Hello friends – it’s time for small batch cupcakes!
Let this be a bit of sunshine in your day.
This is a very vintage Joy the Baker recipe I’ve brought back to life for this modern day. Cupcakes feel… I dunno… maybe a little trivial considering our current reality, but even as strange as things are, some things remain the same – our sweet teeth and need for little cakes.
This recipe is a wonder in that it uses one simple stick of butter to make and frost 12 tender little cupcakes. We’re making a lot from a little these days, in more ways than one.
I hope this moment finds you well and helps to take a refuge in the kitchen with sugar and sprinkles for a few hours.
Here’s what you’ll need for these small batch cupcakes:
• One stick of butter: 3 tablespoons for the cupcakes + 5 tablespoons for the frosting. All softened, of course.
• Flour, leavening, and salt for the cupcakes.
• Granulated and powdered sugar for the cupcakes and frosting respectively.
• An egg to bind the cakes.
• Vanilla extract though a dash of almond extract would also be nice.
• Whole milk for both the cupcakes and the frosting.
These cupcakes start rather unconventionally.
Instead of creaming just the butter and sugar we’ll whisk together all of the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the softened butter and, using electric hand beaters, work the butter into the dry ingredients.
You’ll come to a sandy mixture – that’s right.
This isn’t the same texture as creaming together only butter and sugar.
Sandy with a few small bits of butter that remain is absolutely spot on.
Whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla extract until the yolk and white are well combined.
Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the buttery dry ingredients.
Beat until smooth and a little soupy.
The batter should be smooth and glossy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, we’ll need every bit of batter for 12 small batch cupcakes.
Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers and fill each cupcake to 3/4 full with cake batter.
I’ll tell ya now, you’ll need every bit of batter to fill 12 cupcakes so scrape the bowl well.
Bake the small batch cupcakes to puffed and golden. They really are the sweetest little cakes!
While the cakes cool whip together the powdered sugar, remaining butter, milk, and splash of vanilla.
Add a few dashes of whatever food coloring you fancy. Yellow feels appropriately sunny.
Spread each cooled cupcake with frosting. Use a butterknife or offset spatula to spread the frosting, we’re not making enough frosting to use a piping bag for these cupcakes.
Top with a few sprinkles for ya know… festivities sake.
Enjoy with milk. Live in this fine moment.
Photographs with my dear Jon Melendez.Print
Twelve Frosted Cupcakes, One Stick of Butter
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
- Total Time: 0 hours
For the Cupcakes:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- a scant 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the butter and use electric hand beaters on medium-low speed to combine the mixture to sandy. There still may be a few small bits of butter, that’s ok!
- Gradually pour in half of the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
- In a small bowl whisk together the egg, vanilla and remaining milk together and pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated. Scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side or the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Continue mixing on high speed until the batter is smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin tins, dividing between the 12 cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar and butter. Using electric hand beaters, on low, start to incorporate the two. Combine the milk and the vanilla extract and slowly stream it into the butter and sugar mixture. Once incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes. If you find that your frosting is getting to warm in the summer months, stop beating and set in the fridge for a few minutes. Once chilled, hook the frosting back up the the mixer and beat once more until you reach the desired consistency.
- Whip in desired food coloring.
- Use an offset spatula or butterknife to spread frosting on each cupcake. Top generously with sprinkles and enjoy! Cupcakes will last covered at cool room temperature for 3 days.
Ralph @ Bakell Edible Glitter
Looks amazing! Could I use almond or soy milk instead of the whole milk?
Love the science behind, I just landed on this page from your Instagram stories of reverse creaming! Thank you for sharing these little little facts about bts in baking ?
This recipe is really great. I was a tad dubious about only using one stick of butter but it works! I did scoop out a teaspoon from each cupcake top and plopped in a wee bit of cherry jam just to add some contrast. The cakes themselves, however, I would eat alone, frosting-free. They are that delicious.
Wow, these cupcakes looks delicious. I look forward to making this soon.
Seriously love this recipe, have made it multiple times in the last month (help but also YES).
I use a mini cupcake silicone tray which turns out about 18 cupcakes AND leaves a little extra icing for other projects/eating with a spoon. I also add orange zest as I see fit as it’s a great vibe. Love!
Thanks Joy! Turned these chocolate (replaced like 2-3 tablespoons of the flour with cocoa) and they were a treat. This was the first time I had ever tried the ‘reverse creaming’ and was bummed by what (for me) was a big mess of flour powder flying around while I tried to beat in the butter. I suspect it wasn’t soft enough. I will try again with gushier butter sometime. I mostly appreciate the inspiration of fun things to make, these days, so thank you for your continued sharing.
Okay, to be fair, they are still in the oven, but so far the batter looks great. :-) I added lemon zest to the sugar before adding flour, and I’m planning to add a tad bit of lemon juice to the frosting.
For the record, since the quantity of batter is intended to be *just barely* enough, each cupcake worked out to 42 grams of batter by my calculation.
Can I substitute APF for almond or coconut flour?
I don’t think either of those flours will give you the same outcome. If you’d like to use a GF flour try a 1for1 gluten free flour blend.
The cupcakes were absolutely delicious! Thank you for a fun, easy recipe for my kids and me during this crazy time! These will be on repeat at our house!