I know, it sounded weird to me too. When the fermenting queen of Sonoma County, Jennifer Harris, told me we were making cupcakes with sauerkraut in them, my reaction was not positive, and I love sauerkraut. I just never thought about putting it in a dessert. Jennifer assured me that the taste is mild and delicious and adds tons of moisture and depth of flavor.
I am a terrible baker, so I was happy to hand my kitchen over to her. She walked me through the recipe and it was pretty easy! We started with draining and chopping the sauerkraut. Of course we used Bubbies Fine Foods sauerkraut, aka, the best kraut ever. I was eating spoonfuls while we baked! I couldn’t help myself.
Jennifer had to remind me of the importance of following recipes when baking, which I loath! But I know that mixing dry and wet ingredients separately is the key to a successful dessert, so I obliged. We beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together in a KitchenAid mixer, then added the flour, cocoa powder, slowly adding in brewed coffee. The sauerkraut and chocolate chips were mixed in last.
Once the batter was mixed to perfection, we spooned it into cupcake tins and threw them in the oven at 350 for about 24 min.
The BEST part of the whole experience was getting to do fancy frosting for the first time ever! I’ve watched professionals put the frosting in bags and make pretty designs and I’ve always wanted to do that. My frosting job was less than perfect, but for my first time I think I did a good job!
The final product tasted SO delicious! I was shocked how much I liked the texture of the kraut. It gave the cupcakes these little salty pockets of flavor and I loved it! I don’t know if I can go back to regular chocolate cake now that I’ve had this. I even brought some over to my neighbors, thinking they would be so weirded out when I told them what was in it. They weren’t phased at all. Both of them had heard about putting sauerkraut into baked goods! I have since learned that this is a very old baking tradition.
Chocolate Cupcakes With Bubbies Sauerkraut
For the cake:
1/3 of a 28 oz can of Bubbies Sauerkraut
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1.5 cups of granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup of warm brewed coffee
1/2 cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the frosting:
4 tbsp unsalted butter
6 oz mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup of sour cream, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 tbsp of milk (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with paper baking cups. Recipe makes 24 cupcakes.
- Measure out sauerkraut and drain really well. Squeeze with clean hands to get as much of the liquid out as possible. Chop on a cutting board or in a food processor.
- In a medium size bowl, mix flour cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl for an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in the vanilla. Scrape the sides down and beat in the eggs, one at a time. When the eggs are blended in, add the flour mix alternately with the coffee, on low speed. Don’t over mix. Stir in the kraut and chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into muffin tins, fill 3/4 of the paper cups. Bake on the center rack for 24 min or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Let cool.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make your frosting. Melt the butter and chocolate chips in a small saucepan on low and stir until almost fully melted. Scrape into a mixing bowl for your electric mixer. Stir in sour cream and vanilla. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and beat until smooth and creamy. Add a tbsp of milk for thinner frosting.
- When cupcakes have cooled, transfer the frosting to a frosting bag, or ziplock, cut a small opening in the tip and decorate!
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