Thursday, March 25, 2010

Let Them Have Their Cake and Eat It Too

I love cupcakes. Love 'em! Especially the mini version perfections. Bitesize. Tiny confections glazed high in fluffy buttercream swirls. Chocolate with chocolate. Devil's food iced moist white cake. Carrot cake smothered in a light lemony cream cheese frosting. Sugared confetti. Fancy paper lace liners. Tiers of delicate petit-fours. A celebration for one. Personalized portions of delight.

So imagine my astonishment this morning as I opened the side door to let the finally and much-anticipated abundent sunshine stream into my office. There, centered on the granite landing, was a glorious gift. A clear cellophane wrapped package adorned with a festive green and blue checked french wire ribbon, its tails long and generous. Like the secret friend who sweetly blended creamy butter, sugar, eggs and flour to bake delicious. The delivery of this most special treat in the dark of the night. Delicately placed in a triangle were three temptresses. A trio of the loveliest little cakes this side of Sprinkles. The universe putting a smile on my face.

But wait. A word from your sponsor: Apologies dear readers. This is all wishful thinking. A mere figment of my over-active, under-fed imagination. Designed in part to cheer my spirits. Lift yesterday's melancholy. And create a bright spot in the calorie deficiting of the past few weeks. And, an ode to my darling sister, Mary, whose tiered cupcake stand replete with the most scrumptious array of sweet cakes adorned the island in her California kitchen during our recent visit.

While the sun did shine this morning after a notable absence of several days, alas there were no treats on my stoop. Which is a good thing since they are most definitely not on my diet. But, hey, a girl can dream! And, if I were the cupcake fairy mine would be baked lovingly as follows:

The Most Delicious Chocolate Frosted Cupcakes Ever


2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup water
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces melted unsweetened baking chocolate


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
  • Combine all ingredients into large mixing bowl.
  • Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, and scrape bowl.
  • Mix at high speed for 3 minutes.
  • Fill liners 1/2 to 2/3 full of batter.
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Less for mini cakes.
  • Cool 10 minutes in pans then remove from pan, and place on wire racks to cool completely.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream


In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter.

  • Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  • Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.
  • Decorate whimsically.

Frost cupcakes when completely cool. Share with (and or surprise) your family and friends. Everyone needs a bit of magic.

Cheers! I raise my glass of very cold milk lustfully. Salut to these most delicious fairy cakes!

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