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Cupcake Apocalypse

January 3, 2012

These were just as much fun to make, as they were to eat. It isn’t any wonder why I love cooking and baking so much look at what I grew up around. My mother is a cooking machine, years in the restaurant industry and working in a bakery has left my mother with one mental recipe cookbook. She literally whipped these cupcakes up from memory; no recipe needed for this lady. I can only hope to be as great of a cook as she is someday. Since not all of us have such skills in the kitchen I’ve included a recipe below that is almost identical to the one my mother created from scratch. 

Just like a little girl I sat patiently and awaited my instructions. My mother set out several small bowls of white icing, and numerous containers of sprinkles, chocolate chips, and shredded coconut, and said go to it. This was the result. 

Cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Frosting
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until smoothly blended and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. 

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is blended into the batter and it looks creamy, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes. If the eggs are cold, the mixture may look slightly curdled. On low speed and in 3 additions (3 flour, 2 milk), add the flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until the flour is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.

Fill each paper liner with 1/4 cup of batter (an ice-cream scoop works well), to about 1/2 inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove the cupcakes from the pan onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

Frosting: 
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter, cream cheese, grated lemon peel, and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the powdered sugar, mixing until smooth, about 1 minute, then beat on medium speed for 1 minute to lighten the frosting further. Use a small spatula to spread about 3 tablespoons of frosting over the top of each cupcake.

Experiment with icing colours and topping by combining various food colouring together. My favourite is the neon green colour which was achieved by combining green and yellow food colouring with the icing. Use your basic colour blending skills you learned in art class as a kid, and it should work out; remember that the icing is white, so no matter how much red you put in there it will still turn out pink. 

We didn’t have a cupcake stand, so we just used plates and a vase. Be careful when placing the cupcakes on the top, as it can be a slanty shanty operation. 

Happy Tuesday Blog readers,
sincerely, 
sp

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