Sometimes you just want a small batch of cupcakes. Maybe you’re having a few friends over for dinner, or making a special meal for yourself and your partner. Even a single 8-inch round layer cake can be too much, but cutting recipes down further – especially when eggs are involved – can be a challenge.
This recipe is adapted from one I found at The Baking Fairy, which was designed for wedding cake tastings. Once you have your batter base, you could very easily flavor it many different ways, using vanilla, almond, citrus, and so forth. I chose fiori di sicilia, a delightful vanilla/citrus extract often used in Italian baked goods like panettone, and paired it with a vanilla almond buttercream. The end result is absolutely delicious, sort of like a creamsicle but with more depth of flavor.
Note: the original recipe was said to yield 4 cupcakes, but mine yielded 6.
Small Batch Cupcakes
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- dash of salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 drops fiori di sicilia*
- 3 tablespoons milk
*Yes, I use a medicine dropper for this, because it’s a very powerful flavor. If you don’t have a dropper and want to use fiori di sicilia, use about 1/8 teaspoon.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with 6 paper liners.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until very well-blended. Add egg, vanilla, and fiori di sicilia and beat until combined.
Add flour and milk alternatively in two batches, beginning and ending with the flour and beating until completely combined.
Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of batter into each cupcake well.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and immediately place cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Small Batch Buttercream
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons milk
In a mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Add powdered sugar all at once, then beat on low speed until all of the sugar is incorporated into the butter; this will take a few minutes, and you’ll need to scrape the bowl a few times to get all of the sugar to incorporate properly, since you’re working with such a small batch. Once sugar is incorporated, beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
Add vanilla extract, almond extract, and milk, then beat for another 1-2 minutes.
Frost cupcakes using a small offset spatula; you should have just enough for a generous portion on each, with a little bit left over.
Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.