Everybody Loves Cupcakes

The trend in snacks for the last few years has been the cupcake. Grown-ups are regularly dropping two or three bucks a pop to grab a quick taste of sugared remembrance, taking a moment to be a kid again before going back to the adult world. Either way, where a full slice of cake may be too much of a commitment and a scone or a muffin a bit too heavy, a cupcake can be like a stolen kiss–sweet and fleeting. And that is why everybody loves cupcakes.

From Magnolia’s in New York to Leda’s Bakeshop in Los Angeles, cupcakes have become the reigning pastry. But what if you don’t live in those cities or maybe you don’t feel like paying $3.00 for a cupcake, what do you do then? I would make them myself.

In the world of cupcakes there are many options beyond the usual vanilla or chocolate. You can make a cupcake out of just about any cake batter you have, even red velvet if you are so inclined. You can also fill them with cream or chocolate if you feel adventurous. But let’s first get a chocolate cupcake made. You will need:

4 1/2 ounces of butter
7 1/2 ounces of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3 ounces melted unsweetened chocolate
2 large eggs
3/4 cup of cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
7 ounces milk
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

This batter is prepared in the creaming method, which follows:

Measure out all your ingredients before hand and bring them to room temperature.
Preheat your oven to 385 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix flour and baking powder in a bowl.
Mix milk and vanilla in a bowl a separate bowl.
Using your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on the slow setting until it is smooth and silky.
Add the sugar and turn the mixer to medium speed. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add salt and melted chocolate.
Add the eggs a little at a time. After each egg is added, let the mixer completely integrate the egg before adding more.
After all the eggs are added, let the mixer run for five minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
Add 1/4 of the flour/baking powder mixture and 1/3 of the milk/vanilla mixture.
Repeat this process until all ingredients are added. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl occasionally.
Get your cupcake pans ready by putting the little paper cups into them. Pour the batter into the cups and bake them for about 18-20 minutes. Test them at 18 minutes by inserting a toothpick into the center of one of the cupcakes: if it comes out clean, the cupcakes are done.

Let them cool and then pop them out of the pans. Ice them and bring them to your office or the next party you go to and you will see that everybody loves cupcakes.

This recipe results in a very buttery cake that has a creamy texture. I would suggest either a chocolate icing to make this a death by chocolate cupcake or perhaps a white vanilla-flavored icing for a contrast of colors. Whether you use this recipe or any other recipe to make them, I’m sure you will find that everybody loves cupcakes.