Holly Topped White Cupcakes

Adapted from The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook 

1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter, at room temperature 
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
¾ cup whole milk

¾ teaspoon fresh lemon juice 
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract


3/4 cup butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup shortening (like Crisco)

3 1/2-4 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk

I teaspoon vanilla

1/8-1/4 teaspoon Creme Bouquet, optional


Red M & M's

Green jellied candy slices
Preheat oven to 350º. Line muffin tins with paper liners. 

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed till light. 
Add eggs, one at a time, scraping bowl between additions. Mix together milk, lemon and vanilla. Add half this mixture to the batter. Mix until just blended, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary. Add half the dry ingredients and mix in well, followed by the remaining milk mixture, then the rest of the flour. Scrape down sides of bowl between additions.

Divide batter into 14 or so spots in the muffin tins.
 Bake in the middle of the oven about 15 minutes (mine took 23 minutes) or till tester inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then remove to rack to finish cooling. 

To make icing, beat butter and shortening till light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix till smooth. Slowly add milk till icing reaches spreading consistency. Add flavorings and mix well.

Ice cupcakes as desired. Top each with 3 red M & M's and 2 slices of jellied candies, if desired.