(posting my favorite cupcake recipe 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 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
First – melt your unsalted butter and set aside to cool. This ensures it won’t be too warm and 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. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk 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. You want to be careful not to over mix the batter. The batter will be quite thick.
Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners. They should be about 2/3 full. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Meanwhile, make your fillings, frosting, and decorations!
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
Reserve and add later –
1-2 drops each red, blue, yellow, and green gel food coloring – I used Americolor gel food coloring that I bought on Amazon.com.
½ c cocoa powder
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla and salt 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.
Brown or chocolate fondant
Large piping bag with round tip
24 dark chocolate Hershey’s kisses
Harry Potter cupcake toppers (if desired) – I bought these on Amazon.com.
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 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 - it 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 and significantly cheaper to make your own! I used Amy’s Confectionary Adventures recipe for chocolate marshmallow fondant –
Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant
1 (16 oz) bag Jet Puffed Mini Marshmallows
3 oz dark cocoa candy melts or semi sweet chocolate
3 tbsp light corn syrup
½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
3 ½ - 4 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Solid vegetable shortening
Place the marshmallows, chocolate, and corn syrup into a microwave safe, glass bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring well each 30 seconds, until the marshmallows and chocolate are completely melted and smooth (total time will be around 2 ½ minutes).
Generously grease the counter and your hands with shortening. Stir the cocoa power and 3 ½ cups of confectioner’s sugar in to the melted marshmallow mixture, then turn out onto the greased countertop. Knead the confectioner’s sugar mixture into the melted marshmallows, adding shortening to your hands, as needed, to prevent sticking.
Continue kneading until the mixture forms a smooth, slightly tacky ball, working in up to an additional cup of confectioner’s sugar, as needed.
Cover the fondant in a layer of shortening and cover tightly in plastic wrap for 15 minutes or until ready to use. Chocolate MM fondant may be used right away (after a 15 minute resting period) or within a few days. Once the fondant cools, if may harden slightly. Heat it for up to 10 seconds in the microwave to help with pliability.
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!
Make this recipe? Let me know how it went - or find me on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!