Real food for real teens: Cupcakes

For more tasty bakes, see my collection of family specialties:

You Can’t Have Dry Coffee: Papa’s Excuse to Have a Nosh And Nana’s Perfect Pastries

These have purple frosing with a light dusting of purple sparkly sugar. What’s not to love?

Cupcakes really aren’t in my cooking vocabulary, unless you consider Black Bottom Cupcakes, which are in a class by themselves. My 16 year-old son can’t ever remember me making regular cupcakes. Unlike me, my mother used to make cupcakes every other year to send to school for my birthday. (On the off year Karen Baskin’s mother would send in the cupcakes since Karen and I shared a birthday.) However, Molly was assigned purple cupcakes for a club meeting tomorrow, where a rainbow of sugary cakes will be displayed and sold to eager highschoolers. Molly suggested that using a baking mix would be okay because she heard that mixes made exactly 12 which is what she would need. “Mix?” Not in my kitchen, and not a surprise that making them from scratch was a) quick, and b) really, really, surprisingly GOOD! I liked them better before we glopped on the purple butter-cream frosting. They were light in texture and chocolaty in flavor, with a delicate crust.

Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 12 medium or 10 larger)

  • 3 Tbs. butter, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 c. flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 c. cocoa
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar, then add egg and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and cocoa. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, then add the milk and vanilla, then the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix until evenly blended. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin trays, and bake at  375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick tests clean. Frost, if you must, with a butter-cream frosting.

No recipe Butter Cream Frosting

  • 1/2 a stick or so of really soft butter
  • confectioner’s sugar
  • vanilla
  • milk

Cream together the butter with some sugar until it starts to get thick and creamy. Then thin with milk, just a trickle at a time, then add more sugar, and repeat until you have the quantity that you like. Whip it up really well until it’s very fluffy. At some point pour in a little vanilla. If you’re going to use food coloring then leave the frosting very thick before adding, since the liquid coloring will also thin the frosting.

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