I *wish* I could remember...
....where the inspiration for this cupcake idea struck from, but the idea hung in my head for MONTHS before I got around to trying it! I LOVED the way they turned out though – and I’m so glad I recruited my nieces and nephew to help! They’re such fun easy cupcakes and SO much more fun to make in a group than by yourself! ;) Recipe below – grab a buddy (or several) and have fun!
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I ‘cheated’ and doctored up a couple of cake mixes since we were a little short on time that afternoon, but below are my favorite Vanilla and Chocolate cupcake recipes!
Vanilla Cupcakes – adapted slightly from Two Sugar Bugs’ ‘Simply Vanilla Cupcakes’ recipe! Check out Tasia’s site; she is an amazing lady with a beautiful blog!
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 pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk - I used whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
See Tasia’s recipe for the directions!
Chocolate Cupcakes: (makes 24)
I doubled and slightly-modified a chocolate cupcake recipe from thescranline.com - check out Nick's site and his Instagram feed if you haven't already; he does some incredible work!
Of note...you'll need either a kitchen scale to measure ingredients in grams OR - just use the conversions I ballparked for you. You’re welcome!
350g all purpose flour (roughly 2 1/4 c)
450g caster sugar (roughly 2 ¼ c)
100g cocoa powder (roughly 1 ¼ c)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c /250g /16 T unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, at room temperature
350ml milk (about 1 ½ ; I used a 2c pyrex liquid measuring cup with mL marks on the back)
2 t vanilla extract
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (180C) or 320 FC (160C) for a fan forced oven. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar. Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to mix for a couple minutes to help everything combine well (or sift the ingredients together). Add in the softened butter until no lumps of butter are visible and it’s well incorporated into the dry ingredients.
Next, add milk, eggs, and vanilla together and whisk until well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in a slow and steady stream until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.
Fill each paper 3/4 of the way (using a large cookie scoop to transfer the batter into the cupcake liners makes this a quick and easy process otherwise you can use two tablespoons). You may find that you have some batter left over - don't over-fill the cupcake tins or they *will* overflow – trust me. :/ (I often bake some mini cupcakes with the leftover batter).
Bake for 20-25 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting. If you insert a skewer and it comes out with wet batter, bake for another few minutes at a time until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
The hang time while your cupcakes are cooling is a great time to make your frosting!
Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:
8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
6-7 c powdered sugar
2-4 Tablespoons milk
1 T clear vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt (if using unsalted butter)
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. I recommend making it fairly thick for this recipe, so that the frosting ‘scoops’ hold their shape. Add vanilla and salt if needed and beat until well combined.
- 24 cupcake liners
- large ice cream / cookie scoop
- 1 recipe chocolate ganache (see below)
- Squeeze bottle OR piping bag OR spoon – whatever you’d prefer to add your ganache to the cupcakes
- sprinkles of your choice (we used rainbow jimmies)
- 24 mini spoons – we used small dessert spoons similar to these!
6 oz (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
6 oz (¾ cups) heavy whipping cream
Meanwhile, make your ganache. Place chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl. Place whipping cream in a small saucepan and bring almost to a boil over medium/low heat. Pour over chocolate chips and let rest for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth and silky.
(If desired, this can also be done in the microwave – combine ingredients and microwave on half power in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until smooth).
Noooow – onto the fun part!! Decorating!
I ended up thinning down a cup or so of my frosting with about 2 Tablespoons of milk, so I could spread it more easily with a spoon over the top of all the cupcakes. Covers the cupcake and makes it look a bit like the ice cream is melting.
With the large cookie scoop, scoop frosting onto the top of your cupcakes to make the ‘ice cream’ on top! I recommend chilling the cupcakes at this point, to make sure the chocolate ganache sets when you drizzle it on!
When your cupcakes have chilled and your ganache has cooled to a moderate temperature – it should feel slightly warm and still be fairly liquid – transfer it to a squeeze bottle or piping bag. A spoon will work if you don’t have either of those, I've just found spoons to be a little bit more difficult to work with.
Slowly drizzle ganache over the top of the cupcakes – I found it easiest to start from the center and push drips outward a bit, working my way around the cupcake. Some of the kids preferred to drizzle it on over the top – no bad options! Add your sprinkles before the ganache sets, and place them into the fridge for 10-15 minutes to set the ganache.
Step back, give yourself a high-five, and admire your adorable cupcakes!