These cupcakes make me want to take a trip to the zoo =). They would be perfect for a jungle/safari themed baby shower or birthday party. I thought they were super cute, if I do say so myself! I was really happy with the way they looked in this picture – not so happy with the way they looked after a couple miles in a hot car =(. They didn’t look terrible, but they certainly weren’t perfect. Lesson learned the hard way – this frosting doesn’t hold up well in the heat. I kind of knew this from the start, but I thought keeping them in the fridge until the last possible moment would be enough. Oh well, the frosting still tasted delicious – smooth, creamy, with a dark chocolate punch – and the malt powder gave it a little something extra. I paired it with a classic yellow cupcake that I’d made before (here), but I’m pretty sure it’d be awesome with my favorite chocolate cupcake too.  I ordered some giraffe print cupcake liners off ebay, made miniature giraffe sugar cookies for garnish, and piped some spots on the giraffes using the same frosting as the cupcakes – simple but cute. Enjoy!

Classic Yellow Cupcakes
1 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
2/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes. Because there is so little butter, you’ll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
4. Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined.  The batter will be liquid. Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full. (I use a 3 tbsp scoop)
5. Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it. If they are not done, test again in two minutes. When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack to cool.
Makes 16-18 cupcakes
*adapted from Cupcake Project

Chocolate Malt Buttercream
2 sticks butter, softened
5-6 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder
2/3 cup malt powder
3/4-1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Watkins vanilla nut extract

1. Beat butter until light and fluffy – a couple minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Beat to combine.
2. Add malt powder to butter and sugar mixture. Beat about a minute more.
3. Add vanillas and gradually add in whipping cream. Beat 3-4 minutes more, until light and fluffy.
Notes: This icing is fairly soft. If you’re planning on transporting the cupcakes in the summer time or taking them to an outdoor party, you’ll need to reduce the whipping cream to no more than 1/2 cup. If you really need a chocolate icing that can take the heat though, I’d probably just use a different recipe such as Nutella Buttercream which holds up very well in warmer temperatures.

For garnish: I made miniature giraffe sugar cookies using my Rolled Sugar Cookie recipe and these Wilton Noah’s Ark Cookie Cutters. After the cookies cooled, I piped some of the leftover chocolate malt buttercream on as spots.

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Categories: Cupcakes

4 Responses so far.

  1. heroette says:

    These cupcakes look adorably delicious! I'm always impressed by the amount of attention and thought you put into your sweet creations. The giraffe sugar cookie garnishes are such a fun touch! Truly a wild and excellent dessert!

  2. Kendra says:

    Thanks! I'm kind of obsessed with cute garnishes now =).

  3. Giraffes!!!!! This is too cute! (You can tell I&#39;m studying really hard right now!)<br /><br />I decided to catch up on your blog and these are so adorable. Oh and I just had another one of your mexican chocolate cupcakes – so good!

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