Are these not the cutest cupcakes ever? When my sister in law said that she wanted to do a Winnie the Pooh theme for my niece’s birthday, I knew honey bees had to be a part of it, but since we were already decorating a cake, we went a little simpler with the cupcakes…
Thankfully even though these are super easy, they’re also ridiculously cute! Love it when that happens! 😉
I found the inspiration for these in Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes cookbook while searching for a honey based cake recipe. She created her bees with marzipan, but since I wasn’t feeling too excited about tinting marzipan black, we stuck together thinly sliced yellow and black jelly beans. At first the perfectionist in me was going crazy because the beans are curved and didn’t quite fit together perfectly, but a gentle little smoosh smoothed that right out. 🙂
I was skeptical when I tasted the batter, but this cake is wonderful – it’s a little dense, almost like a muffin, and the honey flavor shines through to pair nicely with a subtle butter flavor. I loved these with regular buttercream, but a nice cream cheese icing would be fabulous!
- 2 cups salted butter softened
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 cup tablespoons milk
- pinch salt
- 4 pounds powdered sugar sifted
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- Black jelly beans
- Yellow jelly beans
- Sliced almonds
Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add extract, milk, and salt, then mix well. Gradually add powdered sugar and whip until fluffy. It may be necessary to add additional milk to reach your desired consistency.
Preheat oven to 325. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugars until pale and thick. Add honey, milk, and oil and mix on low speed. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Line muffin tin with cupcake wrappers and fill 3/4 full with batter. Bake until cupcakes are golden brown and test clean, about 24 minutes. Yields 20 cupcakes.
Using a serrated knife, slice jelly beans into 3-4 pieces. Combine jelly beans, alternating colors, making sure to place the rounded slices at each end. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Place a re-assembled jelly bean into the frosting, then add an almond slice on either side to resemble wings. Repeat as desired.