What's Baking: Election Night Cupcakes

Since it may be a long night of watching the election returns and I have some red, white, and blue sprinkles on hand, I figured I might as well make a batch or two of mini cupcakes. Whether or not any cupcakes will remain at the end of the night is TBD.

Dark Chocolate Mini Cupcakes (printer-friendly version)
makes ~36 mini cupcakes

1 cup raw sugar
1/2 + 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg
1/2 cup organic skim milk
1/4 cup walnut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini-cupcake pan with paper liners. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. Add in the egg, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed for two minutes.
4. Add in the boiling water and mix until incorporated.
5. Spoon the batter (it will be quite thin!) into the prepared cupcake tin. (Fill each cup nearly full.)
6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes just spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
7. Remove the tin from the oven and let the mini cupcakes cool in the tin for five minutes. Then remove the cupcakes from the tin and let cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing 
makes enough to ice 36 mini-cupcakes

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon organic skim milk

1. Use an electric mixer to whip the butter at high speed for about five minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed.
2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar at low speed, then add in the vanilla extract and switch to high speed.
3. Add in the skim milk and continue mixing until incorporated and the icing is light and fluffy.
4. Use immediately. Any leftover icing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Re-whip before using.

(adapted from this recipe)