Friday, February 29, 2008

Cupcakes: Cure for a Headache?

Laura <3's Cupcakes.

I had THEWORST headache yesterday. And I don't like to exaggerate things like this because I dislike people that make things a bigger deal than they need to be. I mean, honestly, it hurt so badly all I could do was lie in my bed from the time I got home from work until about 8 o'clock at night. After the Excedrin kicked in I could sleep, therefore when I woke up I was actually rested and didn't feel sleepy at all. So what did I do then? I stayed up until 1 in the morning making cupcakes of course.

The first batch of cupcakes I made was a disaster. I don't know what I did wrong but they overflowed and caved in and the tops of them were crystallised with sugar. I don't know what it is but lately I've been having issues with cupcakes. Anyway I went to Lisa Yockelson's book ChocolateChocolate. I have never had a problem with any recipe by her. EVER. I remembered she had a recipe in the book for vanilla cupcakes called "The Cupcakes of My Childhood." How dreamy! And they really are. They taste like cupcakes from a mix, but they have none of the chemicals. Or cake flour, which I did not have. This might be my new go-to recipe for vanilla cupcakes. They come out perfectly every time.

The Canadian One.

As for the frostings I used the recipes most recently posted on Cupcake Bakeshop's blog. Both came out deliciously, however my chocolate frosting is not a shiny as hers!! But it still tastes amazingly chocolate-y and fantastic.

The Cupcakes of My Childhood adapted from Lisa Yockelson's ChocolateChocolate

3 cups AP flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 28 muffin cups with paper liners.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until it's soft and creamy. Add the sugar 1/2 cup at a time until it is thoroughly incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat for about 30 seconds after each one is added. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract. Then alternately add in the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.

Scoop about 1/4 of batter into each prepared cup. Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until risen and slightly golden brown on top. When tested, a toothpick should come out clean. Turn out onto cooling racks and let cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Frosting increased/changed slightly from The Cupcake Bakeshop
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (I changed this, it was originally extract. I love the look of the seeds!)
2 tablespoons milk
Pinch salt (I added this)

Beat the butter until soft, then add the powdered sugar and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and milk and beat until everything is completely combined and creamy.


Chocolate Frosting adapted from The Cupcake Bakeshop, which is originally from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

5.3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons boiling water
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (I added this)
Pinch salt (I added this also. Must have a bit of salt with chocolate imo.)

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 20 second increments until it's nice and smooth. Set aside to cool.

Combine the cocoa powder and boiling water to make a paste. Set this aside also.

Cream the butter and powdered sugar until creamy. Add the melted chocolate and beat. Then add the cocoa paste and mix until smooth and shiny.

Smooth both frostings on with a small icing spatula or spoon and indulge.



  1. Beth, I just made this recipe, for tomorrow, and with the exception of adding 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract and an extra splash of vanilla, I followed the instructions to a T. Just the batter tastes and smells incredible, I can't wait to see the final product.

    And seriously, cupcakes are tricky. Whenever I've had crystallized tops, it was (I think, at least) I didn't beat the sugar and butter long enough, or add the sugar slowly enough.

  2. I was thinking about adding almond extract as well!! But it was 1 AM and I couldn't find the bottle anywhere. I'm excited to see how yours turn out!