So my little baby sisters’ birthdays were coming up! Yes by now they’re long over, but I’m posting in retrospect (: their birthdays were on June 11th, and oh-so-brilliant me *ego* thought of an awesome idea for their party this year: a cupcake party! Well since they were inviting just girls, I was thinking that having a cupcake party would be something rather interesting and different for P4/10 year old girls. And…I WAS RIGHT. They loved it! The cupcakes, and the many many games we (mostly me) planned. Success.
Originally I wanted to let the girls mix their own batter and make their own cupcakes. Then my mum was like “I’m not letting these kids ruin my kitchen/dining!” Change of plan: we decided that I’ll bake the cupcakes and prepare different frostings and deco stuff. Essentially it became a cupcake-decorating party 😀
Knowing that I had to bake for these girls then became a real stress. Cause I can’t blame any failures on them! RAWR. That meant practice.
1 week before the party, I tried baking vanilla and cupcake muffins to make sure that I won’t fail for their actual party. Here’re the results:
Oh yes. Really flat and ugly looking things. Can’t even call them cupcakes >.< I baked them without the liners cause I hadn’t gotten them yet, and I can’t help wondering if that affected the results. Like the really unflattering colour and rims. To be honest, the cupcakes didn’t taste bad. Just a tad soft in my opinion. Figured that the recipe called for too little flour. And so my next attempt yielded something like this:
Don’t the vanilla ones look much much better than before?! I added about a quarter cup more flour than called for, and got cupcakes that were light, soft, and pleasantly buttery. The amount of butter was just enough, giving it a very fluffy yet dense kinda texture. Splendid.
The chocolate ones looked a little deformed though. I thought that was because the chocolate batter was quite watery, and so…ok I don’t know. Would have to figure out how to even that out though. Ah but don’t let their looks through you off! Cause they tasted amazing! Even better than the vanilla ones in my opinion 😀 my grandpa especially loved the chocolate ones. My dad liked the vanilla ones though. But that’s probably because he’s anti-chocolate. Hmmm.
With the success of these cupcakes, I decided that I was safe. My cupcakes should turn out fine and tasty since I’ve been so successful this time round right? WRONG. I don’t know exactly what happened, but maybe because I was the one who planned the games and thus knew best how to run them, I couldn’t make the batters or bake in peace. I ran in and out of the kitchen throughout the initial 3 hours of the party, and skipped lunch to bake and monitor my cupcakes. Sigh…sadly the chocolate cupcakes that I loved were ruined 😦 though tasty, they were really hard. I knew that it was cause I overbaked them, but I didn’t know what else to do but to extend the baking time when I saw that the ‘cupcakes’ were still watery even after my oven ding-ed! So the chocolate ones ended up real (maybe not that) nasty. I got really frustrated then and decided I wanted to make the vanilla ones a success at the very least. Alas tadah, they were edible! Phew. They turned out even better than the previous try which were a great relief. I had extra batter in the end which I used to make into a heart shaped cake for my twins (:
I was so busy running about that I forgot to take a picture of the cupcakes xD oh well. These are some decorated by the kids! Haha as this is the first time I’m making frosting, I tried a relatively simple one by making lemon cream cheese frosting and colouring them. However I found them much much much too sweet, so I added more cheese and more lemon to tamper it. I think I ended tripling the amounts of cheese and lemon just to level out the sweetness. Urgh. Will never use that frosting recipe again.
In the end, what matters most is that my sisters and these girls love the food and enjoyed that party. Seeing them gobble down and fight to reach for the cake made me feel really happy and proud! Oh I forgot to mention: they were squeezing to reach the cake because this cake mold does not have a removable base. Even though I greased it, it refused to come out. Oh well. Scoop away!
On a side note, my hands were just itching to try out a recipe from my new muffins and cupcakes cookbook. So I made these Oat and Honey Muffins two days before the party.
Yum Yum. My sister who dislikes muffins ate them and asked me to bake it again! 😀
Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Vanilla Letter Cupcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter softened
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used a cup and a little more)
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to medium. Mix in 3 batches of flour mixture, alternating with 2 batches of milk. Raise speed to medium-high; mix until thoroughly blended, 10 to 20 seconds.
2. Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup. Bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Let cool in tin on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tin; let cool completely. Line tin with muffin cups; repeat process with remaining batter.
Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 18-24)
Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Basic Chocolate Cupcake
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
2. Sift together dry ingredients, set aside. Beat in the wet ingredients till smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down to assure everything is well mixed.
3. Divide between muffin cups and bake till top springs back when pressed, 20 minutes. Rotate pans once if needed for even rising. Transfer to rack and let it cool completely.
Apple and Oat Muffins (makes 12)
Recipe from Weldon Owen’s Cupcakes and Muffins
1 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup (90g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup (170g) old-fashioned rolled oats
2 medium green-skinned apples, unpeeled, grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (250ml) soy milk
1/3 cup (80ml) oil
Oat Streusel (I omitted this)
1/3 cup (45g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoon (40g) cold butter, chopped
3 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoon old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon water
1. Preheat to 200C. Grease or line a standard muffin pan.
2. To make the oat streusel, whisk together flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Rub in butter using fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar, rolled oats and water, until combined.
3. To make muffin batter, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Ass oats and apples and mix well. As egg, soy milk and oil. Stir until just combined, taking care not to overmix or else your muffins will turn out dense and tough. Spoon mixture into prepared pan, then sprinkle with oat streusel.
4. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Stand in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.