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Geeky Eats: Mini Cupcakes

Mini cupcakes are great for a party, or any gathering. Adorable and convenient for serving, these bite sized confections are easy to eat without getting a face full of frosting. The best part is you don’t need a shrink ray to turn your favorite cake recipe (or box mix) into mini cake perfection.  Just a few simple changes, a mini cupcake pan, and you will have an army of miniature cupcakes in no time. A recipe for a two layer cake will usually make about six dozen mini cupcakes.

Serve mini cupcakes on a tiered server or platter and replenish as needed.

Serve mini cupcakes on a tiered server or platter and replenish as needed.

First you choose your cake recipe. I made two: a chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream icing; and a caramel apple cake with apple cider buttercream. I discovered the caramel apple cider cake recipe from A Hint of Honey thanks to Pinterest. And the chocolate cake recipe I found on allrecipes.com a while back when looking for a chocolate cake recipe that used ingredients I already had on hand. The raspberry buttercream is my own invention.

Gathering the dry ingredients for mini cupcakes.

Gathering the dry ingredients for mini cupcakes.

Gather your ingredients and mix the cake batter according to the directions for your chosen recipe.  Place cupcake papers in your mini cupcake pan and fill ¾ full with cake batter. I like to use my pancake batter dispenser to fill the papers, makes the job quick and easy and way less messy. If you don’t want to buy one you can always make your own out of an empty, cleaned out, condiment container. The giant plastic ketchup containers work great for this.

Using a batter dispenser to fill the mini cupcake papers.

Using a batter dispenser to fill the mini cupcake papers.

Follow the temperature setting for the recipe you are working from, however the baking time will be reduced. I start with 10 minutes and then test with a toothpick adding baking time until the toothpick comes out clean. For both of the recipes I used, the cupcakes needed between 12 and 15 minutes. Keep track of the amount of baking time your first pan needs, then you can bake your remaining pans for that time interval, no need to toothpick test every batch.

Remove cupcakes to a cooling rack and let cool completely before icing, otherwise you will have a big, sticky mess on your hands. While waiting for the cupcakes to cool, mix your icing.

Raspberry Butter Cream Ingredients:
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (thawed)
7+ cups of powdered sugar/icing sugar (I used a whole 1kg bag)

Place butter in bowl and beat with an electric mixer at a medium power setting until light and fluffy. Puree your raspberries (or other berry of your choice) in blender or food processor. If desired you can remove seeds, large pulp, or skins by pressing the puree through a strainer. Add berry puree to butter and mix until combined. Begin adding powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing on a low speed. Continue to add sugar until the icing reaches your desired consistency. Feel free to taste as you go. You can add a pinch of cinnamon, or some grated lemon zest if the flavor needs a little something extra, a pinch of salt can also help the flavors blend together as well.

I like to refrigerate my icing for about 15 minutes until it is just slightly cooler than room temperature before icing cupcakes. To ice I use my cookie press with a decorative piping tip to create a fun swirl of icing on the top of the cupcake .

A cookie press with a decorative piping tip is a quick and easy way to ice mini cupcakes

A cookie press with a decorative piping tip is a quick and easy way to ice mini cupcakes

You can use a traditional piping bag or even a ziplock bag with a bottom corner cut off if you want to pipe the icing on your mini cupcakes. Alternately you can spread the icing on the cupcakes using your preferred utensil, such as an icing spatula or a butter knife.

Decorate as desired. Sprinkles add a dash of fun, or you can garnish with fresh fruit or toasted nuts, even a drizzle of your favorite sauce can be used to dress up your mini masterpiece. If you are making them ahead and storing before serving I recommend refrigerating in an airtight container. Have fun and enjoy!

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