4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup HONEY
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour (all purpose)
4 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 Tbs milk
1/2 cup marzipan (1-2 tsp per bee)
1/2 oz (half a square) baking chocolate, semi-sweet or milk, melted
If you haven’t already, bring your butter, egg, and milk up to room temperature (or close). Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 12 cup muffin tin by greasing or lining with paper or parchment.
Using a hand mixer, cream butter. Add honey in a slow stream while beating until light and fluffy. The mixture will look thicker than a typical butter/sugar base.
In a separate bowl, beat together milk, egg, and vanilla. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, stirring to combine. Set aside.
While the mixer is running, alternately add the wet and dry mixtures to the butter. Three additions, scraping down the sides and bottoms of the bowl between additions. Mix until well blended.
Spoon batter into prepared cups, about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Tilt cupcakes in the pan to allow moisture to escape. Allow to cool in pan for 3-5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Decorate each with buttercream frosting, sprinkles, and a marzipan bee.
Cream butter until smooth. Gradually beat in the sugar, stopping to scrape down the sides occasionally. Add the vanilla and milk until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). If too thick, add a little more milk. If too runny, add a little more sugar.
Pinch off a piece of marzipan about the size of the first joint of your thumb. Knead until the marzipan is malleable and then roll into a slightly elongated oval. Gently press two almonds into the body of the bee to make wings. If necessary, use a toothpick to give yourself a little wiggle room. Use a toothpick or wooden skewer to paint stripes and eyes. Allow to dry before decorating cupcakes.
While we certainly enjoy the use of a stand mixer for preparing baked goods, we find that a regular hand mixer works well for this small-batch recipe. Use the butter wrapper to grease the inside of your measuring cups to ensure smooth pouring of your honey.