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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mini rainbow cupcakes

Remember those super cute rainbow cupcakes I made a while back?  The ones that christened my 6 pound box of sprinkles?  Well, they were a huge hit.  I mean HUGE.  Both in real life and on the JulieBakes Facebook page.  So when I was bored the other day and looking for something to bake, I figured "why not make some mini rainbow cupcakes?"  Because what's cuter than rainbow cupcakes?  Mini rainbow cupcakes.  Because anything mini is just automatically cuter, right?

I know, I know....I could've mixed it up a little, I could've made some vanilla cupcakes....maybe even added some chocolate icing....but I know I'll be making some vanilla cupcakes soon.  And well, I just loved the chocolate cake with the vanilla icing when I made them full-sized, so I went with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mantra and kept them as is.

You can barely tell that these are minis....except for the shot of it in the bowl (although I guess, if you want to get technical, you could compare the size of the cupcake to an individual sprinkle).  But these mini cupcakes are two bites of pure deliciousness.  And sprinkles :)



3/4 cups cocoa powder (I used Dutch press cocoa for super dark, chocolatey cupcakes)

2/3 cups scalding hot coffee
2/3 cups buttermilk
2/3 cups canola oil
teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda


Preheat oven to 350.
Line mini cupcake pans with liners.

Place cocoa powder in mixer bowl and pour scalding hot coffee over.
Mix on low speed until a thick paste forms and mixture stops steaming- about one minute.  Mine was not thick nor was it a paste, it was actually quite runny.  The cupcakes turned out perfectly deliciously well.

Turn mixer speed to medium.
In a measuring cup, combine buttermilk, egg, yolk, vanilla, salt and oil, and mix lightly with a fork, ensuring yolks are broken.
Slowly pour into mixer.
Stop mixer and scrape bottom well to loosen any caked on cocoa.
Reattach and turn mixer to medium, letting run one minute.
Stop mixer again.

Sift together dry ingredients and pour into wet mixture.
Mix on low speed until just combined.
Remove bowl and use scrape down the sides of the bowl, ensuring everything is mixed.

Scoop cake batter into prepared pans, filling cups 2/3 of the way.
Bake in the middle of the oven for about 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway through (I don't rotate them....shhh, don't tell).
Cupcakes are done when the centers spring back when you touch them.

Remove cupcakes from oven.
Let cool completely. 

Vanilla Buttercream:

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened (but not melted!)
3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED (I used 3 cups)
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream (I used heavy cream, since thats what I had....and only ended up using 2 Tbsp)
Food coloring, optional


Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. 

Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn mixer to the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. 
Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of cream and beat for 3 minutes. 
If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.


When the cupcakes have cooled completely, pipe the icing on top, be sure to make a big mound of icing on the cupcake.
Fill a bowl with rainbow sprinkles.
Roll the sides of the iced cupcakes in the sprinkles.
Take some sprinkles in your hand and gently top the cupcakes with sprinkles, making sure that the entire icing is covered in sprinkles.
Shake off any extra sprinkles that have not adhered to the icing.

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