Each year I try to bake up something a little something special for my sister’s birthday – previous year’s sweet treats include a puffle cake, a butterbeer cake, and nutella-filled lamingtons, all of which were fun to make (not to mention delicious!). This year, I was so overwhelmed with ideas that I was having trouble deciding on just one. While I was doing some research, I decided to check out my sister’s food board on Pinterest, and I saw that she had pinned these hot chocolate cupcakes. Since my sister loves tea, I decided to run with the cupcake mug idea, and these little teacup cupcakes are the result. They definitely take a bit of patience since there are so many steps, but each individual step isn’t so bad. I think it’d be fun to dye the fondant next time to make different colored mugs, or even use edible color markers to decorate them. Happy birthday, sister! Enjoy your special day!
For the marshmallow fondant:
- 16 ounces white mini marshmallows
- 3 Tbsp water
- 2 lbs powdered sugar
- Shortening, for work surface
In a large, microwave-safe bowl, pour the water over the marshmallows. Microwave the marshmallows 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each time, until melted.
Pour the powdered sugar over the top and then turn out on to a greased surface. Knead like you would bread dough until all of the sugar is incorporated.
Your fondant is now ready to use. If you’re not quite ready to use it yet, you can store it in the refrigerator. Make sure to coat it lightly in shortening before wrapping it in plastic wrap and placing it in a resealable bag. It will store well in the refrigerator for several weeks.
For the yellow cupcakes (adapted from here):
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk or buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale. Beat in the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time. Reduce mixer speed and beat in the milk or buttermilk just until combined. Add the flour half at a time, beating until just combined. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 5 minutes before removing the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 15 cupcakes.
For the vanilla buttercream: Follow the buttercream recipe here.
For the chocolate ganache “tea:”
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp agave syrup (for the shine)
- 5 1/2 ounces dark chocolate
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a small sauce pan, heat the cream and agave until almost boiling. Pour over the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Let sit for a few minutes and then whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
After you bake the cupcakes and they have cooled completely, remove them from their wrappers and coat the sides with the some of the buttercream frosting. Cut out strips of fondant long enough to wrap around the cupcakes, which have edges slightly higher than the tops of the cupcakes. Wrap them around the cupcakes and press the sides together, using water to seal the seam if necessary. Cut out smaller pieces and shape them into handles. Use water to secure them to the sides. Pour a little bit of the chocolate ganache on top of each cupcake for the “tea” in the cup. If desired, decorate by cutting the string from a tea bag and sticking it in the ganache.