I'm thinking of making a cupcake tree with a variety of cupcakes on it. How do I scale down a cake recipe for 1-3 cupcakes?
Can you make one or two general batters and scoop 1/4 cup out for one cupcake and add the flavor elements that make it unique as you go along?
If you have a general recipe for a 12 cupcake chocolate cake and a 12 cupcake vanilla or white cake you should be able to make just about anything.
The best I can scale is 1/4 of a recipe because I don't like fussing with the eggs. If I were doing a cupcake tree, I would 1/2 or 1/4 each recipe and freeze the left over batter. That way I can make another cupcake tree. I prefer freezing batter to cake because I never know what size item I'll need later.
I would do what tdovewings suggested: Make a standard vanilla cupcake recipe, divide it and add lemon zest to part, strawberries, blueberries, caramel, etc...You could do the same with the frosting.