Cute Polar Bear Cupcakes

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These adorable cupcakes with a sugar coated polar bear face will melt hearts. The perfect combination of light and fluffy chocolate cupcakes with sweet and creamy buttercream frosting, coupled with easy and cute decorations makes for delightful treats. If this isn’t your idea of the perfect accompaniment to a winter-themed holiday party or really any occasion… heh heh… breakfast… then you must be out of your mind.

The cupcake recipe for this is from my favorite chocolate cupcake/cake recipe that I also used for these mint chocolate cupcakes but without the mint flavor and chips.

We made these adorable cupcakes with our friend Shanthi and shoutout to her and her dad’s restaurants at http://onetwentysix.net/!

Oven Temperature: 350˚F

Baking Time: 12-15 minutes

Makes: 24 mini cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk

Decorations
White chocolate candy melts
Dark chocolate candy melts
Black candy pearls (or more dark chocolate candy melts)
For bear paws-mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line one mini cupcake tray (for 24 cupcakes) with paper liners.

Mix the milk and vinegar in a small bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the oil, sugar and vanilla together.

In another mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Then alternate the milk and the flour mixture into the oil and sugar, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until the batter is smooth.

Fill the cupcake tin with batter. *Pro tip: use a small ice cream scoop to divide the batter and fill the cupcake tin for a mess-free experience.

Then bake the cupcakes for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.

Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. In a medium-sized bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. A handheld or stand mixer is preferable but a whisk will also work. Then add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract and milk until you get the desired consistency for spreading on the cupcakes.

To make the decorations, melt the white and dark chocolate candy melts in separate bowls. Then transfer each into a plastic bag. Seal the bags and make a small cut into one corner of each bag. On a parchment lined surface, pipe small circles out of the white chocolate. These will be the snouts and ears. On ⅓ of the circles, pipe a small dot for the nose out of the dark chocolate. Candy melts will set at room temperature, so leave them to dry for about fifteen minutes and they will be ready to use. If the chocolate sets up inside the bag, you can reheat it in the microwave in short bursts of 10-15 seconds. *If not using the black candy pearls for eyes, you can also pipe out eyes using the dark chocolate candy melts.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, spread on the frosting either with a knife or pipe it on. Piping on the frosting gives a much smoother appearance, but either will do. After frosting, dip the cupcakes into white sugar.

After all the cupcakes are frosted and sugared, place two ears, two eyes and a snout onto each one. To make the bear paws, place one dark chocolate candy melt on the cupcake and adorn with mini chocolate chips for the toes. Relish the cuteness and enjoy!

*Note: these cupcakes must be served within a few hours of placing on the sugar pearls because the color will bleed into the icing. If you are planning on making these cupcakes ahead of time, do all the decorations except for the eyes beforehand and place in an air tight container. Then place the eyes on right before serving.

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