Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mini Funfetti Cupcakes

Look at these cuties right here. Don't you want to pinch their cheeks and then gobble them right up?!

If you are feeling down, just scroll through these pictures and I can guarantee a smile will start to creep up on your lips.

Let's make homemade funfetti cupcakes, and let's make them into little bebes, and let's top them with a creamy dreamy vanilla buttercream. I think this is a great idea.

For me, funfetti instantly brings me back to childhood. The nostalgia alone has me craving a second batch. These cupcakes have a nice soft crumb thanks to the use of Greek yogurt, which replaces about half the butter of a traditional cupcake.

This recipe is just like the wonderful boxed cake mix and frosting tub-o-sugar cream of our childhood, elevated with a bit of adult class. Since we are never too old for sprinkles, we are using two kinds. First, traditional waxy rainbow sprinkles (some people call them jimmies? I don't trust those people) get mixed all throughout the cake batter. Then, after piping our buttercream, we are going to make-it-raaaain non-pareilles. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

You could also use those flat, circular sprinkles in the batter. Whatever you do--do NOT use non-pareilles anywhere within the cupcake. They will bleed their color right into the batter and leave you with very unappealing tie-dye batter rather than fun speckles of color.

OK, that's enough business for one day. It is cupcake time!

Here's what you need for Mini Funfetti Cupcakes* (Print Recipe!)

For the cupcakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain fat-free greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles (not non-pareilles)

For the frosting
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 or 3 tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)

Here's what you do

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 24 cup mini muffin tin with festive mini cupcake wrappers (see note).

In a small mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, ensuring the first egg is fully incorporated before adding in the second. Turn the speed down to medium low and add half the yogurt, vanilla, sprinkles, and dry mixture. Repeat with the second half, mixing until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to give the batter one last stir, making sure to scrape up the bottom of the bowl.

Use a small ice cream scoop to dollop the batter into the muffin tin, about 3/4 full. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, prepare the buttercream. In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the butter until fluffy, at least five minutes. This seems like a long time but that is how you will get pillow-y frosting!

Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla extract as well as the powdered sugar little by little. Once all the powdered sugar has been incorporated, add 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream. You may add the remaining heavy cream if you prefer a looser frosting, or simply omit it if the frosting is to a consistency of your liking.

Place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a star tip and frost the cupcakes. Sprinkle with a few non-pareilles for a fun finishing touch. Keep in the fridge and bring to room temperature about an hour before serving.

Note: I actually got 30 cupcakes out of this batter. I only had one mini muffin tin so I just lined the tin with 6 additional liners after the pan cooled after the first batch. These may not need the full 8 to 10 minutes of cook time, so be sure to watch a smaller second batch carefully.

*Recipe adapted from Roxana's Home Baking

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