Dora Birthday Cupcakes


So I decided for my first post to go with the more traditional route.  I always use this yellow cake recipe for all the parties in my family.  I originally read it from the book called Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott.  The title of the actual cake is called Fabulous Caramel Cake.  For as many times as I have made the cake, I don’t think that I have actually ever made the frosting that is supposed to go with it.  Maybe one day….

These yummy cupcakes were for my niece’s birthday party in her pre-school class.  She turned 3 and had the largest smile on her face when I walked in with them.  The kids all devoured them!!  I added Dora decorations to make it extra special.  You can’t have a proper 3rd birthday party without Dora and Boots!  But beware, if you are going to use the toothpicks with the picture on them, make sure the kids are careful with them and don’t hurt themselves.  I didn’t realize this issue until after all of the cupcakes were handed out… oops!


For the frosting, I just used a regular 1M decorating tip in a piping bag.  Don’t get upset if you aren’t a professional with the piping bag initially.  The first time I started piping was when I was a senior in high school.  It was so hard to control and I got frustrated all the time.  The balancing act of pressure and movement is the hardest to learn, and I still don’t know all the tricks.  Though I did get better after each time I use the piping bags.  Practice makes perfect!

Oh and my mom got me the decorations that are on top of the cupcakes from Party City.  Here are the links if you want to get some of your own:

“Fun Picks”


Oh and just to let everyone know; after writing this and posting about this recipe, I have the Dora theme song stuck in my head.



Yellow Cake

Buttercream Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 box confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • dash of salt, optional
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream, more or less depending upon the consistency you want.



  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F*.  Prepare 2 cupcake pans with liners**.
  2. Combine the butter and milk in a small saucepan.  Cook on low until the butter melts into the milk.  Stir well and let the mixture come to room temperature.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Mix these ingredients with a fork.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the eggs and sugar at high-speed, until the mixture is smooth, light yellow, and thick.  Scrape down the bowl often.
  5. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture until the flour disappears. Add the room temperature milk mixture and then the vanilla extract, stir well (I add the milk mixture SLOWLY while the mixer is on.  The milk mixture may get out of the bowl and make a HUGE mess!).
  6. Add the batter into the cupcake pans.
  7. Bake for 13 to 17 minutes*, or until the cupcakes are golden brown and bounce back when you touch the centers of them (I tend to start checking the cakes once they smell like they are supposed to.  Also, when I poke the cake and/or the cupcakes with a toothpick, I like for there to be a SMALL amount of crumbs).


  1. Using the whisk attachment if you have a mixer, soften the butter at the highest speed in a mixer for about 5 to 7 minutes.  You want to make sure the butter is turning white.
  2. Add the confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and heavy cream.  Increase the speed slowly, allowing for the mixture come together, for about 5 minutes.  Add more heavy cream if you find the frosting not coming together.


*Times and temperatures always vary depending upon your oven.  Personally, whenever I bake, I have to always decrease the temperature by 25°F.

**May need 3 cupcake pans.  I sometimes get more batter than I originally planned on.

Recipe was slightly altered.

Recipe Source: 


6 thoughts on “Dora Birthday Cupcakes

  1. I just stumbled upon your blog.. so excited!!! I’m looking for a more natural way to enjoy the vintage style cakes my mom used to make us. Thanks so much! I’m curious what the amount of powdered sugar is in measurement of cups? It says a box.. I’ve only seem bags. Thank you. Looking forward to getting to know your blog better.

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