Honey Graham Mini Cupcakes

If you, too, find yourself wandering listlessly through a CVS as often as I do, you know that the baking inspiration within its walls is hard to come by.

Instead of giving in to the host of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cartons that are eyeing you back as you pass through the freezer section, try this recipe instead.  Grab a box of graham crackers and a container of honey.  If you already are well stocked with the most basic baking ingredients at home, you’ll be all set.

These mini vanilla butter cupcakes are topped with honey buttercream, a dollop of honey, and a sprinkle of graham streusel.  The vanilla butter cake has a biscuit-y taste that pairs well with the uber-sweet honey frosting and sweet-n-salty streusel.  Honey is the sweetest type of sugar in existence, so it really needs that salt to balance out the flavor.

These cupcakes are so good and so simple that you’ll be amazed by your own ingenuity.  You will want to test out this same recipe with other various snackfoods after your next inevitable CVS romp!

Scroll down for the recipe.

Yellow Butter Cake

Makes 24 mini cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Mix together flour, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl.  Gradually add mixture to the butter mixture.
  5. Mix in the whole milk until combined.
  6. Let bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Honey Buttercream

Ingredients:

  • ½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions:

  1. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and honey.
  2. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, at low speed.
  3. Mix on high until light and fluffy.

Graham Streusel

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs, from 3 graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces

Instructions:

  1. Crush the graham crackers into small crumbs.
  2. Combine crumbs with the flour, brown sugar, and salt.
  3. Work cold butter into the mixture until it has the texture of wet sand.

Campfire Cupcakes

Nothing rings in July 4th like sizzling fireworks and campfires.  Whether on vacation or at camp, some of the best summer memories are built up around the ethereal glow of beach bonfires.  Even a backyard campfire is enough to spark major summer atmosphere.

Need some quick inspiration for an outdoor potluck or a kid’s summer birthday party?  Test out these sweet and salty mini campfire cupcakes.

This frosting technique can be used on any cupcake flavor, but I think it looks best on a deep chocolate color.  Build up layers of tufted orange and red icing piped with a star tip, and when you’ve reached your desired height, delicately arrange a tent of pretzel sticks.  You won’t find a tastier type of kindling!

In theory, this same technique can be applied to a larger cake, using jumbo pretzel sticks as garnish.  Just be sure to eat some cake with all of that frosting!

Get ready to craft some cupcakes with precision fit for a girl or boy scout.  Bring the fire to your next party!

Scroll down for the recipe.

Chocolate Cupcakes

(Makes roughly two dozen cupcakes)

Ingredients:
 
  • Butter or nonstick cooking spray, for the cupcake pans
  • 2 ½ cups (315 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
  • 1 cup (95 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 ml) grapeseed oil
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 ½ cups (360 ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (240 ml) hot strong-brewed coffee
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Grease and flour two cupcake pans and set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the oil and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  5. With the mixer on, add the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and almond extract.
  6. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  7. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  8. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  9. With the mixer on low, stream in the coffee.
  10. Mix on medium low for no more than 30 seconds, or until combined.
  11. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans.
  12. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a tooth-pick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  13. Let them cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cupcake from their pans.

To Assemble: Mix white frosting (even store-bought vanilla will work!) with orange and red gel food coloring.  With a star shaped piping tip, pipe frosting onto the cupcake, building up layers that taper upwards.  As a finishing touch, place pretzel sticks in a cone formation around the icing.