Cupcakes (or pupcakes as my 2 year old calls them) are an easy, pre-portioned treat to make. They can be simple and undecorated, filled, or fancied up for special occasions. Most of the time, when I'm not using them for a special occasion, I just spread the frosting with a knife... which is very tedious or I let the kids frost their own with a knife - which is messy. However, if I don't mind adding extra frosting to the top, using a decorating bag and a larger tip is a super fast way to make a cupcake look dressy. Add sprinkles or edible glitter for extra fun!
I used a regular cake mix. (which I was not wild about - they always turn out too light & crumbly) But this time I added a good sized spoonful of sour cream, and replaced about half of the water called for with yogurt. Not quite so dry and a little heavier. I used a basic decorator icing recipe with my own twist to get a good chocolate flavor:
Creamy Chocolate Frosting
4 C. powdered sugar
3/4 C. cocoa powder
1 C. margarine or butter
1/2 C. milk (give or take a few tablespoons)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring optional
Beat the margarine, cocoa and sugar until blended and crumbly. Add vanilla and almond flavoring and mix well. Add milk a few tablespoons at a time up to the 1/2 cup called for... the texture should be so you can dip a spoon in it and it will hold a peak. Beat at a high speed for a couple of minutes to make it nice & fluffy. (scrape your bowl a couple of times during this) Use right away or refrigerate up to a week. (can also be frozen)
If you want non-chocolate frosting you can color, use shortening instead of butter, leave out the cocoa, and reduce the milk by a few tablespoons. Color as desired.
I used a #32 open star Wilton tip to pipe the swirled chocolate frosting on. Any large opening tip would do though. For the yellow flower, I used a #46 or 47 Wilton tip. The center just used what was already on the chocolate frosting bag. :)
It took me maybe 2 minutes to do the flowered cupcake. EASY! It may not be a professional job, but it works for us.
Have fun playing with decorating cupcakes at your house!