I was tasked with making the cupcakes for a family holiday party a few weeks ago (I say tasked but I actually volunteered). I spent a fair amount of time deliberating over what kind of cupcakes to make. I had to make something that would accommodate a large number of people, not all of whom are adventurous eaters. There were also some little children in attendance. Eventually I decided I would just make chocolate and vanilla mini-cupcakes with chocolate and vanilla butter-cream frosting. For the Chocolate I used the basic recipe that underlies my Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes (minus the cinnamon), and for the vanilla I used the famous Magnolia Bakery recipe (which I got here). I have to say, maybe it’s just me, but I’m not a huge fan of the magnolia bakery recipe. There’s nothing wrong with them, but they’re also nothing special. I tend to think they taste a little like muffins. But perhaps that’s just the nature of plain vanilla cupcakes. These cupcakes were a hit though, everyone was happy to have them, and there were no complaints. I found that the frosting recipe I used did not make enough, so I increased it here.
Makes ~ 30 minis
1 stick (1/2 Cup) unsalted butter
¼ Cup cocoa powder
3/8 Cup of water
1 Cup sugar
¼ Cup well shaken buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)
1 Cup all purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp Salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over low heat. Add in the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Then add the water and mix until smooth again. Remove from heat
2. One at a time mix in the sugar, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla
3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt
4. Sift the dry ingredients over the wet, and whisk until well combined.
5. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until cupcakes have set and a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let set.
Makes ~ 48 minis
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flours and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat for 1 minute after each addition.
2. Combine the milk and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour, followed by half the milk mixture. Continue alternating like this until everything is added. Beat only just enough to combine.
3. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1. Beat together the butter and confectioners sugar until smooth. Beat in the vanilla.
2. Beat in enough milk that the mixture is still, but pipable (you don’t want it to be too firm).
3. Remove half of the frosting from the bowl. This is the vanilla frosting. Beat the cocoa powder into the remaining half. This is the chocolate frosting.
4. Decorate the cupcakes with the frosting, top with sprinkles if desired.