Musical cupcakes

I’ve been in a Valentine’s baking frenzy the past few weeks. How can I not be with all the cute Valentine’s themed cookies, cakes, pies, dessert tables ,& parties floating around. I wish I could bake all day long and have a HUGE party for all my friends. I had to snap myself out of the frenzy when I got a call requesting cupcakes for a birthday dinner.  For a second I was stumped, my brain has been so focused on Valentine’s Day treats I almost forgot that it was possible to have a birthday or any other type of celebration in February.

The request was last minute and in the middle of a crazy snow storm, the kind that dumps 5 inches of snow per hour, so I had to work with what I had on hand. Thankfully the requester, who is also my very talented hair stylist, wasn’t very picky about flavors or decorations. She did mention that her friend was a music lover so I wanted to try and incorporate a musical theme. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it; the only decorations I knew I had on hand were kissing lips and pink & red hearts.  I wanted to make some notes for toppers, but my gum paste  had all been colored pink and red.

We agreed on chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. While pulling out the cupcake  ingredients, I stumbled white chocolate. Suddenly a light went off in my head…make the notes out of white chocolate and coat them with black sugar.  So I crossed my fingers and hoped it would all come together with no glitches.

To make the notes, I melted the chocolate and poured into a small squeeze bottle fitted with a #3 tip. I piped the notes on to wax paper and then covered them with the black sugar.  In order to fully cover the chocolate I really poured the sugar on thick.I made sure to pipe out more notes than I needed for the cupcakes, in case some broke when removing them from the wax paper or in case some were just down right ugly.  I  piped out a few that I didn’t sugar so i could test them from time to time to see if the notes had hardened. It took about 4 hours for the chocolate to harden. This time will vary depending humidity. I live in a rain forest and it was a snowy day so it took longer than I expected.

Once they hardened, I dumped the excess sugar off the notes & carefully removed them from the paper. I was pretty bummed that the sugar didn’t stick to the treble clef better. I think it would have looked great on one of the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes were frosted I placed the notes on top.  For something I whipped up on the fly, I think they turned out to be pretty cute.

Here’s the recipe for the cupcakes and frosting.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 12 cupcakes


For the cupcakes

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 eggs

1/2 cup cold, strong, brewed coffee

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

For the Frosting

1 8 oz package cream cheese

1 stick unsalted butter softened

3-4 cups powdered sugar


    For the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line cupcakes pan with liners
  2. In a large bowl,stir the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk and oil. Stir just until blended. . Spoon the batter into the prepared cups.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Let cool on a wire rack.
  5. For the Frosting
  6. In a bowl of an electric mixing bowl using paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  7. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time mixing well between each addition until the desired consistency is achieved.