Once Upon A Thyme – Miniature Vanilla Bean Cupcakes


Often, it’s bite-size foods that seem to disappear instantaneously from the dessert table. Its small size appeals to both children and adults, and mini portions makes it seem less daunting to take another. Moist, compact, and delicious, these miniature cupcakes are a delightful dessert to bring your Shabbat hostess or even for mishloach manot. I like to double this recipe and freeze half the baked and unfrosted cupcakes in gallon-size Ziploc bags for another week. Vanilla bean paste can be purchased on Amazon and most specialty baking stores. Little flecks of vanilla bean infuse the batter with intense vanilla flavor, making all the difference. Almond milk can be substituted for soy or coconut milk. I provided three cupcake flavors, but feel free to get creative with other flavors: Biscoff lotus, smores, strawberry shortcake, etc. The possibilities are endless!  


Makes 36 mini-cupcakes 


1 cup flour 

1 tsp. baking powder 

Pinch of salt 

2 eggs 

¾ cup sugar 

½ stick margarine  

½ cup almond milk 

1 ½ tbsp vanilla bean paste 

1 ½ tsp. canola oil 

1 can vanilla frosting 

2 tbsp fruity pebbles 


For Peanut Butter and Cookies & Cream Flavors 

½ cup cocoa powder  

½ cup peanut butter  

2 tbsp peanuts 

12 mini-chocolate sandwich cookies 


  1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. 
  2. Place margarine and milk in a small pot and place over a low flame to melt margarine. Make sure not to bubble and boil.  
  3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with sugar for five minutes. Add flour mixture, do not overmix.  
  4. Add vanilla and oil to the melted margarine and milk mixture. 
  5. Slowly add milk mixture to egg and flour mixture. Mix. 
  6. Divide mixture into three bowls. Leave one mixture plain, add cocoa powder to the next bowl, and peanut butter to the last. Mix each bowl separately. 
  7. Pour batter into cupcake tin with cupcake liners, filling about ⅔ full. 
  8. Bake for 14-16 minutes on 350 degrees Fahrenheit, until the toothpick placed in the center cupcake comes out clean. 
  9. Cupcakes can be stored in Ziploc bags in the freezer until ready to frost.  
  10. Frost cupcakes using a piping bag and tip. Alternatively, you can use a Ziploc bag and cut off the corner to pipe the frosting. 
  11. Add Oreos to the frosted chocolate cupcakes,  peanuts to the frosted peanut butter cupcakes, and fruity pebbles to the frosted vanilla cupcakes. 
  12. To make the peanut butter drizzle, mix ½ cup Confectioner’s sugar with 4 tbsp hot water, and 2 tbsp peanut butter. Mix well until thick syrup consistency. Add 1 tbsp hot water at a time if too thick. Drizzle on top of frosted peanut butter cupcakes