Mini cupcakes allow you to satisfy your sweet tooth without overindulging by offering a burst of flavor in a reasonable portion. Fortunately, with a bit of attention, the tiny treats are just as easy to bake as their larger counterparts. Though the cake mix box may not offer instructions for mini cupcakes, you can use the same mix as you would for a cake or regular-sized cupcakes as long as you adjust the cooking time. Since the same cake mix will yield between two and three times as many mini cupcakes as traditional ones, your biggest challenge may be to stop eating them after just one.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line each cup of a mini cupcake pan with a mini liner. Choose paper or aluminum liners with patterns or colors to suit your taste and the occasion. Set the pan aside.
Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box. You will have too much batter for a single batch of mini cupcakes, but this is acceptable, as you can bake them in rounds.
Scoop the batter using a 1-ounce disher or ice cream scoop. Level the batter in the scoop against the side of the bowl. Drop the batter into an empty mini cupcake cup. Repeat until all of the cups are filled. If you do not have a scoop, measure 2 level tablespoons into each cup, or the equivalent of 1 fluid ounce. The cups should be between two-thirds and three-quarters full with batter.
Cover any leftover batter in the bowl with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the next batch.
Place the mini cupcake pan in the preheated oven and bake the cupcakes for 10 minutes. Open your oven and, using potholders, rotate the pan 180 degrees. Bake the cupcakes for about 5 minutes longer, or until the tops are firm to the touch. The cupcakes will continue to bake for the first few minutes after being removed from the oven, so be careful not to overcook them.
Remove the mini cupcake pan from the oven, using potholders, and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Once cool enough to touch, remove the cupcakes from the pan and set on another rack to cool completely before decorating.
Line the pan with new mini cupcake liners and repeat the steps to bake another batch. Repeat as necessary, until you use all of the batter.
Frost and decorate the mini cupcakes with the toppings of your choice. Make sure to allow the cupcakes adequate time to cool before frosting, as any heat still within the cake may melt your icing.
Things You Will Need
Mini cupcake pan
Mini cupcake liners
1 ounce disher or ice cream scoop
Fill mini cupcakes with fruit puree, pudding or caramel by inserting the tip of a squeeze bottle containing the filling of your choice into the top middle of the cake and applying pressure. When the cupcake is appropriately full, the filling will push back out of the top. Simply frost the mini cake as you typically would to cover the hole. Use two mini cupcake pans at the same time to speed up the process. Follow the same steps, but fill two pans and place each on a different oven rack. When you rotate the cupcake pans 180 degrees, 10 minutes into cooking, also swap the pans so the one on the top rack is on the bottom, and vice versa.
Watch the mini cupcakes closely during baking, especially the first batch, as they cook more quickly than regular-size cupcakes. Also, because there is less batter, an extra minute or two in the oven has a much greater effect on mini cupcakes, so add extra baking time in smaller increments.
Kathryn Roberts has worked in the culinary industry for nearly a decade in various roles, including pastry chef and bakery manager. After studying at the Culinary Institute of America, she earned her BFA from Goddard College and is pursing an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.