National Chocolate Cupcake Day, October 18: Tips to make the best homemade chocolate cupcakes

Cupcakes are all the rage at the moment, and have been for the past few years. October 18, aka National Chocolate Cupcake Day, is the day to celebrate the cocoa-kissed variety.

Here are some tips to spice the bake sale favorite up a bit:

- If you're adding nuts, candy or flavored chips, dust them in flour before adding them to the batter so they don't all sink to the bottom of the batter.

- Try using unusual flavorings: Sea salt sprinkled over the top, or cayenne pepper added to the batter.

- Try stuffing a small candy in the center of the cupcake half way through cooking -- you'll have a melted surprised waiting when you bite into the cupcake.

- The sky's the limit with frosting - literally and figuratively. Frosting is no longer limited to chocolate and vanilla: Try using savory ingredients like bacon, or fruity like orange or raspberry. These days it's popular to have frosting piped as high as the cupcake itself.

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