Lecture 1 – Baking Your Way to Your Friends’ Hearts, the Cupcake Edition

The beginning of a semester is the best – you have enough time on your hands to switch your classes for a week and still not be too far behind. After switching my classes at least five times, I too found myself with a free afternoon – what to do? Answer: cupcakes*.

The best, and worst, part of a successful baking session is the product. A quick illustration gets this message across:

The Best

The Worst

What’s a girl who would rather not layer on those cupcake abs to do? Enter the friends, and the fraternity.

Simple Vanilla Cupcake with Buttercream Frosting – the “Fratcake”

Dropped the stacks above off at a friend’s fraternity. Several calls and YouTube videos ensued. They got some sweetness, and I made some new friends.

*Disclaimer that I had to post up here and not at the end so that people would see it: cupcakes are a sensitive matter. They are stereotype and stigmatized, and the creator even more so. Before labeling me “THAT Cupcake Girl” (“THAT Cupcake Bitch” would even be better at this point), let’s just say there’s more color and sweetness in the little bundles of sugar above than most people have seen in me. Ever.

With that, some more bundles of joy…

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake with Cookie Dough Buttercream Frosting

The Inside

and for some fun…

“Cupception”

School Spirit!!! (note: the most I’ve likely ever had)

Recipes (ILK notes in blue)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Buttercream Frosting (adapted from Kevin&Amanda)

For the cookie dough:
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

For the cupcakes:
3 sticks softened butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:
3 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the whole recipe…
8 sticks butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar 
1 cup plus 6 tablespoons (a little more than 1/4 cup) whole milk
2 tbs vanilla extract
a little more than 5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 bag mini chocolate chips
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar

4 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3 1/2 cup powdered sugar 

Directions

Cookie Dough – cream butter + sugars until fluffy and smooth. Add liquids (milk + vanilla), beat until smooth. Add flour + salt until reasonably mixed (no large flour/butter clumps!). Add chocolate chips. Shape dough into 1 inch wide balls and freeze on cookie sheet for at least 2 hours.

Cupcakes – heat oven to 350° F and fill two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total). Cream butter + brown sugar until fluffy and smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, until well mixed.

Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a separate bowl and stir together to blend.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture (butter/sugar/eggs) and alternate with the milk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. Mix each addition just until incorporated (some “flour bubbles” are OK) and blend in the vanilla.

Fill tins (about 2/3 full, but I just used all the batter I had) and insert a frozen cookie dough ball on top of batter (cookie dough fall in baking).

Bake for 16-18 mins.

Frosting – cream butter + brown sugar until fluffy and smooth. Add in powdered sugar until smooth. Add salt, milk, and vanilla extract.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with chocolate chips!

Makes 24 cupcakes.

 

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from Gimme Some Oven)

Cupcakes
2 cups canned pumpkin
2/3 cup oil (I had canola oil)
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbs pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp. salt

Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

Cupcakes – Preheat oven to 350° F and fill 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Stir together pumpkin, oil, sugar, milk +  vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt + spices. Stir by hand (a fork or whisk works best).

Fill liners and bake for 22 to 24 minutes, and let cool completely before frosting.

FrostingMix together cream cheese, butter + vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar + cinnamon.

 

Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting (via AllRecipes.com)

Cupcakes:

1 stick softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F and fill a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.

Cream butter + sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Combine flour + baking powder, add to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly (again, some “flour bubbles” are OK). Add milk and mix.

Fill tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Let cool (they should not be warm to the touch), then frost. I used Betty Crocker’s Classic Gel Food Colors. Apparently the gels are more concentrated so it’s a little bit easier to mixer richer colors, but I haven’t tested these against normal liquid coloring so don’t take my word on it.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

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