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How to Make Mini Cupcakes

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Mini cupcakes are perfectly-sized treats that are always a hit at parties! I share a recipe for the best vanilla mini cupcakes in this post, plus techniques to convert your favorite cupcake recipe to minis – it’s so simple!

five mini vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream in pink and white liners

What You’ll Need

mini cupcake tin filled with 24 liners

Start with some basic cupcake baking tips if you aren’t familiar with how to bake cupcakes.

To make mini cupcakes, you’ll need mini cupcake liners and a mini muffin tin. Mini muffin tins typically hold 24 mini cupcakes.

You’ll also need a few other essentials, so please check out my suggested baking tools before beginning this – or any other – recipe.

Converting a Standard Cupcake Recipe

You don’t need to alter the measurements or ingredients of a regular cupcake recipe to convert it into a recipe for minis.

The alterations you’ll have to make come in when filling and baking.

Converted Recipe Yields

When you convert a standard cupcake recipe, you will end up with three times as many minis.

That means that your cupcake recipe that makes 12 normal-sized cupcakes will yield 36 minis; if your standard recipe makes 24, you’ll have 72 minis.

How to Fill Cupcake Liners

Filling mini cupcake liners with a disher

Regardless of the size you are making, there are several ways to fill liners.

  • Disher Scoop – Basically, this is an ice cream scoop with a lever. For minis, I suggest using disher size 50, which holds about .65 ounces.
  • Piping Bag – Place the batter in a large piping bag and pipe it into the liners. This works best if your cupcake batter is thick.
  • Batter Dispenser – This is a very neat way to fill cupcake liners, but it is an extra gadget that takes up a lot of space. If you do get one, though, it also works really well for pancakes!

How High to Fill Liners

Different recipes call for filling cupcake liners different amounts, and the same rules that apply to regular cupcakes also apply to minis. If a cupcake recipe says to fill the liner 2/3 full, do the same thing when you convert the recipe to mini cupcakes.

Tip: If the recipe doesn’t say how high to fill the liners, always make a test cupcake. Fill one liner about halfway and bake just that one cupcake. See how much it rises and use that information to determine how high to fill the other liners. As a result, you won’t mess up the whole batch by over or under filling the liners.

Adjusting the Baking Time

Because they are smaller, mini cupcakes take less time to bake than full-sized ones. Typically, the baking time is somewhere between nine and fifteen minutes.

Test for doneness at nine minutes by inserting a toothpick or cake tester into a cupcake, then remove it. if the toothpick comes out dry or with a few moist crumbs, the cupcakes are done. If there is still batter on the toothpick, bake for three more minutes and then test again.

How Much Frosting Should You Use?

chocolate cream cheese frosting on a KitchenAid paddle

Multiply the amount of frosting that you would typically use on a batch of regular cupcakes by 1.5.

When you are frosting minis, you can use the same piping tip that you use for standard-sized cupcakes. I recommend a Wilton 1M tip.

Note: If you like to make tall swirls of frosting on your cupcakes, you will have a greater frosting to cake ratio on minis than you do on standard sized cupcakes.

Stef's hand holding a mini vanilla cupcake frosted with vanilla buttercream and decorated with sprinkles

Cupcakes

Frostings

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Mini Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

This is the best mini vanilla cupcake you will ever have!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 48 mini cupcakes
Calories 60kcal
Author Stefani

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup canola oil you can also use vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract use pure, not imitation
  • 2/3 cup whole milk room temperature

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
  • In a small bowl, combine sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean.
  • Using the back of a spoon, move around the bowl and apply pressure to break up any clumps of seeds and to better infuse the vanilla flavor into the sugar. Set aside.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined.
  • 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.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
  • Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined. The batter will be liquid. (Don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s supposed to be that way.)
  • Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
  • Bake for 10 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it. The cupcakes should appear white with specks of vanilla bean. They should not turn a golden brown. If they are not done, test again in two minutes. If they are still not done, test again in another two minutes.
  • When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack (or just on your counter if you don’t own a cooling rack) to cool.
  • Frost with your favorite frosting such as my vanilla buttercream or my chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Notes

(This recipe is a mini-sized version of my best vanilla cupcake recipe.)
Use a vanilla bean for the best vanilla flavor. If you don’t have one, you can leave off the bean and skip related instructions and the mini cupcakes will still be amazing!
Use cake flour for a lighter crumb. If all you have on hand is all-purpose flour, that will work fine.
Be careful not to over-mix the batter.
Use room temperature ingredients – everything will mix together more smoothly that way.
Because everyone’s oven is just a bit different and your liners may be a slightly different size than mine, I highly recommend that you bake a test cupcake before baking your whole batch of mini vanilla cupcakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 60kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 41mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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How to Make Mini Cupcakes