Cupcakes have been fashionable for quite a few years now and it is a trend that doesn’t look like waning anytime soon. And why would it? Cupcakes are the perfect portion size, come in an amazing variety of flavours and, unlike a large cake, will continue to look pretty even once served. I still can’t serve a slice of pie or cake without it looking hacked into and messy (this is the reason why I almost never have photos of individually plated desserts on my blog!).
Unfortunately, a cupcake’s prettiness is too often at the expense of flavour. Many store bought cupcakes are beautifully decorated but the cake and buttercream are bland (at best).
I made a batch of small cupcakes recently for my daughter to share with her new school friends in celebration of her birthday. I haven’t made cupcakes in a while and I had almost forgotten how delicious these cupcakes are. The recipe I used, the one I have used faithfully for several years, is unbelievably delicious and always reliable. The recipe, by Billy Reece of Billy’s Bakery (NY), is perfect and I have never felt the need to alter it in any way.
The recipe calls for cake flour and while it’s not entirely necessary it makes for a superior and more delicate crumb so I would recommend that you use it. Although cake flour is now available in Australian supermarkets I choose to make my own as I need it. Mainly because I don’t have enough room in the pantry to be storing different types of flours but I also like to turn over flour fairly quickly so it’s always fresh.
To make a cup of cake flour simply measure out a cup of plain (all-purpose) flour and replace two tablespoons of it with corn flour.
I made the cupcakes and piped the buttercream, leaving the fun but most important job of sprinkles to my daughter. I have realised that it’s best to let small children decorate their own cakes. They love it, of course, but they also do a better job. The decoration has a certain charm about it that I can’t quite replicate. If you don’t have a small child at hand to decorate your cupcakes simply throw a variety of sprinkles randomly near and around cupcakes, with a complete lack of concern about sprinkles all over the kitchen bench and floor.
Do you like cupcakes? Do you make your own? What flavour do you like best?