Sugar Plum Fairy Inspired Cupcakes

This post was contributed by The Olive Tree.

2020. What a year. Regardless, I’m determined to not let all the changes we’ve been doored over the last few months put a damper on our holiday season.

We will adjust and overcome. We will make memories, and embrace the beautiful stillness this upcoming season will bring. 

We had our heart set on The Nutcracker this year, but instead of going to the ballet, we brought it to us-ish. 

Ballet shoes, paintable nutcrackers, chocolate +  strawberry milk with icing + sprinkled rims and fancy glasses + a disco ball + The Nutcracker soundtrack + family recipes + girls in tutus + ballerina buns and cupcake decorating…all in our backyard. 

Hiland Dairy helped us accomplish the perfect chocolate cupcake… Which contained a secret family ingredient… Which I’ll be sharing below!

I’m going to share with you our backyard party + my great grandma’s chocolate cupcake + Cream cheese butter frosting.

I found this recipe, along with many others, and my great grandmother’s recipe box. With the trip down memory lane filled with nostalgia, I decided to use some of her recipes to decorate our table. 

For the cream cheese buttercream icing you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup (one stick) of Hiland Dairy unsalted butter softened 
  • 8 oz Hiland Dairy cream cheese 
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of  salt 
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Hiland Dairy heavy cream 

Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth, with no lumps. Then add the vanilla and 2 cups of powdered sugar. Then add the heavy cream and the rest of the powdered sugar.

Use the icing to decorate the cups and frost outside of your fancy cups. Once the cups are iced throw some sprinkles on the icing for the perfect touch! I promise your family will love this tiny and simple detail. 

Don’t forget to fill those cups up with your favorite Hiland Dairy milk or eggnog! 

Now onto the goooooooood stuff. The cupcakes. While I was rummaging through my great grandmother’s recipe box I came across a chocolate cupcake recipe that had a very intriguing ingredient. I just had to give this a try! It did not disappoint. The cupcakes were so moist the wrappers were falling off. 

Do you want to know what the secret ingredient is?!

It’s buttermilk!!! I’ve use buttermilk numerous times and pancakes but never in cupcakes. You MUST make these. 

For these cupcakes you’ll need: 

  • 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup of unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup  of vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup if Hiland Dairy buttermilk 

Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl. Then mix your wet ingredients, minus the buttermilk,  in a bowl. Add half of the wet ingredients to the dry.

Following that add half of your buttermilk. Mix add the rest of your wet ingredients. Mix the remaining buttermilk. Mix on low. You don’t want to over mix this.

Then using cupcake liners fill them halfway with batter. Halfway is key, if you overfill, the batter will overflow as it cooks. 

Bake @350 for 18-21 minutes. 

Fill a piping bag with icing and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

When ready ice your cooled cupcakes. 

Once these are iced, get the whole family involved in decorating the cupcakes. The more peppermints + gumdrops + sprinkles the better!

THINK SUGAR PLUM FAIRY! There is no such thing as too many toppings here.

Don’t forget… choose joy… embrace the simple moments… make an old family recipe… improvise… and pick up all your Hiland Dairy needs at your local grocer this holiday season.