mini cupcakes

These little cakes came about when I wanted to bake some miniature treats a couple of weeks ago. They are perfectly bite sized, and so small that you can eat two and you'll still have eaten less than an entire cupcake. I used petit four cases and a standard sponge recipe. You could easily change the flavours to make a whole range of flavours from one batch, just by dividing up the batter, and adding a little cocoa if you fancy chocolate, or lemon zest and curd if citrus is your thing.

ingredients (makes approximately 30 petit four sized cupcakes)
125g unsalted butter at room temperature
125g caster sugar
125g self raising flour (or 125g plain flour + half tsp baking powder)
2 free range eggs
half a tsp vanilla extract
optional: cocoa / lemon zest if you'd like to change the flavour

1) Pre-heat oven to 180C / gas mark 4 and put petit four cases out on a baking sheet.
2) You can either place all of the ingredients into a bowl and beat together until well combined, or cream the butter and sugar, followed by the eggs & vanilla, then lastly the flour.
3) Using two teaspoons, scoop a small amount of batter into each case. Don't load up the spoons too much, otherwise they will spill over.
4) Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes, or until the sponge is lightly golden. You can insert a skewer or toothpick into the centre of the cake to be sure that they are cooked through. If the skewer comes away clean, they're done. If there are a few crumbs stuck to the skewer, bake for another 2-3 minutes. If the skewer comes out wet, bake for another 5 minutes before checking again.
5) Transfer the cakes to a wire cooling rack and leave to cool completely before icing. (This doesn't take long - perhaps about 20 minutes or less as the cakes are so small.)
6) Make a half batch of your icing of choice then pipe your tiny cakes with as much or as little icing as you like! I used this chocolate orange cream cheese frosting on mine.