valentines-day-chocolate-lovers-cupcakes

Cakes & Cupcakes Resources

Five Things To Know Before You Start A Food Blog and Chocolate Lover’s Cupcakes

February 19, 2019

Browned Butter Blondie is turning ONE!!!  I literally can’t believe it! Just one year ago I jumped in feet first […]

valentines-day-chocolate-lovers-cupcakes

Browned Butter Blondie is turning ONE!!!  I literally can’t believe it! Just one year ago I jumped in feet first and started my baking blog. Here I am almost 365 days later, and I can honestly say I couldn’t be happier that I took the leap. If you are thinking of starting a blog you might be standing exactly where I was just one year ago. I hope this post gives you some clarity about what exactly lies ahead {it’s a bit like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride} and a little inspiration to go for it! Oh, and if you’re here for the chocolate, don’t you worry…I gotchu! I for one will be celebrating my “blogiversary” with yep, you guessed it…chocolate! I know, I’m so predictable!

These Chocolate Lover’s Cupcakes have “Happy Blogiversary” written all over them, don’t ya think?  If you’re here for the goodies then feel free to skip to the bottom to grab the recipe for these super decadent and crazy delicious double chocolate cupcakes. Because celebrations aside, we can all use a little more love and chocolate. Okay, let’s get to it…read below about the five things every food blogger should know before getting started {in my not-so-expert-opinion}.

valentines-day-chocolate-lovers-cupcakes

JUST DO IT!

It’s such a cliche but these three words couldn’t be more appropriate for any aspiring blogger. You can literally “someday” yourself right out of your dreams. You just have to pick a date and get started. Turn one day into day one. When I started my baking blog last February, I chose a date to publish my very first post and I was t-e-r-r-i-f-i-e-d to send it out into the vast unknown of cyber space. Who would read it? Would they like it? Would they laugh with me? Or would they laugh AT me? Would they think my post was silly? Or worse yet, would they say it was boring? What if no one read it except for grandma and Aunt Lisa and my best friend from high school? So many what-ifs.

You have to push those doubts aside and just start. Start now. Start this minute. One of my favorite quotes ever reads “turn your cant’s into cans and your dreams into plans”. I don’t know who said it but those words are GOLD. One post at a time you’ll begin to realize your dreams. All you have to do is start. Pick up a calendar, set a date and just start.

LEARN FROM THE PROS

Starting something new is daunting and if you are new to recipe development, photography, branding and social media management you’ve got a lot to master in the days ahead. I’ve always been a baker but almost everything else that comes along with being a food blogger was brand spankin’ new to me. If you love to learn, you’ll love this job. The accumulation of knowledge literally never ends. There is no end point, no milestone or finish line that says you’ve arrived. Instead, you’ll constantly be jumping through hoops only to find another hoop waiting for you before you’ve had a second to catch your breath.

My best advice to navigate the wild, wild west of the food blogging world is to learn from those that came before you. Look up every and any question you have about blogging {I promise you there is an answer on the google machine}, reach out to other bloggers in your niche, take online courses on food photography and read articles on the do’s and dont’s of social media. There are tons of resources at your fingertips and I guarantee you that investing your time, and in some cases, money, will pay back in spades.

valentines-day-chocolate-lovers-cupcakes

DELEGATE WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW

I’m a perfectionist. A true type A personality in every way. I used to always think if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself. But I learned that the opposite is actually true when I founded my toffee business years ago. It didn’t take long to realize that inventory and operations were not my forte. All I wanted to do was head up the marketing efforts, develop the latest and greatest flavors in the test kitchen and sell, sell, sell toffee by the truckload. I couldn’t do it all {at least not well} so I hired someone to head up operations and outsourced part of our production. Best decision I ever made. It allowed me the time and freedom to do the parts of the job that I was good at.

