For the cupcake:

  • 2¼ cups cake flour
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 6½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract



For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Place milk, coffee and egg whites into a medium bowl and whisk until blended.
  • Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl or electric mixer on low speed. Add butter. Continue beating on low for 1-2 minutes or until fully combined.
  • Add all but ½ cup of liquid mixture to flour mixture and beat at medium speed for 1½ minutes. Add remaining ½ cup of liquid and beat for 1 minute more.
  • Pour batter into paper cups to just over half full.
  • Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 27 to 30 minutes.
  • Allow cake to cool to room temperature.
  • Frost cupcakes with white bakery frosting and sprinkle with colored sugar.

For the frosting:

  • Place butter and shortening in a bowl and beat on low speed until smooth and creamy.
  • Add confectioners’ sugar, ½ cup at a time, and mix until fully blended.
  • Turn mixer to medium-high and beat for another 3 minutes.

Finishing touches:

  • Carefully undo the cardboard sleeve where it is glued. Turn over.
  • Punch two holes about ¼-inch apart at the top/middle of the sleeve.
  • Thread a ribbon through one hole from the front and through the other hole from the back.
  • Repeat for the other side with the other end of the ribbon.
  • Attach a small ornament (if desired) and tie a bow with the ribbon.