I know what you are probably thinking. “Chocolate and sauerkraut? In a cupcake? Has she lost her mind?” Nope, I’m still sane despite baking chocolate cupcakes with sauerkraut in them. And you know what? They tasted good! Are you thinking I’ve lost my mind again?
I came across the recipe for Chocolate Sauerkraut Cupcakes in Warren Brown’s “United Cakes of America: Recipes Celebrating Every State.” I thought it was absolutely ridiculous, which is probably why I wrote it down.
A variety of foods, if eaten on New Year’s Day, are thought to bring luck in the New Year. Here in the South, black eyed peas are the dish of choice, but pork and sauerkraut are the good luck foods where I grew up with in Ohio. When it came to chocolate sauerkraut cupcakes, I figured the chocolate could stand for the good and sauerkraut could stand for the luck.
The original recipe was written to yield two, nine-inch cakes. Prior to baking, I was very skeptical of how this cake would taste. I didn’t want to end up with a layered cake destined for the trash can, so I experimented with the ingredients’ measurements to yield a dozen cupcakes. Once baked, I could not taste the sauerkraut in the cupcakes. I could tell something extra was in the cake based on its texture, but I wouldn’t have been able to identify the mystery ingredient as sauerkraut if I hadn’t baked the cupcakes myself. So what was the point of adding it?
As near as I can tell, the sauerkraut helps make the cake very moist and tender. My only suggestion would be to finely chop the sauerkraut before folding it into the batter. I added my sauerkraut in strand form direct from the can, and as much as I hate to mention a hair in a cupcake on a food blog, that’s sort of what the larger pieces of sauerkraut brought to mind. So yeah, definitely chop the sauerkraut before baking your cupcakes. Happy New Year!
- ¾ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup sauerkraut, drained
- ¼ cup pecans, chopped
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda together and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the milk and the sour cream
- In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.
- Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the mixing bowl, beating until well combined.
- Fold in the sauerkraut and the pecans.
- Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out with just a crumb or two.