HOLY FRIGGIN’ BALLS. Tomorrow I turn 32 years old! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?! And more importantly, who the hell is in charge here, because somewhere along the line, I got shafted. Time went too quickly, and I’d like to file a complaint.
How things change. Not so very long ago, I was wearing pink Osh Kosh overalls & making scrunchy faces at people. Actually, scratch that; I still do those things, except I only have regular ol’ blue denim H&M overalls now, not pink. Jay will tell you (& my family will attest to the fact)… I still make that face. Frequently. And my bangs still separate like that no matter what I do.
Some things don’t change. Nevermind.
Anyway… uh… cupcakes.
Every year for my birthday I make myself cupcakes. I know there are some people who think this is stupid. Maybe they think I should have cupcakes delivered from a fancy bakery, or a famous bakery, or maybe even have someone else make them for me. Because it’s my birthday & I shouldn’t have to make myself anything. But they’re missing the point.
Why is doing something nice for myself wrong?
I make things for other people all year. I make cakes, cupcakes, pies, pickles, jams & jellies year round for holidays/birthdays/Mother’s Day/Father’s Day/anniversaries, etc. Hell, I even do it just because I want to. I don’t need a reason to give someone a jar of something they love or make them a chocolate cake. So why wouldn’t I take time out for myself, to make something I want & that I like? It doesn’t mean that nobody else gets me anything. It doesn’t mean that I never get a cake or a dessert from anyone else, or that I bake my own cupcakes because I’m unloved.
I don’t think I should feel that I’m “too good” to make myself a cake for my own birthday; isn’t that insulting in some roundabout way?
Hot weather isn’t conducive to pretty frosting…
Why is it acceptable to spend a day slaving over a cake for a loved one, but when you make yourself that cake it’s either “how greedy” or “oh, poor thing, they couldn’t even buy her a cake, she had to make one herself”? What the hell is that about?
I like doing it. I pick out the liners. The sprinkles. The color scheme. I’d say I plan the recipe, but let’s face it: vanilla is my favorite, so that’s usually what it ends up being. And then I take my time making them- usually I don’t make more than a half-dozen, but sometimes I’ll make a full dozen & share them with people. I enjoy the process. And tomorrow I’ll have a more “official” celebration with family, so today I can celebrate with myself. Don’t get me wrong: I love getting baked goods as presents, or having people buy me pretty cakes for my birthday. But I also see nothing strange about making myself a treat.
Awesome tip: use a cupcake liner as a lid for drinks in a jar.
So this year I decided on vanilla “funfetti” cupcakes with multi-colored frosting & more rainbow sprinkles (on colored marshmallow frosting!). It’s not really the original funfetti, but it’s homemade funfetti, & that’s even better. OH! And pink lemonade. I had some pink lemonade, too. I used just a dab of Wilton gel icing colors for each of the frostings: Christmas Red, Leaf Green, Royal Blue & Golden Yellow. You don’t need a lot of it to make a beautiful color- I literally used a teeny tiny amount on the tip of a butter knife.
HOMEMADE FUNFETTI CUPCAKES
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg + 1 egg white, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3-4 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles (actually “jimmies”)
- Preheat oven to 350° degrees F & line cupcake pan with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer, fitted with flat beater, beat the sugar and butter until well combined, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add egg and egg white, one at a time, beating on low. Then add vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture.
- Fold in rainbow sprinkles. Fill cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full.
- Bake for about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.
Recipe can be doubled!
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 (7 1/2 ounce) jar Fluff, or similar marshmallow cream
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Beat butter in a large bowl with mixer on high speed until creamy. Beat in marshmallow cream. Reduce speed to low, and beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Increase speed to high; beat until fluffy.
- Frost cooled cupcakes.
Before anyone asks: I didn’t buy the chalkboard cake stand. I painted the cake stand in black chalkboard paint; it was just a little unpainted ceramic thing I bought at Michael’s for really cheap. I think it was $3.00? Anyway, I have a thing for cake stands, in case ya didn’t know. And chalkboard paint. I thought it was nifty. The best part is you can write on it for any occasion. Like holidays… or birthdays, you know.
Basically… who has time to worry about getting older when there are brightly colored cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles on chalkboard cake stands around? Certainly not me.
Welcome to 32. I hope we all enjoy the ride!