Food bloggers are especially susceptible to the jack of all trades trap. The problem is, we become the master of none. Learn what you are good at, figure out what you are passionate about and delegate the rest. For me, that meant hiring a web designer after spending countless hours hunched over my laptop trying to figure out how to use html to code a photo into my homepage sidebar. Yeah, there are people that can do that in their sleep…hire them. In the beginning you likely won’t be making much of an income from your blog, but the minute you have some funds to delegate the tasks that suck the joy right out of you, do it!

BE CONSISTENT

This tip really belongs at the top of the list as I think it’s one of the things that has helped me to grow steadily over the past year. If your goal is to monetize your blog and make money partnering with brands and offering your services as a food photographer then you have to treat it like a job from the start. You’ll likely be working from home and it’s easy to get distracting by folding socks and organizing the pantry {guilty of both} in lieu of working. If you want this endeavor to really take off you’ll need to set schedules and parameters for yourself in order to be successful. Otherwise you blog becomes a hobby and hobbies don’t come with paychecks. Consistency is important for your blog because it gives your followers and readers an expectation that you can deliver on.

I post on Instagram at the same time every day and I post recipes to my blog on the same day each week. Decide on your posting schedule from the beginning and stick with it. You’ll begin to embrace the routine and it will become easier to stick to over time. You’ll not only want to be consistent with your posting times, but also with your content. With millions of blogs all over the internet there is no denying that content is everything. I repeat. Content is everything. It’s important to post quality images and reliable recipes in order to grow your following on social media and gain more subscribers to your blog. Content, content, content. It’s numero uno in the world of blogging.

valentines-day-chocolate-lovers-cupcakes

BE READY TO WORK HARD. LIKE REALLY, REALLY HARD.

Sure, there are lots of upsides to being a blogger. But it’s also a TON of work and it’s not nearly as glamorous as some may think. Most days at 6 pm I’m still wearing my Lulu yoga pants from my 6 am workout and my kitchen looks like the neighborhood bakery relocated to my house. Between the dishes {where, or where, is the dish fairy??}, the recipe testing, photos and editing….it seems the to-do list is never ending. There’s always SEO and connecting with brands, emailing clients and researching ingredients. And don’t even get me started on Pinterest….if only we had 24 more hours in a day! It’s not all roses and rainbows. More like a hamster wheel with no exit. But I would’t have it any other way. It’s the most rewarding and creative and fulfilling job I’ve ever had. I love that no two days are ever the same and that every big or little milestone is worth celebrating. Which brings me to these cupcakes….

valentine's-day-chocolate-lovers-cupcakes

Chocolate Lover’s Cupcakes to be exact. If you are a chocolate aficionado, this is the cupcake for you. The cake is fluffy and ultra dark and the chocolate buttercream is so smooth and over-the-top chocolatey. You’ll need a glass of milk nearby folks. Consider these heart topped cutie patooties my way of saying THANK YOU for all of your love and support this past year. I wouldn’t be here without you and I am so grateful for your encouragement every step of the way. Thank you for following along on Instagram, for baking up my favorite recipes, for your kind comments and constant cheerleading. Thanks for coming back here to the blog week after week to see what’s new and for telling a friend about this blondie that bakes. I cannot wait to see what year two at Browned Butter Blondie has in store. This I know for sure….there will be lots of love. And chocolate.

XO

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valentines-day-chocolate-lovers-cupcakes

Five Things To Know Before You Start A Food Blog

  • Author: Browned Butter Blondie
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 18 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Description

Decadent, dark chocolate cupcakes topped with a cloud of rich, fluffy chocolate buttercream. The perfect treat for the chocolate lover in your life!


