How to make the prettiest football cupcakes to bring to a friend's house or your own Super Bowl party! Perfect light and fluffy vanilla cupcakes on the bottom, and a rich chocolate buttercream frosting that pipes perfectly into a football shape. It's so easy and I'll show you how to do it! Don't forget to reserve some frosting before you add the chocolate so you can make the white football laces! Such cute Super Bowl food ideas!
Let's not pretend that I know anything about football. I attend and host football parties solely for the food. I remember the year I was pregnant with my son, and I was having serious spicy food cravings. The host of the Super Bowl party that year made spicy wings, and I sat there and ate the entire plate. No one could elbow me out of the way, because when your pregnant belly is that big, people just let you eat whatever you want. Speaking of, have you seen my roundup of Party Food Ideas that has amazing recipes for the upcoming Super Bowl?
The only thing I love more than a plate of spicy wings (I have a great recipe for wings in my Toaster Oven Cookbook for Two), is a plate of cupcakes. I like my football cupcakes with a sweet vanilla cupcake and a rich chocolate buttercream frosting. It's the perfect balance in life.
This recipe makes 10 cupcakes, which is perfect for a small party, but you can also double it! If you double this recipe for football cupcakes, follow it exactly. The recipe is written in metric and also standard cups and spoons, so it is so easy to scale up for your needs.
- Butter. I like unsalted butter best for baking, and I set it out on the counter for 30-60 minutes to bring it to room temperature before baking cupcakes.
- Granulated Sugar.
- Egg. Be sure to pull the egg out of the fridge at the same time as the butter so it can also come to room temperature. We're using the whole egg for this recipe today.
- Vanilla Extract. It sounds strange, but vanilla actually enhances the flavor of chocolate, and the chocolate frosting on these football cupcakes doesn't taste the same without it.
- All-Purpose Flour.
- Baking Powder.
- Baking Soda.
- Milk. For baking, I always reach for whole milk. You can use 2% instead, if you prefer; either way, let it rest at room temperature to take the chill off.
- Powdered Sugar. We're using powdered sugar for the frosting, and granulated sugar for the cupcake.
- Cocoa Powder. Unsweetened regular cocoa powder to make the chocolate buttercream frosting.
How to Make Football Cupcakes
- Gather all of the ingredients and ensure the butter, egg and milk are at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit, and place 10 cupcake liners in a muffin pan.
- Use an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar in a medium size bowl. It will start out crumbly, but it will eventually come together and be homogenous, yet still grainy. Beat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat until just combined.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sprinkle half of the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients, and beat just until combined. Add the milk, beat to combine, followed by the remaining half of the dry ingredients.
- Divide the cupcake batter between the 10 liners and bake for 18-22 minutes. Test a cupcake in the center with a toothpick--it should have a few moist crumbs clinging to it, but should not be wet. The football cupcakes are also done when the tops are gently pressed and they spring back.
- Let the cupcakes cool for ONLY 1 minute in the pan, and then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Don't let baked goods cool in pans, because the cooking process continues and they can become over-baked or soggy on the bottom.
- When the cupcakes are cool, make the frosting: combine the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a bowl.
- Beat together until fluffy, adding a splash of milk if needed to bring it together into a spreadable frosting consistency. At this point, scoop out ¼ cup to use for the white football laces decorations later. Don't forget to do this step, or you won't have super authentic football cupcakes!
- Next, add the cocoa powder to the rest of the frosting and beat, adding small splashes of milk to bring it together, if needed.
- To decorate the cupcakes like footballs, scrape the chocolate frosting into a bag fitted with a small star tip. Make a squiggly line that starts narrow on one end and gradually becomes the largest in the middle before tapering back down to narrow at the other end.
- Place the reserved white frosting in a bag fitted with a very small round tip. Make the laces of the football by making a small straight line about 3-inches long. Make hash marks in the opposite direction across the line. See photos for reference.
Football Cupcakes Decorating Ideas
--Beyond the standard football squiggle, we can very easily make these even more festive! Try scooping out ½ cup of the white vanilla buttercream frosting and then after making the white laces, dye the remaining portion green to make grass that mimics the football field. To make fake green grass, use this tip.
--You can also use multicolor nonpareils to mimc the crowd at the game. Each little ball represents one body in a stadium--so cute!
--Instead of using chocolate buttercream, you could dye the majority of the frosting green (save some white for the laces), and use chocolate-dipped strawberries for the football on top. Just dip each strawberry in chocolate and make the white laces on the actual strawberry. Cover the remaining area of the football cupcakes with green grass, like a football field.
I think these football cupcakes look best when piled together on a serving platter so it's very obvious it's a football shape. If you want to add extra sprinkles around the cupcakes that are your favorite team's colors, it would be so festive!
For the vanilla cupcakes:
- 3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) butter, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (125 grams) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup (120 mL) whole milk
For the chocolate frosting:
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups (150 grams) powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons (28 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- splash of milk, as necessary
First, make the football cupcakes:
1. Gather all ingredients for hte cupcakes and place 10 liners inside a muffin pan while preheating the oven to 350.
2. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and sugar in a bowl. It will start out crumbly, and then eventually come together into a yellow crumbly mixture that is homogenous. It will still be slightly grainy, and that’s ok!
3. Next add the whole egg and vanilla extract.
4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sprinkle half of this mixture on the wet ingredients and beat just to combine.
5. Add the milk to the bowl, beat a few seconds to combine, and then add the remaining half of the dry ingredients. Beat just to combine. The best order of ingredients to make tender cakes and cupcakes is: dry ingredients, wet ingredients, and then finish with dry ingredients. Divide the batter between the 10 cupcake liners.
6. Bake for 18-22 minutes. The cupcakes are done when tested with a toothpick and only a few moist crumbs cling to it. Or, if you press on the surface of the cupcake and it lightly springs back. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 1 minutes, and then immediately move them to a wire rack to cool completely. Do not let them cool in the pan, or they will have soggy bottoms.
Now make the frosting:
7. Now, gather the ingredients for the frosting. Place the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a bowl.
8. Beat the frosting ingredients until fluffy, adding a splash of milk to make it smooth and spreadble. Reserve ¼ cup of the white frosting before proceeding.
9. Next, add the cocoa powder to the bowl, and beat to combine, adding extra milk if needed.
10. Scrape the chocolate frosting into a piping bag (or regular plastic bag with the tip cut off), and add a closed star tip, something in the low 30s of the Wilton line (see below for exact details). Pipe a football shaped squiggle by starting out with a narrow squiggle that gradually grows larger in the middle and then shrinks back down. See photo for reference. Use the reserved white frosting in a bag with a small round tip to pipe the laces.
Butter: Unsalted room-temperature butter.
Egg: One large egg, slso at room temperature
Milk: For baking, I always reach for whole milk. You can use 2% instead, if you prefer; either way, let it rest at room temperature to take the chill off.
Cocoa Powder: Unsweetened regular cocoa powder.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 109Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 274mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g