Tuesday, March 2, 2010

classy cupcakes

I’m a few days late for daring bakers, I realize. But that’s a-ok because I’m back to spoil you with yet another cupcake recipe, hooray!The important part: The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.The not-quite-as-important part: I went back to Martha for this tiramisu recipe since quite honestly my meager baking supplies and money really inhibited this sort of decadent dessert. I wanted to modify it then, so I could actually do the challenge instead of crapping out (a new resolution if you will). And I love cupcakes. And reading Martha Stewarts Cupcakes. When I saw these… Let’s just say that I was beyond exciting. I made little ladyfinger cookies as an accompaniment to the mini cupcakes and they all seemed to get good reviews even through various mishaps so... You should try them. As soon as you locate some mascarpone cheese (one of my new favorites to be sure).
Be warned – these cupcakes were enough to make me break my good-eating streak so bake with caution! They are a very adult desert – not too sweet and a bit delicate with the subtle layers of airy vanilla cake, bittersweet coffee glazing, light whipped cream/mascarpone frosting, and the slightest touch of dark chocolate dusting on top. Glorious! The dark chocolate ladyfingers completed the dainty tea-party mood and let me just say that they were perfect dipped in the frosting, coffee, left over ladyfinger batter… Yeah I broke my good eating habits pretty hard with these.

If you’re wondering why the ladyfingers look weird… Well it’s because my little hand-mixer can’t get stiff peaks if it’s life depended on it! That fact is basically the worst and I shudder to try to make more egg/meringue-y desserts. Which is sad, because they’re all so delightfully airy. In any case, if you want ladyfingers to be like little soft cookies, then follow my “special” method and get your mix up to soft peaks. I suggest you do the regular way anyway to make up for my failures.
Keep calm & carry on – make these cupcakes and feel classy if only until you realize you’ve eaten 15.

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart Cupcakes

Makes 18 regular cupcakes, lots of little ones.
• 1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
• 1/4 cup milk
• 3 tbsp vanilla
• 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
• 3 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
• 1 cup sugar
• Coffee-Marsala Syrup
• Mascarpone Frosting
• Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix milk and vanilla and melted butter and let stand 15 minutes.
2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together whole eggs, yolks, and sugar. Set mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk by hand until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm, about 6 minutes. Remove bowl from heat. With an electric mixer on high speed, whisk until mixture is fluffy, pale yellow, and thick enough to hold a ribbon on the surface for several seconds when whisk is lifted.
3. Gently but thoroughly fold flour mixture into the egg mixture in three batches; stir 1/2 cup batter into the strained milk mixture to thicken, then fold milk mixture into the remaining batter until just combined.
4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until centers are completely set and edges are light golden brown, about 20 minutes (about 10 minutes for mini cupcakes). Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
5. To finish, brush tops of cupcakes evenly with coffee syrup; repeat until all syrup has been used. Martha’s serious about using all the syrup. Those little cupcakes will soak that stuff up no problem just go at it. Allow cupcakes to absorb liquid 30 minutes. Dollop frosting onto cupcakes; refrigerate up to overnight in airtight containers. Dust generously with cocoa powder just before serving.

Simple Coffee Syrup
(adapted from Martha Stewart’s Coffee-Marsala Syrup)

Makes enough for 18 cupcakes. (or a lot of mini cupcakes)
• 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons freshly brewed very strong coffee (or espresso)
• 1/4 cup sugar

1. Stir together coffee & and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Let cool. Paint over cupcakes.

Mascarpone Frosting
- From Martha Stewart Cupcakes

Makes about 2 cups.
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
• 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

1. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form (be careful not to overbeat, or cream will be grainy). In another bowl, whisk together mascarpone and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated. Use immediately.