Ingredients

Scale

For Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, stirred
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • 1/4 cup hot espresso
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips {optional}

For the Chocolate Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cups {3 sticks} unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cps confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • 45 TBSP heavy whipping cream
  • pinch of salt
  • sprinkles for topping {optional}

Instructions

For the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line a 12 cup cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Whisk until combined.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs, milk, yogurt, canola oil and vanilla on medium speed until smooth.
  6. Add flour mixture and mix on low until barely any flour bits remain.
  7. Add the espresso and mix on low until just combined.
  8. Do not over mix, batter will be thin enough to pour.
  9. Add in chocolate chips if desired.
  10. Using a large cookie scoop, place batter into each cupcake well until 2/3 full.
  11. Bake 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcake comes out mostly clean.
  12. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For Frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on high for 3-4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  2. Add vanilla, cocoa powder and salt and mix on low for 30 seconds.
  3. Increase speed to high and mix for 1 minutes.
  4. Carefully add confectioner’s sugar to the mix and mix on low until combined.
  5. Increase speed to high and mix for 4-5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl several times.
  6. Stop the mixer and add the heavy whipping cream.
  7. Return the mixer to high speed and mix and additional 2 minutes or until frosting is light and fluffy.
  8. Add more heavy whipping cream 1 TBSP at time if frosting is too stiff.
  9. Place buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with a wide, plain tip.
  10. Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes, topping first dollop with another smaller one.
  11. Top frosted cupcakes with sprinkles if desired.

Notes

Store left over cupcakes in a cool, dry place for up to three days.

5-tips-to-start-food-blog

  • Reply
    Faustina
    June 3, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    Thank you so much for your tips, I am doing a bit of research before starting, I have some questions though:
    – Do you think you need quite a substantial amount of money to invest in tools, nice plates, pots and special ingredients? is that something that could be done on a budget or you definitely think you cannot do away with that?
    – also I like cooking and recipes, but I am not yet very knowledgeable in presentation and aesthetics, where can I learn that? or do I just take inspiration from different food blogs and find my way from there? do you have any website or place where I can learn to present the food for blogging?

  • Reply
    Mikyla Meckelson
    April 20, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    I just want to say thank you. Thank you for your inspirational words! I am starting a blog and each day I am met with ups and downs. Some days I am full of creativity and ideas and others with doubt and questions. But, this post really helped me and made me excited about the future. I love your blog!
    Thank you again!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      April 21, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      You are so welcome! Thanks so much for reading!!

  • Reply
    Sandra Deane
    August 25, 2019 at 1:47 am

    Hi Heather,
    thank you so much for being so generous with your advice!
    I tried to start a blog a few years back, but was so not ready. I’m completely guilty of trying to do everything myself and getting frustrated when it doesn’t come out how I visualized.
    I’m going to take this advice onboard and start planning my one day into day one!!
    You’re awesome -thank you!!
    Sandie x

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      August 25, 2019 at 5:17 pm

      Hi Sandie,
      I’m so happy to hear that! One step at a time…you’ve got this!!

  • Reply
    Gayatri
    May 31, 2019 at 5:52 am

    Hi Heather! Thanks so much for this post, it’s really useful. I’ve been blogging for 6 years now but only took it full-time in the last year or so and there’s just so much to learn. I love what you do and you’re a huge inspiration 🙂 Could I ask what plugin you use to feature your Instagram gallery on the bottom of the page? I’ve been struggling with this one because they don’t really seem to work out for me. I also use Foodie Pro, so thought you’d be a good person to ask. Thanks in advance!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      June 5, 2019 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Gayatri!
      Thanks so much for your sweet note. I honestly have no idea what plug-in that is for the Instagram gallery at the bottom…my web designer added it to my site last year. I did as much as I could to customize the site myself and finally had to hand it over to a professional!

  • Reply
    Monica
    May 13, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Hi! Thank you so so much for sharing this. I’ve been considering taking the plunge and starting my own food blog. I have an instagram where i share recipes and photos already but I’m starting to realise that a blog is really something i should start dipping me toes into. I really appreciate all of your advice! Just wondering what website host do you think is the best to use? Thank you – Monica @mainlymonica

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      May 15, 2019 at 5:04 am

      Hi Monica,
      I say just go for it!! You’ll be so glad you did. I use Siteground to host my site. Let me know if you have more questions.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    February 26, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Hi there, what size cupcake liners are you using please?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      February 27, 2019 at 9:44 am

      Hi, standard size liners that fit into a standard 12 cup muffin pan. Hope that helps!

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