Archive for: mini cupcakes
Cheesecakes are a delicious dessert, but they seem to become even more irresistible when they are scaled down into small, single serving sizes. I attribute this to the fact that cheesecakes are not only decadent, but rather filling, and it is easier to resist a large slice of a full sized cheesecake than a small and snackable version. They also take much less time to bake from start to finish, so you can get your cheesecake fix much more quickly.
These Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes with Chocolate Crumb Crust are for those who love chocolate as much as they love cheesecake. The cheesecake filling is flavored with cocoa powder and melted chocolate, and it sits on top of a chocolate crumb crust. The crust adds a nice crispy texture to the cheesecake and, since the chocolate wafer cookies used to make the crust actually have a very intense bittersweet flavor to them, they boost the chocolate flavor very well. The filling isn’t as rich as a chocolate truffle would be, but it has a nice chocolate flavor and you can still taste the tang of the cream cheese in every bite. Speaking of bites, you will probably get 2-4 bites from each mini cheesecake.
I decorated the tops of my cheesecakes with a little bit of cheesecake batter that I tinted with a bit of the melted chocolate. If you want to do the same thing, simply mix about a tablespoon of chocolate cheesecake batter into a tiny bowl with whatever melted chocolate didn’t make it into your batter when you poured it in (in other words, save a very small amount of it, just enough to change the color of the reserved cheesecake batter). Pour this into a piping bag, pastry cone or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and pipe stripes of dark batter onto the top of each mini cheesecake before baking. Drag a toothpick through the stripes to create the zig-zag design ( and be sure to watch a how-to video here).
There are mini cheesecake pans on the market, but I made these in regular muffin cups lined with paper liners. To get the cheesecakes out of the muffin wrappers, be sure to chill them thoroughly in the fridge before serving – once they’re cold, the wrappers should peel off easily and you’ll be able to dig in.
I’m not sure that anything could be a more festive dessert for a holiday party than a big batch of these Mini Santa Hat Cupcakes. Each one of the mini cupcakes is topped off with a santa hat made of red and white icing that gives them a bright, festive look sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.
I used a white chocolate cupcake batter for the base of the cupcakes, although any white cake batter will work if you have a favorite. This cake batter is easy to make and has a smooth vanilla flavor and a tender crumb. Although there is white chocolate in the batter, the cupcakes aren’t too sweet, so they are a good match for the pile of cream cheese frosting on top of them.
For the frosting, I made a big batch of vanilla cream cheese frosting and divided it into two bowls. I left on bowl white and colored the other bowl red. I put the white icing into a piping bag and piped one big circle of frosting onto the top of each cupcake to serve as the base of the hat. I piped the red frosing in a peak on top of that, then used a ziploc bag with a small hole cut off of one corer to add a little dot of white to the top of each hat. The cream cheese frosting is less stiff than buttercream icing is, but when the cupcakes are finished, the hats will have a very soft, natural look to them that makes them even more charming.
These cupcakes can be baked as full sized cupcakes if you are looking for something larger. You’ll get about 18 cupcakes and you’ll need to bake them for about 25 minutes. I highly recommend sticking with the mini cupcakes, however, as you need quite a bit of frosting to get the look right for these and you may need two batches to get enough for a bigger cake. The cupcake wrappers I used had santa belts on them and were made by Wilton, but plain red or white cupcake wrappers are good options, too, and will go well with the santa hat frosting.
The only baked good cuter than a cupcake is a mini cupcake, but there aren’t as many recipes out there for these downsized goodies as there are for their full-sized counterparts. Fortunately, it is not difficult to turn a batch of full sized cupcakes into miniature ones as long as you have a mini muffin pan to work with.
Most cupcake recipes can be made into mini cupcakes. Mini cupcake pans hold roughly 1/3 of the amount of regular cupcake pans, so if you have a recipe that yields 12 full sized cupcakes, you’ll get 36 minis from the same amount of batter. It is much easier to start with the full recipe and make a big batch of minis than to cut down the recipe, as there are some recipes that don’t take well to downsizing.
Once you have your batter, fill up the mini muffin pan as you would a regular muffin pan (filling each cup somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 full) and pop the tray in the oven. While most cupcakes take about 15-20 minutes to bake, most mini cupcakes take from 9-14 minutes or so to reach donenss. Check your minis at 9 or 10 minutes with a toothpick and bake longer as needed. The only thing you really need to look out for is the fact that it is easy to overbake these miniature cakes, so keep a close eye on them while they’re baking and check them at very short intervals when they’re close to being done.
It is easy to say that all you need to make miniature cupcakes is a mini muffin pan. But this isn’t strictly true, because you also need a well equipped kitchen, baking ingredients, paper liners and frosting to really produce a good miniature cupcake. To most of us, these are things that we already have in our kitchens. But for those who are less well equipped, or who simply want a very quick cupcake fix, there is the Bella Cucina Mini Cupcake Maker.
This countertop gadget (which appears to be the same as the Smart Planet Cupcake Maker sold at other retailers) bakes up 7 mini cupcakes is just 10 minutes. The gadget plugs into a wall and immediate starts to heat up. In just about a minute, it is ready to go. You can use paper liners or directly fill the nonstick baking cups with about a tablespoonful of batter. I was skeptical about how well the machine would work, but my cupcakes – and I tried multiple batches – turned out perfectly every time.
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.