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Wedding Anniversary Small Batch Cupcake Recipe

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It’s our anniversary – hooray! Literally. Today is our actual second anniversary! It’s kind of like our first, though, because we weren’t able to celebrate our first anniversary together. In fact, I would hesitated to say either of us really “celebrated” at all. My dad passed away exactly two weeks earlier and my husband was on deployment, so the mood wasn’t exactly festive! I did have brunch with my mom and sister, which was nice, but the overall atmosphere wasn’t particularly celebratory.

our wedding day

Although loosing my dad wasn’t on the agenda, we actually never expected to spend our first anniversary together because we knew he had a deployment coming up. We consciously decided not to follow tradition and freeze some cake to share on our first wedding anniversary. Instead, we decided that, since I made our original wedding cake, I’d just make more cake for us to share when we did get to celebrate together! So now here we are at that day and I’m sharing our wedding anniversary small batch cupcakes. Admittedly, they’re not super small bach (the recipe makes 10-12), but at least it isn’t as much as a “normal” cupcake recipe! {{As a note for new visitors – yes, I did make our wedding cake. We actually self-catered the entire reception! If you’re looking for information and resources about catering your own wedding reception, please see my posts on self catering your wedding and planning your self-catered wedding reception.}}
Small Batch Wedding Anniversary Cupcakes

Unusually for me, I did not try to make this recipe “healthy” in any way. No Greek yogurt for a change! Well, the frosting actually does have a bit less sugar than the usual ratio for buttercream, but by my standards it isn’t low sugar! I had to make the buttercream, though, and color it blue, just like our actual wedding cake. The cupcakes, themselves, are also very similar to our wedding cake. I did not make chocolate shells to top them, even though I currently have white chocolate melts, because that would just be too much!

wedding cake

Coloring the buttercream is totally optional, but if you ever use food coloring in icing I really recommend using gel food color. It doesn’t change the consistency the way regular ‘grocery store’ liquid food colors will. I bought this Americolor student set of colors on Amazon and am still using them two years later! And speaking of colors, I used my silicone baking cups for these cupcakes. I know they’re not exactly “wedding-y” or “anniversary-y,” but they work really well and I love them.

gel food coloring

I’ve mentioned the “pod” method of icing before, and I recommend you use it for these cupcakes (if you feel like breaking out an icing bag, that is! You can always just spread it on there with a knife). You just get a square of the “Press n Seal” type plastic wrap, add a large dollop of icing, and then make a pod, like this:

pod method of icing

Drop your pod in the icing bag, pull the twisted end of plastic wrap through the decorating tip, then snip it off. This method is approximately one million times less annoying than trying to shove icing down in a bag using a spatula.

icing pod method for buttercream

Yield: 10-12

Wedding Anniversary Small Batch Cupcake Recipe

Wedding Anniversary Small Batch Cupcake Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


For the cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white (I used 3 T of liquid egg whites)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the buttercream

  • 3 egg whites (9 T liquid egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • Gel food color - optional


For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and prepare your muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Combine the milk and lemon juice in a small bowl or glass measuring cup and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Whisk or sift the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. When the oven is either ready or almost ready, cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer on medium using the paddle attachment. Combine until the mixture is fluffy and fully combined. (You can also use a hand mixer, but these cupcakes are difficult to make entirely by hand without a powered mixer of some variety.)
  5. Beat in the egg, then the egg whites.
  6. Add the vanilla extract to the milk and lemon juice mixture. Turn the mixer speed down to low then slowly pour in the liquids.
  7. Add the flour mixture a spoonful at a time. Mix until just combine, but do not over-mix! Increase speed to medium-low, if necessary.
  8. Pour or spoon the batter into your prepared cupcake liners, filling each cup 1/2 - 2/3 of the way full.
  9. Bake until the tops of the cupcakes are just turning golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25-28 minutes. Ovens and pans do vary, so please go based on how your cupcakes look, not just the clock. =)
  10. Once they're done, remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool completely before icing.

For the buttercream

  1. Fill a medium pot part way with water.
  2. Combine the sugar and egg whites in a heat proof bowl. I just use the bowl for my standing mixer!
  3. Place the bowl in your pan of water to create a double boiler. Add more water, if necessary, to ensure the bowl's bottom is submerged in the water.
  4. Heat on medium-low, whisking frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved. You'll be able to tell because you will no longer hear/feel "grainy" seeming portions in the mixture. If you are not using pasteurized eggs or egg whites, please heat the mixture to 160ºF to make sure they're safe!
  5. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and turn off the stove. Beat the mixture on medium-high with the balloon whisk attachment for your mixer until the egg whites are thick and hold peaks. This can take a while - it usually takes me about 10 minutes to get to this point!
  6. Turn mixer to low or medium low then slowly add in the butter, piece by piece. It will probably start to look lumpy, maybe even horrible, curdled, and like cottage cheese. Don't panic! Keep mixing. After all the butter has been added, increase speed to medium.
  7. As the lumps subside, increase speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy. Slowly add food coloring one drop at a time, if desired.
  8. If necessary, you can refrigerate the buttercream until the cupcakes are ready to frost. Be sure to bring it back to room temperature before using, and you may want to whip it a little to restore the texture.
  9. Frost your cupcakes and enjoy!
And that’s that! I know the recipe looks long (okay, the recipe is long), but these cupcakes are so delicious! And I promise it really isn’t tricky. Honestly. If you’ve never made this type of buttercream before, don’t be intimidated! Just use pasteurized eggs or liquid egg whites to remove the worry of eating either eating raw eggs or cooking to a specific temperature and enjoy. Oh, and really, truly don’t panic when your buttercream reaches that awkward “cottage cheese” point. It will happen. Just keep mixing!

Small Batch Wedding Anniversary Cupcakes

Candid camera time! Ahahaha. Yep, these cupcakes are definitely husband approved. “Poor guy” – he was hardly in the door and not fully changed from his uniform yesterday when I made him play test a cupcake! Needless to say, he can’t wait to enjoy more of them today.


Obviously these cupcakes don’t have to be just for anniversaries – they’re great for any time you want small batch cupcakes that are so much better than store bought. Don’t take my word for it – bake them for yourself! The flavor is so rich and delicious that I think you’ll never want a box mix or store made cupcake again.

Do you have any specific special occasion desserts in your family?

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Julie July 24, 2016, 22:43

    Happy belated anniversary…! Now you have me totally fiending for a cupcake!!

    • Natashalh July 25, 2016, 07:14

      Thank you and I’m sorry (?). =p We still have one and a half left in the fridge, but it’s probably time to toss them. After a week I can’t imagine they’re very fresh!

  • Chelsey Crafts July 24, 2016, 14:55

    These are so pretty!
    My family likes to do slices and rum balls 🙂

    • Natashalh July 24, 2016, 15:16

      That sounds like fun! I’m sure my husband would enjoy it, too.

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