Hey cupcake whores- Happy (day before) Valentine’s Day! I hope all you cookin’ & bakin’, movin’ & shakin’ wives/girlfriends get KitchenAid stand mixers tomorrow, or a pretty apron, and if not, I hope you at least get cupcakes… or flowers (and I hope you guys all get something sweet too). Yoyo is having a 13% off sale just for today (the 13th, duh) so get on over there and buy something…
I’ve got some new news for you all before I start talking about frosting & such. For one, my darling friend Cece (I call her Chichi- but you cannot) has opened her blog, and whaddaya know? The artwork at the top was done by yours truly. Yes, the cute little “bakeasaurus” at the top was drawn by moi. Second of all, I insist everyone bookmark bakeasaurus.com and make it part of your blogroll. Thirdly, my friend Brianne from Iron Chef Mommy just bought her very own domain and will be entering the world of independent blogging very shortly. So congratulations to her on becoming a .com owner! I did some logo work for her as well so I’m excited to see it in action. My fourth item of business is that you all keep track of that blog as well, because you’re in for some delicious recipes plus pictures of the adorable Maddie, Brianne’s 2-year-old daughter. The fifth thing (I know, bear with me…) is that my other friend Jeanine is going back to being a vegan, and she’s starting her own vegan blog: vegannourishment.com. So I want everyone to keep an eye on that blog too, ’cause Jeanine is becoming quite the awesome cook/baker lately, and I can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve for it. And the last thing is that I designed & drew a new logo for Cupcake Rehab that very well may become a part of this layout eventually… but seeing has how I just changed it a few weeks ago, it wouldn’t be for a while. It debuted itself on the Cupcake Rehab Facebook page a few days ago. If you’re interested in me doing some graphic design/illustration work for you, e·mail me & we’ll talk.
I’m going to post this a day early so anyone who’s lacking inspiration can maybe get an idea for a sweet Valentine’s dessert. Valentine’s Day rocks. I dig it. I always have, even when I was in my super-punk, “I hate everything” phase, I still loved Valentine’s Day. I love antique-y and vintage-y postcards and ephemera so I suppose that’s part of it, since Valentine’s Day is all about the lacy valentine cards and old-fashioned images. And I love lingerie too, I have a slight problem with it, really. I have two overflowing drawers filled with lingerie of every style and shape in color order. And Valentine’s Day is all about that stuff. And it’s all about the the color pink. I love the color pink- my KitchenAid mixer (Lola!) is pink, my camera is pink, and my laptop (a.k.a. June Carter) is pink, this website is pink… you get the point. So when thinking about what kind of cupcakes to make for Valentine’s Day this year, I opted for some pink frosted confections, courtesy of a strawberry swiss meringue buttercream I got from How To Eat A Cupcake. I haven’t made any pink desserts in quite some time, and my favorite Valentine’s day cupcakes were the ones I made 2 years ago, and they were pink. Also, because I haven’t baked much lately, I decided to make something chocolate as well. I’m not going to give you the recipes for the vanilla buttercream, because it’s already on the site here somewhere (and the chocolate cupcake recipe can be found on my other cooking website, Cooking the Books). But because I am a nice person.. I will link to a bunch of related recipes at the end of the post for you lazy people, including every other vanilla cupcake recipe I have so you have an assortment to choose from. Lazies! IDLE HANDS ARE THE DEVIL’S TOOLS, PEOPLE.
Textbook fucking cupcake there, people. Take note.
So I put this on a plain vanilla cupcake (my favorite) and topped them with a sliced strawberry that resembles a heart. Aww. For the chocolate, I went with the traditional buttercream frosting and topped them with some heart-shaped chocolates & Red Hot candies. I’m normally not much into strawberry, but this was really good. I used all natural Seriously Strawberry jam by Peanut Butter & Co. I recommend them- they make delicious stuff, and 100% of their packaging is recyclable and they start with recycled materials whenever possible. You can also fill the cupcakes with some jam too, just carve out a hole, fill it, cover it and then frost.. or fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip with jam, poke it into the cupcake and squeeze a bit. If you wanna make this and don’t have access to strawberries or strawberry jam, try my Kool-Aid buttercream recipe, just use strawberry flavored Kool-Aid. I actually made the frosting a bit more pink using food coloring. Is it obvious? *wink*
I finally used the Amy Sedaris vanilla cupcake recipe again. This time my results were much better than the last time, when it was quite cornbread-y and dry. Of course, that was quite a few years ago (before I even had a blog) and although I can’t rule out doing something wrong, I did make it three times with the same result. Who knows what I did this time to make it come out different. But it was. So I no longer will talk shit about this recipe. It has redeemed itself! Which is cool, because I love Amy Sedaris.
AMY SEDARIS’ VANILLA CUPCAKES
- 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter
- 1 ¾ cups of sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 ½ cups of flour
- 1 ¼ cups of milk
- Beat butter and sugar well, then add the rest of the ingredients.
- Fill cups, and bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes. You should get 24. I get 18, ’cause I’m doing something wrong.
STRAWBERRY SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks), softened, cut into tablespoons
- 1/3 cup strawberry jam
- Put egg whites and sugar into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees).
- Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low; add strawberry jam and continue beating 2 minutes to eliminate air bubbles.
Do you love my sparkly pink heart plate? Yes, you do.
For the people who want to see the chocolates, here they are (& the recipe is here):
Psst.. the cupcakes in the background? They’re made of cloth, handmade and hand-painted, and were a gift from my mother. If you’d like to know where to buy similar creations, shoot me an e·mail or ask me on Twitter!
And for those of you who hate this holiday, have no fear. I have a recipe for you too. Click here and you will be taken into the depths of the world of Anti-Valentine’s Day cupcakes… where everyone wears black, cuts the buds off roses, and hates life. No, wait, that’s just my idea of a fun Saturday night. Nevermind. Anyway, just keep in mind that my piping technique has considerably improved since then. What a difference two years makes, eh?
Okay lazies here you go, here are ALL the vanilla cupcake recipes I have on here: Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcake recipe, Billy’s Bakery vanilla cupcake recipe, Martha Stewart’s white cupcake recipe. And here’s a vegan cupcake recipe for those of you who refuse to be like me and ingest things like eggs, milk and butter. And here is a recipe for red velvet cupcake & cream cheese frosting, just in case you want to make something red.
Now go forth and make cupcakes! And have a great Valentine’s Day!