mistake of making mini-cupcakes. You get about 4 mini cupcakes for every 1 regular cupcake, so it sounds awesome in theory, but baking, frosting, and dipping 100+ cupcakes was super annoying. Half the recipe if you want minis.
yield 24 regular cupcakes or a million little cupcakes (90+)
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3/4 cup cocoa powder
12 T (1.5 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cups sugar
1 T vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder into the coffee until it is all dissolved and set aside.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time until incorporated, then the vanilla and beat it all together for a minute or two.
- Stir the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Add the flour mixture and the coffee mixture to the butter mixture about a cup at a time, alternating the two and making sure each addition is fully incorporated and scraped down before adding more.
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for about 20 minutes (12-14 if you’re making minis), until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to completely cool.
yields approximately 8 cups of frosting – plenty to frost 24 cupcakes.
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 cup crisco (I buy the foil wrapped packs, it’s one stick)
7-8 cups powdered sugar
1 T vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk or cream (up to a 1/2 cup)
1 cup finely diced fresh strawberries
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy – at least 5 minutes. Add in 7 cups of powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate between additions. Beat the mixture for another few minutes to fluff it up.
- Add in the vanilla and cream and beat the whole mixture for an additional 3-4 minutes until the whole mixture becomes light and fluffy. If the mixture seems too dense, add in a bit more cream, a tablespoon or two at a time, if it seems too runny, add in powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
- Pour in the strawberries and beat on high until the strawberries are beaten in, this takes a few minutes on high. Stir to make sure no big strawberry chunks remain and check consistency again.
- Frost cupcakes using a wide tip (because the strawberry bits tend to get stuck – I use my biggest round tip). Be generous with frosting and remember that the chocolate hides a lot of imperfections.
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (I use the ghirardelli in the brown bag)
1-2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- Stick the frosted cupcakes in the freezer for about 10 minutes, heat the chocolate while they cool.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments (it will burn if you go any longer). I use a pyrex glass 2-cup measuring cup for this. Between each microwave, stir the mixture completely and allow to cool. The chocolate will melt as it sits, so be patient. Stir in 1 T of oil after the first microwaving and add more if the chocolate doesn’t easily ribbon off of the back of a spoon. Once your chocolate is smooth and luscious, get the cupcakes out of the freezer.
- One at a time, dip the cupcakes into the chocolate, making sure to twist them a bit on the way out to let the excess chocolate drip off. I use a toothpick to make sure all areas are covered. After letting the chocolate run off for a few seconds, let the chocolate cool and harden – this can take about an hour, especially if it’s warm in your kitchen. If you’d like to add sprinkles or gold dust, add that about 5 minutes after you’ve dipped.
- Once completely cool and hardened, store the cupcakes at coolish room temperature (the refrigerator does weird things to them, but heat will melt them).