I love baking cupcakes. Everything from measuring the flour, to cracking the eggs, to sprinkling crystallized sugar on top of the frosting makes me happy. This morning I got up at 7 am and decided to make a batch of these little babies just because I couldn’t think of a better way to start my weekend after being sick for almost a week.
I love this time of the morning. The street is still quiet, you can clearly hear the birds outside, the cat is excited that someone else in the house is awake…Jacob sleeps longer than me so it is pretty much the only moment of the day where I can make myself a coffee, put some music on and appreciate some time alone.
As I was listening to my new favourite song of the moment, Bloom, by The Paper Kites, I started a batch of red velvet mini cupcakes. First sift the flour with the cacao powder and the salt. Then pause to make myself a latte. Keep going by measuring the oil, the buttermilk, the white vinegar and the baking soda in individual bowls. Stop to pet the cat who keeps rubbing against my feet. Mix the oil with the sugar, add the eggs. Add red gel food-colouring and vanilla. Incorporate the rest of the ingredients. Pour into paper pan liners. Bake.
During that time, the street had started waking up. I saw the neighbors walk their dog, some cars left. I could hear the birds less and less out there as the city was waking up. It was now 8 am. Upstairs I could hear Jacob coughing – a sign he had caught my cold.
As the noise around me became louder, I thanked this small window from 7 to 8 am where I got to bake some cupcakes for the joy of it, listen to very chill music, and silently sip my homemade latte.
Then I made the frosting and started running around, as per usual I was running late to meet a very kind family who were opening the door of their dairy farm to us. I had baked an extra batch of cupcakes to thank them. And by the time Jacob was up and had taken some medicine, we were on the road.
In the car, it felt like I had been awake for half a day. And so I smiled and felt lucky.
For the cupcakes, here is the recipe. The frosting is my own recipe but the batter is once again Martha Stewart’s work. I hope you will enjoy.
You will need:
2 ½ cups of cake flour
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 ½ cups of vegetable oil
1 ½ cups of sugar
Gel-paste food colouring
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of buttermilk
1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda
2 teaspoons of white vinegar
In a bowl, sift the cake flour, cocoa powder and salt.
In another bowl, whisk the oil with the sugar until the texture is smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Add the food colouring until you get a vibrant red.
Add the flour in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk.
In a small bowl, mix the vinegar with the baking soda. Pour into the batter and whisk well.
Pour the batter into cupcake paper cups lined into mini-muffin tins. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool down and then top with cream cheese frosting.
Cream cheese frosting:
5 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup of butter, room temperature
2 ½ cups of icing sugar
½ teaspoon of vanilla
Beat the cream cheese with the butter for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until very light and fluffy. Add icing sugar ½ cup at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Spread on top of the cupcakes and enjoy!