Each of these adorable mini cupcakes is topped with a special treat: candy presents! Square or rectangular candies work best, but you can easily trim them to fit if you want a variety of gift box shapes.
- Prep time 1 hour
- Total time 1 hour & 30 minutes
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 3/4 cups butter softened
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream (35%) or milk
- food colouring (optional)
- 36 assorted small square licorice candies (such as licorice allsorts)
In large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk in oil, 1 tsp of the vanilla and 2 cups water. Stir in vinegar. Divide among 36 paper-lined mini muffin cups.
Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centres comes out clean, about 12 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes; transfer directly to racks to cool completely. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 24 hours.)
While cupcakes are cooling, in large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Beat in icing sugar, alternating with cream, making 3 additions of icing sugar and 2 of cream. Beat in remaining vanilla. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before continuing with recipe.)
Spoon three-quarters of the icing into piping bag fitted with small star tip; pipe star shapes all over tops of cupcakes.
Using food colouring, tint remaining icing to desired shade (if using). Spoon into piping bag fitted with coupler and small plain tip; pipe 2 intersecting lines onto each licorice candy to create ribbon.
Using same piping bag fitted with small star tip, pipe star onto each ribbon to create bow. Place 1 licorice candy on top of each cupcake. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 24 hours.)
Tip from The Test Kitchen: Using a piping bag coupler allows you to easily change piping tips while decorating. Look for it at baking supply stores.
Makes 36 mini cupcakes.
Nutritional facts per mini cupcake: about
- Sodium 79 mg
- Sugars 18 g
- Protein 1 g
- Calories 163.0
- Total fat 7 g
- Potassium 28 mg
- Cholesterol 10 mg
- Saturated fat 3 g
- Total carbohydrate 25 g
- Iron 3.0
- Folate 4.0
- Vitamin A 3.0