I love to celebrate family birthdays with baked goods. Lately, however, I haven’t been as excited about baking a cake. It’s been more fun to make several types of cupcakes and let our birthday guests pick and choose the flavor of cupcake they are in the mood for. Whether it be our churro cupcakes that we created for the Cinco de Mayo First Birthday, or these Cherry Limeade cupcakes that we are dying to try, cupcakes are a great way to celebrate! Here’s our recipe for chocolate ladybug cupcakes and the tutorial for how to decorate them!
INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
1 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
DIRECTIONS FOR CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Grease cupcake pan or place cupcake liners in pan.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, add butter and sugar and cream with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until well incorporated.
5. Stir in the vanilla extract and set aside.
6. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
7. Add 1/2 of the dry ingredient mixture to the creamed butter and mix until just combined (do not over-mix).
8. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix until combined.
9. Repeat steps 7 and 8.
10. Fill each cupcake liner until 3/4 full.
11. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
18. Let cool in pan for five minutes.
19. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to complete the cooling process.
20. Frost with icing when completely cooled.
INGREDIENTS FOR GREEN ‘GRASS’ ICING
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 T vanilla extract
2 T cold milk
Green food gel
DIRECTIONS FOR GREEN “GRASS” ICING
1. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter.
2. With an electric mixer on low, add half of the sugar until well blended.
3. Add the rest of the sugar and beat on medium speed until smooth.
4. Add food green gel until you reach your desired color of dark green grass.
5. NOTE: to thin icing, add 1 T milk and to thicken icing, add 1 T powdered sugar.
HOW TO MAKE ‘GRASS’ ICING ON CUPCAKES
1. Fill 3/4 decorating bag with green icing and attach a Wilton #233 tip.
2. Hold the decorating bag straight up and squeeze to create a glass blade.
3. Immediately after squeezing pull up and away when the icing strand is about 1/2 inch. Stop squeezing and pull tip away.
4. Be sure to keep the strands together so none of the cupcake shows through.
5. NOTE: for a more natural grass look, you can pull the tip slightly to the left or right.
6. Visit Wilton’s website HERE for a video tutorial, if needed.
Junior Mint candies
Mini tube of black icing
DIRECTIONS TO ASSEMBLE LADY BUG