Recall how last week I mentioned that I was taking a cake decorating class. Well, for my most recent class, we were instructed to bring in six cupcakes so we could decorate them. They either could be baked or purchased at a supermarket so long as they were regular size, flavor certainly didn’t really matter. Considering how well received my cake from a previous class was, I was understandably hesitant to tell my parents. By the way, Mr. Cake has officially be evicted from our fridge and now resides at the top of some trash heap. Remarkably, my mom took the news well. But then, she threw me a curve ball. Instead of buying my cupcakes, she insisted I bake mine from scratch. “After all”, she said nonchalantly, “cupcakes are your specialty.” Just a few days before she was lamenting about the limited space in our fridge and the fact that neither she or my dad really eat baked goods. Yet, here she is challenging me to make something she knows I can’t resist. Talk about mixed signals
She isn’t wrong though, cupcakes are indeed my favorite thing to make. They can be simplistic or complex. Truly, with a cupcake, the possibilities are relatively endless. And, as always, every time an occasion arises that calls for cupcakes, I always strive to make something new, to challenge my baking skills. After going through a few of the food blogs that I read
religiously occasionally, I finally settled on one. Coffee flavored cupcakes with a beautiful vanilla butter cream frosting. Combined together, the taste would be something reminiscent of a vanilla latte. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be getting the full latte effect. Confession time: I leave out the frosting when I bake cupcakes at home. Why? Well, let’s just call it the parent factor. As I learned years ago, none of my parents really like frosting and when frosted, you are basically giving your cupcakes an expiration date. Freezing them really isn’t an option. Trust me, if it wasn’t for the parent factor, I’d be making frosting whenever I could. However, even without the vanilla butter cream, these cupcakes tasted fine, especially when eaten while drinking my favorite tea, vanilla chai.
Then again, I never doubted the taste; I kind of helped myself to the batter left in the bowl. Ok, I helped my self to a lot of the batter that was left in the bowl. Since I don’t actually drink any kind of caffeinated beverages (with the exception of the occasional mocha and latte), I am, according to my dad, constantly caffeine deficient. Since the batter has both espresso powder and brewed coffee in it, my normally yawning and exhaustive self suddenly was moving like the Energizer Bunny.
Oh, and ironies of ironies. We never got to the actual decorating part in my cake decorating class. We ran out of time. At the end of the two hour class, all I had to show for my hard work was one frosted cupcake out of the six I brought. In all honesty, I think it’s better this way. I know my mom wouldn’t have been happy if I had brought back six fully decorated cupcakes. It doesn’t matter anyway. Next week is my final class and I HAVE to either fully decorate a cake or cupcakes. Let’s see how my mom tries to get around this one.
Adapted from a recipe found on annies-eats.com
Makes about 18 cupcakes
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. espresso powder
½ cup strong brewed coffee
¼ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. additional buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and espresso powder. Whisk to blend. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the coffee and buttermilk. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients alternating with the liquids, mixing each addition just until incorporated and beginning and ending with the dry ingredients
- Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
*Next time I’m going to put chocolate chips in the batter so I can have a mocha cupcake. Mhmmm, I love me a good mocha.
Before I sign off I just want to say that History of Cookbooks will be back soon with another installment! Sorry for the wait, but life has been a bit distracting lately.
Till next time,