There are times in your life when you've just gotta have that certain something sweet but you really don't want the guilt associated with gobbling up five bags of candy coins or a calorie-laden mega-doughnut topped with chocolate and filled with custard.
That's when I reach for a cupcake.
Deciding what kind of cupcakes to make and how to top them can be a truly personal and existential experience. You can fill them, frost them and dust them with powdered sugar or cocoa. Sprinkles are always nice and so are a couple of pieces of candy or chocolate stuck into the top of the batter just before baking. The possibilities are endless and the results are always irresistible.
One of the beauties of making cupcakes is that most cake recipes can be converted into cupcakes. There are, however, some exceptions, like angel and sponge cakes. Cupcakes can easily be toted to picnics, beaches and other summertime venues. Just keep them cool.
Banana Split Cupcakes(Dairy)
- 2 cups sugar
13/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
11/2 tsps. baking powder
11/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2 mashed ripe bananas
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk or nondairy substitute
1/2 cup oil
11/2 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
4 Tbsps. soft butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
hot fudge sauce
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 20 to 24 muffin cups or use paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine.
In another large bowl combine the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla and whisk to combine.
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar until blended.
Frost and top with fudge sauce and a maraschino cherry.
Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes(Dairy)
- 1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
11/4 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
13/4 cups flour
13/4 tsps. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
16 miniature peanut butter cups
Preheat oven to 350°. Place paper cupcake liners in the muffin pan and set it aside.
In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer, combine the margarine or butter, peanut butter and brown sugar. Then mix in the eggs and vanilla.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate, adding the flour mixture to the egg mixture with the milk. Do not over mix or you'll get air bubbles in the cupcake.
Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 full of batter. Place a peanut butter cup into the center of each and push it down so it almost touches the bottom but not quite.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (but avoid where the candy is to get an accurate result).
Makes about 14 to 16.
Eileen Goltz is a freelance food writer and the author of Perfectly Pareve. Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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