These fun Caga Tió cupcakes celebrate the famous “pooping” log that brings children presents each Christmas here in Catalonia, Spain. See notes above for step-by-step decorating instructions.
Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup coffee (or water), room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or canola oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Buttercream Ingredients:
- 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 28 candy eyes
- handful of pretzel sticks
- red and black food coloring
To Make The Cupcakes:
- Prep the oven and cupcake liners. Heat oven to 300°F (148°C). Line two cupcake pans with about 16 liners total (or you can bake multiple batches with one pan).
- Combine the dry ingredients. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Combine the wet ingredients. In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla until evenly combined.
- Mix the batter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. The batter will be thin.
- Bake. Fill the cupcake liners so that they are just over halfway full. (You should have between 14 to 16 cupcakes.) Bake for 18 to 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool completely to room temperature. See step-by-step decoration instructions in the notes above.
To Make The Buttercream:
- Beat the butter. Add the butter to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes until it is light and fluffy.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Add the powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat on low speed for 1 minute until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 2 more minutes until completely smooth.
- Adjust consistency if needed. If the buttercream seems too thin, add in 1 to 2 cups of additional powdered sugar and beat until smooth. If the buttercream seems too thick, add in 1 tablespoon of heavy cream (or more, if needed) and beat until smooth. Dye about 2/3 cup of the frosting black. Then halve the remaining amount of frosting and dye one half red and one half brown. (I used cocoa powder as the brown “food coloring.”)
Storage instructions: Unfrosted baked cupcakes can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Plain buttercream can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 1 week. To be safe, frosted cupcakes should be refrigerated in a sealed container where they can be stored for up to 5 days.
Prep time: The prep time listed in the recipe above approximates the amount of time that it may take to decorate the cupcakes, but does not include the additional time needed for the cupcakes to completely cool to room temperature, which can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes. I typically make the buttercream while the cupcakes are in the oven to save time.
Source: Chocolate cupcakes recipe slightly adapted from Life, Love and Sugar.