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Total Time
2 Hours 12 Mins
Yield
Makes 6 dozen miniature cupcakes
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargget

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 4

VARIATIONS:

Step 5

Fresh Citrus Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

Step 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.

Step 7

Orange Buttercream

Step 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.

Step 9

Mocha Latte Cupcakes

Step 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.

Step 11

Double Shot Latte Buttercream

Step 12

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

Step 13

Salted Caramel-Chocolate Cupcakes

Step 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.

Step 15

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

Step 16

Salted Caramel Buttercream

Step 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.)

Step 18

Fresh Citrus Cupcakes with Ruby Red Grapefruit Glaze

Step 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.

Step 20

Ruby Red Grapefruit Glaze

Step 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.

Step 22

Cappuccino Cupcakes

Step 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.

Step 24

Double Shot Latte Buttercream

Step 25

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

Chef'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.

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