Monday, March 16, 2009

Homemade Cupcakes When You Haven't Any Time

With my on-the-side copy writing business becoming more front-and-center (and surprisingly busy), my cooking, baking, crafty mama job has fallen the way of many of my body parts--down, down, down. But, alas, birthdays stop for no one, especially four year olds, so in addition to bringing home the bacon, I've taken in the tried (and tired) and true working mom tradition of cupcake baking in the wee hours.

It came down to this: either pony up $2.50 per cupcake for 24 cupcakes from Amy's bakery, or save some of the cash, buy a box mix, and make the cupcakes myself. The guilt took over--I made them myself.

Surprisingly, box mixes aren't so bad, especially if you add twice the amount of oil and reduce the amount of water. Since a standard butter cream frosting is easy-peasy, I always make it myself. If you keep extra candy, sprinkles and food coloring around (friends tell me it's important to get the all-natural stuff from whole foods; the regular is apparently very toxic ), whipping up a batch only takes a few years off your life, rather than say, a decade.

Here's how you do it:

Bake up a batch of chocolate cupcakes from a box. Instead of 1/3 a cup of oil, use 2/3. Instead of 1 1/3 cups of water, use 1 cup of water. Cool cupcakes quickly by removing from the pan, placing on a plate, and putting the plate in the freezer. Seriously, this works.

Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks of butter
1 pound of powdered sugar (one box)
2 tablespoons of cream, half-n-half or milk--whatever you have because its most likely too late to go to the store.
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer, mix ingredients together until fluffy. Scoop out frosting into three different bowls. Add different food colors to each bowl, mix with a spoon. Frost cupcakes with different frostings and add candies to each. Go to bed.

1 comment:

  1. Good tip for cooling cupcakes. midnight baking is only fun until the cooling stage.