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1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line twenty-four to thirty 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups (see tip, page 00). In a medium bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 14 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until combined. Scrape sides of bowl; beat about 2 minutes more or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat on medium to high speed for 20 seconds more.
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each one-half to two-thirds full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.
4. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks. Frost with desired frosting.