Mini 2013 graduation cupcakes

Mini Graduation Cupcakes
The solution when you need to feed a bunch of people, but are limited in time and resources: mini cupcakes. First of all, who can say no to a mini cupcake? Not only are they cute, they tend to be much less intimidating than a full-size cupcake. I see mini cupcakes usually being gobbled up without reserve, while often times there is a moment of hesitation and battle of resolve when accepting a full-size cupcake.
They are also handy for writing messages on. Like these mini graduation cupcakes. Unfortunately, I only got to snap some quick pictures before heading out. For this version, I combined strawberry and chocolate buttercream icing before writing out the letters in white chocolate on foil. Thankfully, the message fit perfectly!



Version2: To make the graduation hats, I took some chocolate covered mints and and used yellow candy melts to create the tassel. I also used yellow and white candy melts to write the congrats message.


Mini chocolate cupcakes
Adapted from BakingBites
Dry ingredients:
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp instant espresso powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Wet ingredients
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1.) Line 48 mini muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3.) Sift dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt) into large bowl.
4.) Whisk wet ingredients (milk, canola oil, vanilla, vinegar) in separate medium bowl.
5.) Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined.
6.) Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter. 
7.) Bake at 350F for 10 to 12 minutes.

Chocolate Buttercream
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from SavorySweetLife

2 sticks softened, unsalted butter
3.5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
4 Tb milk

1.) Cream butter at medium speed. 
2.) Sift powdered sugar and cocoa into bowl and mix in at low speed. 
3.) Begin beating at medium speed and add in vanilla, salt and milk. 
4.) Beat for 3 minutes adding more sugar for thicker consistency or more milk for a more fluid consistency. 

Strawberry Buttercream
Adapted from OhSweetDay
2 sticks softened, unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tb of strawberry puree

1.) Cream butter at medium speed.
2.) Sift powdered sugar into bowl and mix in at low speed.
3.) Add 2 Tb of strawberry puree and vanilla.
4.) Beat for 3 minutes at medium speed. Add milk for more fluid consistency and add more strawberry puree to taste.

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