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Bite-Size Sour Cream-Pound Cake Cupcakes (Basic Cupcake Batter)

Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargget
Total time 2 hrs, 12 mins
Yield Makes 6 dozen miniature cupcakes
Reviewers rave over these cupcakes made with pound cake batter. Top with vanilla buttercream and who can resist?

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
  • Desired Buttercream or Glaze

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

  2. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients. Gradually add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beating until blended. Spoon batter by rounded tablespoonfuls into lightly greased miniature muffin pans.

  3. Bake at 350° for 13 to 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 30 minutes). Spread cupcakes with desired buttercream, or dip in glaze.

  4. VARIATIONS:

  5. Fresh Citrus Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

  6. Prepare Cupcakes as directed, omitting vanilla and adding 1 Tbsp. orange zest and 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice to batter. Pipe or spread Orange Buttercream onto cupcakes.

  7. Orange Buttercream

  8. Substitute 1 Tbsp. orange zest for vanilla. Reduce milk to 2 Tbsp. Prepare Buttercream as directed in Steps 1 and 2, beating in 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice with 1 Tbsp. milk in Step Beat in remaining 1 Tbsp. milk as directed in Step Beat in 1 drop red food coloring and 1 drop yellow food coloring until blended, if desired.

  9. Mocha Latte Cupcakes

  10. Microwave 1 (12-oz.) package dark chocolate morsels at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Prepare Cupcakes as directed, stirring melted chocolate into batter. (Batter will be very thick.) Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool as directed. Top with Double Shot Latte Buttercream. Garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired. Makes 6 1/2 dozen.

  11. Double Shot Latte Buttercream

  12. Prepare Buttercream as directed, beating in 1 1/2 Tbsp. instant espresso with butter.

  13. Salted Caramel-Chocolate Cupcakes

  14. Prepare Cupcakes as directed, substituting 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar and 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar for 2 cups granulated sugar. Microwave 8 oz. chopped semisweet chocolate and 1/4 cup whipping cream in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in 2 Tbsp. whipping cream until smooth. Dip tops of cupcakes in chocolate mixture, and let stand until chocolate is set (about 30 minutes). Pipe or spread Salted Caramel Buttercream onto cupcakes. Garnish with sea salt flakes and caramels, cut into quarters.

  15. Note: We tested with Artisan Salt Company Cyprus Mediterranean Flake Salt.

  16. Salted Caramel Buttercream

  17. Prepare Buttercream as directed in Step 1, using 3 Tbsp. milk and adding 1/4 tsp. kosher salt with butter. Melt 15 caramels with 1 Tbsp. milk in a small microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute or until smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Fold caramel mixture into buttercream, creating swirls. (Do not completely blend.)

  18. Fresh Citrus Cupcakes with Ruby Red Grapefruit Glaze

  19. Prepare Cupcakes as directed, omitting vanilla and adding 1 Tbsp. orange zest and 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice to batter. Drizzle tops of cupcakes with Ruby Red Grapefruit Glaze, and top with pink grapefruit-flavored jelly beans.

  20. Ruby Red Grapefruit Glaze

  21. Stir together 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp. grapefruit zest, 5 to 6 Tbsp. fresh grapefruit juice, and 1 drop red food coloring until blended. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

  22. Cappuccino Cupcakes

  23. Prepare Cupcakes as directed. Pipe or spread Double Shot Latte Buttercream onto cupcakes. Garnish with instant espresso, ground cinnamon, and chocolate-covered coffee beans, if desired.

  24. Double Shot Latte Buttercream

  25. Prepare Buttercream as directed, beating in 1 1/2 Tbsp. instant espresso with butter.

Cook's Notes

To prepare regular-size cupcakes, spoon batter into 2 lightly greased 12-cup muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Bake at 350º for 22 to 24 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool and decorate as desired. Makes 2 dozen.