The Recipe

Yes, the cupcakes were as good as they looked.  I used a basic Chocolate Cake recipe (but you can use a mix if you like), once thoroughly cooled, each was slathered with a generous amount of Vanilla Buttercream Frosting and topped with some non-pariel decorations and colored sugars. 
 
    Basic Chocolate Cake
 
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour (actually, I use bread flour, but any kind works)
1 ½ tsp salt
¾ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
2 2/3 cups sugar 
1 1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup water
1 1/4 cup canola oil (use the vegetable if that’s all you have)
5 large or 4 extra large eggs 
¾ cup water  (add as needed for proper consistency)
1 ½ tsp vanilla
 
Add dry ingredients together (I never sift).  Add wet ingredients and mix just until thoroughly blended (about 2 minutes).  Pour into greased pans or muffin cups. Bake in preheated 350* oven for about 25 – 30 minutes for cake, less for cupcakes (check them around 13 minutes)
 
***I do all of this in my Kitchenaid mixer ***
 
   Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
 
6 – 8 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Stick BUTTER … not margarine, real BUTTER
1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla  … NOT extract
Cream or Milk … not so picky here
 
In a large bowl (to prevent sugar flying everywhere) mix together the sugar, butter and vanilla.  Add milk or cream 1 tablespoon at a time.  Beat until creamy and thick enough to spread.  Add more sugar and/or milk as needed.
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