(posting one of my favorite cupcake recipes below, but feel free to use a boxed cake mix! I usually sub out the oil for butter, the water for milk, and add an extra egg!)
1 cup unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 T clear vanilla extract
1 cup milk - I used whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
First – melt your unsalted butter and set aside to cool. (If it's too warm it will cook your eggs when you add it!)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, milk and sour cream until well combined. Add the cooled melted butter and whisk again until well combined.
Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix the batter; it will be thicker than usual for cupcakes!
Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners. They should be about 2/3 full. (I like to use a large cookie scoop for this part – makes the process a little cleaner and my cupcake sizes a lot more consistent!) Bake for 14-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Cool completely before decorating.
Meanwhile, make your fillings, frosting, and decorations!
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla and salt if needed and beat until well combined.
Remove about ½ c of frosting into each of 4 small bowls, and stir in red, yellow, blue, and green gel food coloring until desired color is reached. Gel food coloring is pretty strong, so it only took about 1-2 large drops to get the bright colors I wanted.
Add cocoa powder to the remainder of frosting and mix until well combined, adding additional milk to maintain consistency.
- Chocolate fondant (or you can make chocolate marshmallow fondant)
- Large piping bag & tip – I use this set of reusable large bags & tips more than almost any of my others!
24 dark chocolate Hershey’s kisses
- 24 Harry Potter cupcake toppers (if desired) – I bought these on Amazon
Once the cupcakes have cooled, you're ready to core them. There are a few ways you can do this....you can buy a cupcake corer, you can try using the non-business-end of a large round piping tip, or....you can do what I do and cut a cone-shaped core out with a plastic knife. Up to you! I haven't the foggiest idea why cupcake crumbs don't stick to plastic knives like they do regular knives, but the plastic knife's been working too well for me to feel the need to invest in any fancy corers. Pipe your fillings into your cored cupcakes - I made six of each color! The filling doesn't have to look pretty, so I often use a zip-lock bag for this part.
Once your cupcakes are filled, you’re ready to decorate them! I used brown fondant to cover the cupcakes and make the brim of the hat – fondant can be purchased, or it’s fairly easy to make your own! I like Amy’s Confectionary Adventures recipe.
Whichever type of fondant you decide to use, soften it slightly in the microwave and then roll it out into a large sheet on a cutting board or clean countertop. Use a biscuit cutter or a large glass roughly the size of your cupcakes, and cut out 24 fondant circles. Place these over the tops of your cupcakes.
Transfer the chocolate frosting into your piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe in large swirls onto your cupcakes and top each one with a chocolate kiss. Add Harry Potter cupcake toppers if you’d like – to be completely honest, I thought they helped a *lot* to keep the cupcakes from looking just like the poop emoji ><
Done and done! Enjoy!