I've made cupcakes twice in the last couple of weeks. Once for a baptism and once for a work party. This is a delicious recipe that is super easy to make. I was able to make two batches of cupcakes (one chocolate, one vanilla) but by topping them creatively, it made 4 different types of cupcake: Lemon, Cookies & Cream, Peanut Butter, and Strawberry.
Basic Cupcake Recipe:
1 box cake mix (any flavor)
1 cup buttermilk
vegetable oil (the amount suggested on box)
4 large eggs
Place all ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until moistened (about 30 seconds) then increase the speed and beat 2 minutes longer. Place cupcake liners in tin(this recipe will make just under 2 dozen). Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. (If you make mini-cupcakes, decrease baking time and remove when cakes are lightly golden brown). Cool cupcakes and frost.
Basic Buttercream Frosting Recipe
1 stick butter
1-2 T. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
Mix butter, milk and vanilla. Mix in powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. If it doesn't seem thick enough, add a little more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add more milk in small increments (1 tsp. at a time, mixing well between to check consistency).
Lemon Cupcakes (use white or lemon cake mix for the cupcakes):
Add 1/2 tsp. lemon flavoring and a few drops of yellow food coloring to the frosting. Top with sprinkles.
Cookies & Cream (use chocolate cake mix for the cupcakes):
Frost cupcakes with regular white buttercream. Crush 1-2 oreos and sprinkle on top. Place 1/4 of an Oreo on each cupcake (cut them in fourths with a serrated knife).
Strawberry Cupcakes (use white or yellow cake mix for the cupcakes):
Add 1/2 tsp. strawberry flavoring and 2-3 drops red or pink food coloring to the frosting (I've also mixed in strawberry jam when I don't have strawberry flavoring). Top each cupcake with a sliced strawberry or a small chocolate dipped strawberry.
Peanut Butter Cupcakes (use chocolate cake mix for the cupcakes)
Mix 3-4 T. cocoa powder into the buttercream frosting recipe to turn it chocolate. It will get a little thick with that extra powder, so you may need to add a bit more milk to smooth it out a bit. Cut a Reeces Peanut Butter Cup in fourths and stick one fourth in each cupcake.
To frost the cupcakes:
Place the frosting in a sturdy ziploc bag and snip off a corner. Squeeze the frosting on top and swirl to finish.