Once a month Jonny leaves me and the kids to fend for ourselves for an entire Saturday while he’s off being artsy at mono-screen printing workshops. Those are the days when I realize just how hard it would be if I were a single parent. A single parent with two very spirited boys. Boys who wake me up at 5:45 a.m. by ‘kid whispering’ in my ear about what ride we should hit first at Disneyland… when we go there next September. Boys who love loudly smashing block towers with toy cars, and are currently obsessed with a 3′ plastic skeleton they’ve lovingly dubbed ‘Iron Giant.’

Those Saturdays are far from relaxing, but all kinds of fun.

I get to spend undistracted quality time with both kids, without the guilty feelings of ‘I really should be working and not playing with this homemade Flubber’ that I so often experience as a work-from-home mom. They’re also the days I get to recruit my tiny little helpers to come up with some pretty fun and tasty treats.

This time, the boys and I hit up Pinterest for some inspiration and they quickly decided on Candy Corn Cupcakes. Although, we kicked ours up a bit by using our own tried and true vanilla cake recipe, adding honey to get a ‘hint’ of true candy corn flavor in the finished product.

Candy-Corn-Cupcakes_4Candy Corn Cupcakes
(makes 10)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup cold whole milk
Red & yellow food coloring

Vanilla Honey Buttercream
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
2 tbsp honey
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and honey until combined, then add the sugar and beat until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined, then add the vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, then slowly add to the butter mixture and beat until moistened. Add the cold milk and stir to combine.

Transfer 1/3 of the batter to a separate bowl and add a few drops of yellow food coloring (adjust to your color preference) then stir to combine. Add a few drops of both yellow and red food coloring (adjust to your preferred orange hue) to the remaining batter and stir to combine.

Spoon yellow batter into the bottom of each liner to around 1/4 fullness. Top with twice as much orange batter to fill each liner around 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 16 – 18 minutes, or until they pass the ‘bounce’ test. Meaning if you gently tap the center with your index finger the cake springs back rather than sinking in.

Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack while you make the buttercream.

To make the frosting, cream together the butter and honey in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue mixing until combined, then add the vanilla and heavy cream and mix until light and fluffy.

Pipe the frosting in a fun little peak on top of the cooled cupcakes to resemble the white ‘tips’ of the candy corn.

Candy-Corn-Cupcakes_5The boys and I had a blast making these, and even more fun eating them while watching Curious George Boofest with our skeleton buddy, Iron Giant. 

And we may have even saved one for Dad.