IMBB #13: Cupcakes!

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I have long wanted to participate in one of the IMBB (Is My Blog Burning) events. For those of you unfamiliar with IMBB, it is a monthly food blog event wherein a theme is selected, and anyone who wants to participate either makes or buys or steals an edible item following this theme and blogs about it (or doesn’t. You don’t have to have a blog to play). This edition is sponsored by Maki, who has a delicious food blog.
So anyway, this time the theme is CUPCAKES, so I KNEW I wanted to join in on the fun. I have been planning to make red velvet cupcakes for a long time, so I figured this would be a perfect opportunity, but then I was foiled (or rather, I was my own foil). I forgot to buy buttermilk and cream cheese at the store, and then I kind of ran out of time. Rather than bag the whole thing, though, I decided that darnit, I am going to make some cupcakes!

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I whipped out the latest issue of Cook’s Country magazine and made the basic birthday cupcake recipe. I sorta kinda made their chocolate frosting, too. They are not the end-all and be-all of cupcakes, but I’m not pushing them away, either!
*Anecdote: I was, ahem, sampling one of the cupcakes (and yes, I was eating it over the kitchen sink) when the doorbell rang. I could see the mailman’s legs, and he kept standing there instead of dropping the mail and leaving, so I shoved the rest of the cupcake into my mouth and ran to the door. My mouth was so full of cupcake that I couldn’t even speak. Finally I was able to croak out, “Do you want a cupcake?” (and no, I don’t think I spit any chunks of cupcake onto his uniform). He did, so Dave the mailman got to sample one, too!
Read on for the recipe …


EASY BIRTHDAY CUPCAKES from Cook’s Country April/May 2005
Makes 24 cupcakes (recipe can be halved)
3 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 large eggs at room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and allowed to cool a bit
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Heat oven to 325F. Line your cupcake tins with liners. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt until combined. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and the vanilla until well combined. Add the sugar slowly in a steady stream, whisking all the while (this is when a Kitchen Aid really comes in handy). Repeat this process with the melted butter, followed by the buttermilk.
Add a third of the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk gently to combine. Repeat twice with the remaining dry ingredients. Stir the batter gently with the whisk until most of the lumps disappear. Be careful not to overmix!
Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake about 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes then turn the cupcakes out onto the cooling rack. Cool for about an hour before frosting.
*Note: I didn’t have buttermilk, but I did have a container of that dry buttermilk powder. It seemed to work okay. The cupcakes came out a little spongy but still light.
QUICK CHOCOLATE FROSTING
(I halved this recipe and still had a bit left over. Remember, though, that I made a half batch of the cupcakes)
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Melt the chocolate chips in a small bowl and allow to cool a bit. Meanwhile, beat the butter in a large bowl using an electric mixer. Beat about 30 seconds or until the butter is fluffy. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the sugar a cup at a time until combined. Add the cocoa powder and mix until combined. Turn the mixer up to high and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about a minute. Add the melted chocolate and beat well. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the milk, vanilla, and salt. Combine. Crank the mixer up to high again and beat until fluffy, about 30 more seconds.

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19 Responses to IMBB #13: Cupcakes!

  1. kat says:

    they look really delicious and I can even taste them through the screen. Now I need to become a marathon runner so I can eat some cupcakes too!

  2. Stacie says:

    That is a cute story!!! Lucky mailman!!!

  3. Norma says:

    I just can’t picture little Mariko with a mouth full of cupcake!

  4. Becca says:

    Last week two people came to the door simultaneously (the mailman and a neighbor) while I had a cookie poised over the Nutella jar. Thankfully, I didn’t have to go to the door with chocolate on my chin, but I was grateful that the cabinets blocked their view.

  5. duff says:

    “make, buy or STEAL”
    i’m in!
    ha :)
    your mailman can become your new tester guinea

  6. santos. says:

    omg, my mail lady got to sample my cupcakes, too! wow, that sounds a lot dirtier than it was.

  7. Charleen says:

    Yum! Now I know I’m going to bring cupcakes to the family dinner Sunday. I never buy buttermilk for my cupcakes or pancake recipes. I put 1 TBSP vinegar or lemon juice into the measuring cup and fill the remaining cup with milk (any fat level will work).

  8. jillz says:

    LOL! Love the mailman anecdote!

  9. Annie says:

    My favorite cupcake trick is to take the cupcakes fresh out of the oven, use a butterknife to make a slit in the cupcake, and then insert a (wrapper-removed) Hershey Kiss into the middle of the hot cupcake. They melt and get gooey and are SOOOOO good! You can do the same trick with marshmellows (although with marshmellows you have to excavate a cave, then put a cupcake “hat” back on. Hope Dave the mailman comes back for next month’s IMBB installment!

  10. claudia says:

    Why do I read you when hungry. Why???

  11. mia says:

    I think you obsessed with cupcakes. Cupcake earrings, making cupcakes, I see a pattern forming….

  12. Carol says:

    I just printed out a red velvet cupcake recipe the other day! Haven’t tried it yet either though. A very lucky mail carrier….

  13. Eklectika says:

    I nearly forgot to tell you…they are selling rabbit Peep dolls in my supermarket – made from that microfibery pillow fabric that’s become popular!
    I saw them and thought of you, lol! :-) You can see them in the back of this graphic from their website: http://www.justborn.com/images/products/merchandise.jpg
    I haven’t seen the chicks, only the rabbits (or else I would have TOTALLY taken one home!)

  14. shokufeh says:

    Makes me hungry! I wish I was your mail deliverer….

  15. jae says:

    ‘kay now i’m lost and not sure where to send the address for MY post on muffins. it’s http://domesticaffair.blogspot.com/2005/03/good-morning-muffins.html but i’ll search around for your direct e-mail address for another minute…

  16. jae says:

    and now i’m more than a little embarrassed b/c i just read your post in full and it’s not you who’s organizing the whole darn thing at all. but you should check out my post anyway… all part of foodie fridays chez my blog, domestic affair.
    very cute story, btw.

  17. Cathy says:

    -drool-
    Looks awesome!
    I bet it tastes awesome too!

  18. Stephanie VW says:

    chunks of cupcake.
    LOL.

  19. grace says:

    ooh that polka dot plate is so cute. where is it from? i’m craving cupcakes now. i never crave cake, just cupcakes.

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