Chocolate Ladyfingers and Cake Rounds

Makes lots of little ladyfingers
• 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 7 large egg whites
• 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
• 6 large egg yolks

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a small bowl.
2. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2/3 cup sugar, whisking until stiff, shiny peaks form, about 5 minutes. Whisk yolks with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Fold yolk mixture into whites, then fold in flour mixture in 2 additions.
3.Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Draw lots of little 2" circles, then flip parchment over. Spoon batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip. Starting in the center of each circle, pipe a spiral, leaving a 1-inch border around inside edge of circle. Bake until springy to the touch, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer parchment with rounds to a wire rack, and let cool. Use immediately.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Oh, Canada

Bet you didn’t see this post coming, eh? (Ouch sorry). It’s my somewhat triumphant return to the world of Daring Bakers and it’s with a deliciously simple Nanaimo Bar recipe from the land of maple trees, snow, and hockey (which incidentally sounds exactly like Cornell). It comes highly recommended by all who ate it (namely everyone in my studio). It was so good and so “architecturally inspirational” that my studio professor took one bit and then ordered us all to sketch the now-mangled Canadian dessert. Don’t expect any posts of my less than spectacular art skills, but you should expect plenty of happy faces for whoever you make them for.

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca.

Now upon reading my recipe, you may notice that there is no gluten-free component. That is on purpose. It’s not that I’m hating on anyone who can’t eat gluten, it’s really because of a major time and money crunch that doing the graham cracker thing would have delayed this post to the point of extinction. That, and one of my dear friends was recently diagnosed with a nasty allergy to gluten and everything else tasty so I’ve already tried my hand at gluten-alternative flours with dense results. That’s potentially for another post, once I’ve figured out the logistics. Someday. Please visit lots of other Daring Bakers for their gluten-free-graham adventures, yay!

This recipe is easy. No baking involved, actually. I managed to pull it off with a hot pot, a bowl, a spatula, and one 8x8 baking pan. And it was delightful.

Nanaimo Bars

Bottom Layer
½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
¼ cup sugar
5 tbsp cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa with delicious results)
1 egg, beaten
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs (use the gluten free graham cracker recipe here if you’d like)
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup coconut

Combine the butter, sugar and cocoa powder in a double boiler and heat until melted. Slowly drizzle the hot mixture into the beaten egg, whisking constantly until thickened. This is important as other recipes may suggest that you add the beaten egg to the mixture – I prefer this way to make doubly sure that my egg doesn’t cook. Chocolate scrambled eggs do not a good Nanaimo bar make. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs, almonds, and coconut. Press the mixture firmly into an ungreased 8″ x 8″ baking pan. It will make a lovely “architectural composite material” when cut according to my professor so really press the heck out of that sucker, it packs down pretty well.

Middle Layer

½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3 tbsp whipping cream
2 tbsp vanilla pudding powder
2 cups icing sugar
Cream together the butter, cream, vanilla pudding powder and icing sugar until light. Spread over bottom layer.
Top Layer
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
2 tbsp unsalted butter

Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over low heat. Once it’s melted take it off the heat and just let it chill on the counter while you do dishes and steal bits of the delicious pudding-buttercream middle layer, the cooling took a while for me. Once cool but still liquid, pour over middle layer and chill in refrigerator until set, about an hour.
Cut into squares using a knife dipped in hot water. I just cut it with a knife and it turned out fine, but a suggestion I saw for easier (and neater) pieces was to dip the pan very briefly in hot water and then turn out onto a plate. Flip over using a second plate and cut into squares.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Cupcake War: Vegan Edition

Aaaand I’m back to blogging, with a somewhat triumphant return! Before I get any further into my recent baking exploits, I have to apologize to those of you who have visited rite of cake over the past few (many) months and have been greeted with a stagnating apology post from a million years ago. It was never my intention to let RoC fester for so long and I’m sorry that this blog and any of its readers have been treated like abandoned children while I was caught up in real life drama that I wish never happened. Suffice to say, last semester was stressful beyond all belief both in the complete lack of sleep and plenty of issues that were very hurtful and still confusing to this day, so forgive me in not wanting to spread the personal parts any more than I have to. In short, I’m sorry and I have plenty of recipes lined up and ready to go – thank you for your support (especially Jill, who is such a sweetheart, yay!).

And on to the fun part, the part that I’ve been missing all of these months! The story behind the “Cupcake War” actually ties into my job as a Resident Adviser, in which I’m responsible for 50 freshman girls and creating programs/activities for a dormitory of 400+ girls. This is one of those activities – a sort of coke/pepsi challenge, cupcake style.

Basically I made a batch of 100 mini vegan chocolate cupcakes and 100 regular (Martha Stewart) chocolate cupcakes (both with the standard already vegan Wilton buttercream frosting) and challenged people see if a) they could tell the difference and b) which cupcake they liked best. They had to vote on which cupcake was better without knowing which was the vegan cupcake and then once they decided I would tell them which was which and tally their vote on a giant poster. This was accompanied by informational posters about the pros/cons of veganism and all that jazz to provide an educational activity (aka doing my job).

