Martha Stewart's Dotted-Letter Cupcakes...Well, Not Exactly Dotted! (#15)

This is the 15th cupcake idea I've made from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat, and I will admit right up front that my royal icing "dots" connected themselves into straight lines! Granted, I was in a bit of a hurry to make these for a baby shower...isn't that always the way...but, still it was a fun cupcake idea to try.

This "idea" has four parts: make the royal icing and create the letters...make the cupcakes (I made Martha's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes)...make the frosting (I made Billy's Vanilla Buttercream Frosting). Then you assemble everything! Layla was in the kitchen for the entire process...Oh yeah: Before you begin the royal icing, make sure that you have meringue powder, which you can buy at Michaels.

I only needed 18 cupcakes for the baby I frosted the rest with Billy's Vanilla Buttercream Frosting and brought them to work today!

Here's what Martha says about the Dotted-Letter Cupcakes: "Spell out a birthday wish--or whatever your celebration calls for--with homemade dot letters on a big bunch of cupcakes. The colorful letters (and numbers) are made of tinted royal icing piped oonto parchment paper and allowed to harden before they're placed atop the cupcakes. To save time on the day of the party, pipe the decorations the day before."

I will definitely try these dotted letters again...with more time and the knowledge I gained from this cupcake idea, it should be much easier to get the desired effect!

Have a great week...Layla and I will be back soon!


Martha Stewart's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 18 to 24

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Billy's Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Makes enough for 30 cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.

Royal Icing

2 pounds confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup water, plus more if needed
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons meringue powder (
Gel-paste food coloring (optional)

Beat sugar, water, and meringue powder with a mixer on low speed until smooth. (If icing is too thick, slowly add more water, beating to desired consistency. If icing is too thin, continue beating for 2 to 3 minutes more.) Add food coloring if desired, a drop at a time, until desired color is reached; if making more than 1 color, divide icing and work in batches. Icing can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.


  1. I've been reading your blog from time to time. My favorite part is your dog. You do a great job with the pictures and Layla always in them. Thanks...

  2. I've made these cupcakes before and liked them. The recipe is so similar to that of the Hershey's cocoa box, which is my absolute favorite when some of the water is replaced with hot coffee. Thanks for sharing, and the letters look good from here!

  3. I just found this blog...I'm a huge cupcake aficionado! I love how food, especially pastries, have turned into an art form -- they look so pretty nowadays!

    Have you ever looked at the webzine The Nibble? I saw a few weeks ago they had an article about cupcake-in-a-jar -- Have you heard about this?

    Check it out -- it seemed so funny!

  4. Your cupcakes are so pretty! And they should to be delicious! Congratulations!

  5. That's it! Please save me a cupcake...I talked to Martha and she said it was Ok. Love your blog sweetie. Come stop by for a slice of San Francisco...

  6. You make the most beautiful and interesting cupcakes! What a great display these made-- must have been a hit both places!

    Thanks and I love Layla!

  7. Peaking in at your blog today and was so inspired I have a batch of cupcakes in the oven as I type this. I think I will try the Billy frosting on mine. Oh and your dog is so cute just waiting patiently for a treat:)