One of my favorite movie scenes of all-time is in Bridesmaids when Kristin Wiig's character, a baker down on her luck, makes herself the most elaborate cupcake in her home late at night. She makes just one cupcake, measuring out small, precise amounts of everything. I loved that idea--sometimes we just want a cupcake but we don't want 12. Or 24. Enter this recipe for two vanilla cupcakes. You don't even need a mixer to make it, a regular old spoon will do just fine.
To frost I wanted to make them look like Magnolia Cupcakes from the famous NYC bakery. I used to live across from a Magnolia Bakery in LA and I loved watching them frost the cupcakes to give them that signature swirl on top. I used this recipe and watched this youtube video about 100 times to hack the method (hey, what else is winter break for?). I used this recipe but changed the amounts so that it was for only 2 cupcakes. Remember you can always add more powdered sugar or milk so your frosting consistency is how you like it. You want this frosting to strike a balance between pliable (so you can pat it on the cupcake smoothly) and stiff enough that it doesn't slide right off. It can be trickier than it sounds!
Magnolia Cupcake Frosting (for 2 cupcakes)
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1.5 cups powdered sugar
1/8th cup milk
1 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract
food coloring (optional)