Fun stuff, right? What was interesting was that most people actually preferred the vegan cupcakes to the regular cupcakes and many people said that they liked both cupcakes evenly. It was a neat experiment and all the girls who participated loved it, so expect some more variations on the Cupcake War and enjoy the recipe below. I’ve only posted the frosting recipe and the vegan cupcake recipe, if you’re interested in some non-vegan cupcakes then go to Martha’s recipe here. Ps sorry about no process pictures, I was baking at night and completely forgot about my camera... Oh well.

Basic (Vegan) Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Makes: 12 cupcakes, or a lot of mini ones

From: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero


-1 cup soy milk (I suggest chocolate soy milk)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (I used regular vinegar with success)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract (I went with more vanilla)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular (I used dark chocolate, though I think I would have preferred regular cocoa powder so that the cupcakes were a little less dense)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.
3. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and other extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK, it will look weird. I was worried, but really you don’t have to be, these are delightful).
5. Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes (closer to 10 minutes if making mini-cupcakes), until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting (but feel free to eat them warm without frosting because they’re super tasty then too). It’s not enough to convince me to become vegan (I love dairy and sushi far too much), but it’s always good to have a cupcake to appease almost any crowd.

Buttercream Icing

Source: Wilton
•1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
•1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or (vegan) margarine softened
•1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
•4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
•2 tablespoons (soy) milk
Makes: About 3 cups of icing.

(Medium Consistency)
In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Quick Update, No Cute Title :(

Hey everyone, I just wanted to issue a formal apology for my complete lack of existence... Without going into too much detail, life has sort of derailed for me and will hopefully be back on track within the month, so don't panic (yet)!

Things to look forward to:
Cupcake of the Month Club
Once upon a Monday with Martha
Lots of baked goods
Daring Bakers (of course)
IronCupcake:Earth (whenever it starts up again)
and... maybe even a Wilton Cake Decorating Feature :)

**titles subject to change, don't get too attached to them.

In any case I'll be back soon. Thank you so much for your time & patience!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Charming Couple

…Better late than never? The July Daring Bakers’ Challenge was due to post… Oh three days ago. But that’s ok because the cookies are here and ready to go! First off:

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.
Secondly… I call these charming cookies because… Well they’re just that. Charming. I wouldn’t call them gorgeous – they aren’t the sort of showstopper cookies you’d want to serve at a party. But they are tasty, and they have that sort of homeliness that would be very comforting and lovely on a bake sale table. Or in my stomach.This Daring Bakers’ Month I decided to do something different by trying to follow the recipe exactly, without trying anything fancy or messing up. That way if people don’t like it they can’t blame me I can easily go back to the recipe and try to figure out what went wrong. And things went wrong with this. Not huge things, just little things I wasn’t expecting. The Milano cookies were tasty except I felt that there was way too much lemon extract in the actual cookies and then the added orange zest I felt was overkill on the citrus. And I love citrus as much as I love sugar and blue skies. If I were going to try this recipe again, I would probably lesson both the vanilla and the lemon extract because the batter was super alcoholic… As a college student I’m usually all for that but personally it just didn’t work for me in these cookies. That being said, they are much tastier on Day 2, perhaps because the flavors have melded a little better, or perhaps because I like them better frozen. Either way they’ll be eaten pretty quickly.
The mallow recipe itself left a lot to be desired for me. The cookie recipe was fine, the cookies are tasty and biscuit-y, though perhaps a little more crunch would be nicer. The marshmallow recipe, although fun to make in that reminiscent s’mores flavor sort of way, didn’t make nearly enough marshmallow to top the cookies – as you can see from the pictures, there’s a little squirt of marshmallow on my cookies in an attempt to spread it around as much as possible, but it didn’t work. I have plain chocolate covered biscuit cookies. It was a little disappointing.My biggest bone to pick is with the chocolate covering – I don’t know about other Daring Bakers out there, but I used the vegetable oil as suggested in the recipe and the chocolate absolutely refuses to harden or even solidify so these cookies are like the stink bombs of cookies – they get chocolate everywhere and it takes way too much time and energy to try to get all the sticky chocolate off of every surface in the kitchen. Or your hands. Or your clothes. Or your hair. It’s out of control. I froze them for 3 hours to no avail so I’m guessing there’s something up with the vegetable oil. Next time I would try melting wax with the chocolate to give it that chocolate-covered candy feel. The chocolate recipe also didn’t make enough chocolate – I almost had to triple the original chocolate recipe to adequately cover all of my cookies. Frustrating, but all in all still tasty as long as you’re wearing clothes you don’t care about.It was a fun challenge regardless of all the “hardships” encountered – and since I followed the recipe basically to a T, feel free to try it out by following the Daring Bakers link here.

