I love baking for parties. Primarily this is because I like getting feedback from big groups of people, friends and family on any baked goods that I make because I often like to try out new recipes on these occasions. It’s also fun to bake large quantities of food, or to decorate extra-large cakes from time to time. The only challenge – aside from deciding what to make in the first place – is that some recipes are just too small to work well for a party. A recipe can usually be doubled, and multiple batches can be baked, but it’s easiest if you can just work from one recipe.
These mini chocolate cupcakes are easy to make and the recipe makes enough for 4-dozen mini cupcakes! At first, when you realize that each cupcake is only about two bites, it doesn’t seem like 4-dozen will actually feed that many people. After all, when you put out full-size cupcakes, each guest usually takes a whole one. The thing about parties is that people rarely eat that much dessert and, while they might take a full size cupcake, not everyone eats the whole thing. Everyone eats a whole mini cupcake (no waste) and not everyone goes back for seconds, so you probably won’t even need to provide extras.
I like this recipe because the cupcakes turn out very moist with a good, deep cocoa flavor to them. If your oven won’t hold the pans to bake all the cupcakes at once, or if you don’t have enough mini cupcake pans to make 48 cupcakes at a time and need to wait for a pan to cool before reusing it, don’t worry about it. The batter can sit around for a little while without adversely affecting the cupcakes’ ability to rise in the oven. The first batch might be a bit poofier, but some down time (as long as you don’t play with the batter while it’s sitting around and get it overmixed), shouldn’t hurt it one bit.
Cream cheese frosting is always a hit and it’s easy to work with, so that’s what I used for these cupcakes. Feel free to use any other kind of frosting that you’d like, however.
Mini Chocolate Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp instant coffee powder (optional)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk (low fat is ok)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 48 mini muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa power, instant coffee powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and vinegar. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined and no streaks of flour remain.
Distribute batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
6-oz cream cheese, room temperature
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk or cream
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
In a large mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter. Beat in vanilla and milk (start with 1 tbsp and add additional if you wish to thin the frosting), then add in the confectioners’ sugar gradually until the frosting reaches your desired consistency (make it a bit stiffer if you wish by adding additional sugar).
Fill a pastry bag with a star tip, or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off, and pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
Makes 4-dozen cupcakes