Ps. Please vote for my cupcake at IronCupcake:Earth! Thanks!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

IronCupcake:Earth - Herb Cupcakes

Surprise! I’m now officially an IronCupcake:Earth Challenger, so in addition to the monthly installments of Daring Bakers, I get to indulge in my cupcake-love once a month too. I like to call it my “Cupcake of the Month Club.” You might not know this, but it’s also sort of a Miss International Cupcake popularity contest, complete with prizes (click read more to see how super cute they are) – isn’t this fun already? So if you happen to wander past here and say golly, that cupcake looks like a purebred winner to me, then feel free to gleefully click your way to IronCupcake:Earth and vote for me in the right hand column. Yay!

But enough about flashy prizes and winning stuff and voting. What I really want to talk about is my hybrid cupcake creation that I whipped up the other night on a dazed whim – the awkwardly named “Chocolate Orange Rosemary Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream” (CORCCB for short?). When presented with the challenge to include herbs in my cupcakes I thought about the daring bakers spinach monstrosity and cried a little on the inside I was a little wary. As much as I like spice and pizazz in my lunches and dinners, cupcakes are my little sugar fix that I could always count on as being deliciously different than whatever main course I just ate. In some ways this still is the case. In other ways… Not so much.

I initially thought lavender because I liked the idea of purple in a cupcake – very cute. But then again lavender is a bit reminiscent of pepper and of the lavender recipes I saw, they either didn’t really interest me or they used some lavender-infused sugar. I wasn’t interested in that sort of time commitment. While googling as many herb combinations as I could find, I stumbled on to a few sites that mentioned that rosemary just plain jives with citrus. Well I jive with citrus too. Like oranges, for example. Do you know what else jives with citrus? Chocolate. Oh yes.

My theme was decided. When you look at the cupcake pictures, think orange-chocolate truffles. Only with little bits of rosemary chopped in. That is the essence of my cupcake creation. The rosemary, I found, didn’t add a different flavor like I was expecting – it was more of an added “tonal quality” to the little symphony of cupcake batter I was whipping up. It didn’t compete with the orange but rather added a bit of mellow, natural texture to it and enhanced the orange in a lovely way. So far so good.

The only issue was that after I got the cupcakes baked I A) oops - dropped a pan of them on the floor and b) they were super-orangey. Almost out of control in their orange flavor. My original plan for this recipe included an orange chocolate frosting to really make the flavor combinations pop, but the orange flavor was already exploding from every pore of the cupcake so I decided to go with a simple chocolate buttercream to temper the orange flavor just a tad. It worked, but I wish I had more frosting because the orange flavor can still be a bit overpowering when you don’t get enough frosting in a bite. I would have liked to cut down on the orange zest and extract just a tad to let the chocolate and rosemary shine through more, but I really think that these cupcakes would make excellent miniature cupcakes. That way the orange flavor would be controlled by small portions and a heftier dollop of frosting.
All in all not my favorite cupcake concoction but not one that I’d scrap entirely. I think it just needs a bit more finagling to get it just right. My family is certainly eating them without a problem. Maybe you will too 

Chocolate Orange Rosemary Cupcakes w/ Chocolate Buttercream
Print Me!
**Note: My first printable recipe! More to follow, so get excited!

Chocolate Cupcakes
Modified from Cupcake Bakeshop
24 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1 cup of 61% cocao
3 sticks butter
2-1/4 cups sugar
8 eggs
1-1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
4 tsp finely chopped rosemary
2 tbsp orange zest (I suggest reducing this to 1 tbsp)
½ tsp orange extract (I suggest reducing this to ¼ tsp)

1.chop chocolate and transfer into the bowl of a standing mixer.
2.add butter to the chocolate and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. stir until chocolate melts and butter is combined.
3.remove from heat and stir in sugar. let mixture cool for 10 minutes.
4.beat in an electric mixer for 3 minutes.
5.add one egg at a time, mixing for 30 seconds between each
6.sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and a pinch of salt into the mixture and mix until blended.
7.scoop into cupcake cups and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


enough to lightly frost 24 cupcakes

1 stick butter
1/2 cup cocoa
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
~1/4 cup milk (The original recipe called for ¼ c., I used probably close to ½ c. to get the taste/texture I wanted – Play around on this one)
2 tsp vanilla

1.Beat butter on high for about 30 seconds until soft.
2.Add cocoa and 1 cup of sugar and beat until incorporated
3.Add half of the milk, vanilla, and the remainder of sugar and beat until incorporated.
4.Continue to add milk until you get to the consistency you want.

Our ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:
Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Cupcakery

Our corporate prize providers include:
- HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson
- Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers


Monday, July 6, 2009

Confessions of a LEED AP... And Snickerdoodle Cupcakes!

Snickerdoodles on Foodista
Thanks for everyone’s words of encouragement on the DB challenge post with the LEED AP test – apparently I passed (although during the test I would have told you that I was going to fail for sure) so now and forever I’m a LEED Accredited Professional. Ooh, it makes me want to make business cards or change my email signature or something. :)

So yes. I’ve had a few days of blissful freedom, and though I wish the Chicago weather would cooperate and just be sunny for once this summer, life is good and my summer has officially begun. Officially officially this time. And what that means is another fun recipe/post for all of you to read, yay!
To be honest, I made these cupcakes a while ago when the bf and I had a random cupcake craving. Okay, so I had a cupcake craving and he just smiled and went with it. It’s nice to know that he’s used to my little oddities now, haha. While I wanted to try out Martha’s gorgeous lemon curd cupcake recipe (it’s like her cupcake poster child all over the cupcake portion of her website, check it out and drool!), we were both pretty tired so we tried to find a simplistic recipe and found a snickerdoodle cupcake recipe… I was intrigued. While they turned out tasty, they weren’t what I was looking for in a snickerdoodle cupcake… I personally felt like the cupcake itself wasn’t moist enough (I’m a big fan of moist and flavorful over light and airy cupcakes myself), and the frosting was ok with this cupcake… I might have liked it more if it was more of a filling inside of the cupcake instead of slathered on top. But then again I was very heavy handed with the frosting so that could have affected the outcome… I’m obsessed with a high frosting to cupcake ratio. So obsessed that I’ve been known to rip off the bottom half of the cupcake so the frosting ratio is 50/50… Don’t worry I’ve already been told by countless others that this habit of mine is pretty special. Yeah.

Anyway here is the recipe (from Martha’s new Cupcake book/website), feel free to try it out and let me know what you think – should cupcakes be considered snickerdoodle-flavored just on account of having cinnamon sugar involved? Do you think my frosting to cupcake ratio was overboard and overwhelmed the delicate cupcakes?
And get excited for more blogging, hooray!

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes, Martha Stewart Cupcakes

Makes ~ 28
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for dusting
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 3/4 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
• 4 large eggs, room temperature
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1 1/4 cups milk
• Seven-Minute Frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 2 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
4. To finish, combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Using a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip (Ateco No. 809 or Wilton No. 1A), pipe frosting on each cupcake: Hold bag over cupcake with tip just above top, and squeeze to create a dome of frosting, then release pressure and pull up to form a peak. Using a small, fine sieve, dust peaks with cinnamon-sugar. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are frosted; keep at room temperature until ready to serve.

Seven-Minute Frosting
"Martha Stewart's Cupcakes."
•1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
•2/3 cup water
•2 tablespoons light corn syrup
•6 large egg whites, room temperature

1.Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, without stirring, until syrup reaches 230 degrees.
2.Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating to combine.
3.As soon as sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees, remove from heat. With mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Raise speed to medium-high; whisk until mixture is completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) and stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 7 minutes. Use immediately.

Note - this was an interesting/fun way to make 7-minute frosting, mostly because I kind of guesstimated the temperature/did whatever I wanted. Don't throw the extra frosting in the oven and try to make meringue-y stuff... It doesn't work. Just trust me on that.


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