Vanilla Cupcakes

circle of cupcakes II

On Friday I wasn’t feeling all that great, so I took a sick day from work. I spent hours delving into Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton in preparation for part III of the South African film series next Thursday. I want to compare the movie to the book, so I’ve set myself the challenge of reading it in 5 days. It’s going well so far…

So, by the time Saturday afternoon rolled around and I’d been cooped up in the apartment for nearly 2 full days, I needed to bake something. I needed to bake something unhealthy. I dreamed of making this decadent chocolate cake, but after a quick glance through the list of ingredients, I had to settle for something simpler. Vanilla cupcakes it was.

packs a punch

I decided to use this recipe by Amy Sedaris because 1). I like Amy’s bizarre sense of humor, and 2). it had a 5-star rating. I have to admit that my feelings toward the cupcakes were mixed. As I was adding all of that milk, I began to wonder exactly how these cupcakes were going to taste. Believe it or not, they taste quite a lot like cornbread–really, really, sweet cornbread.

batter up
batter up

But that’s ok. I don’t think I would make this particular style of cupcake again, but they were light and fluffy with a curious savoriness to them. Something else I appreciated was that they cooked thoroughly through the center, but the bottoms didn’t burn (a problem that often occurs with other, thinner cupcake batters).


Then, while the cupcakes cooled on the windowsill, I set about making buttercream frosting–and that was ambitious of me! It wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d had normal powdered sugar, mind you, but all I had was that awful organic stuff from Whole Foods, purchased in a moment of desperation several months ago. They have no right to call that stuff powdered sugar! ROCK sugar is more like it. I even had to break out the potato masher after the sugar nearly broke my fork.


But all’s well that ends well. G. ended up being crazy about the icing, even though I wasn’t too keen on it. I melted one square of that dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s and added it to the icing for some additional flavor. Not really sure it made that much of a difference, but it was cool to swirl it in with a fork.

piled on
Whole Foods style

The thing is, I feel like I’ll never be able to make cupcakes as delicious as the $3 ones with icing towers that they sell at Whole Foods. Mostly I’m in it for the icing. What the hell do they put in that stuff to make it so crazy delicious?!

Since I made cupcakes yesterday, who knows how I’ll occupy myself today? Hope that all of you are enjoying the weekend. Cheers!

*Photos taken by ME this time! G. took a break from photography today while I tested out his camera.


15 thoughts on “Vanilla Cupcakes

    1. Yes, I actually liked them better on the second day when they’d had some time to cool down in the refrigerator! I’m close to finishing Cry, the Beloved Country – it’s a very sad and moving read, but clearly and concisely written, so easy to understand and move through quickly.

  1. These look delicious and they turned out perfectly! In a moment of stress I baked some red velvet cupcakes last week (as you do) – I’m a huge frosting fan… especially cream cheese.

    1. Yeah, they definitely satisfied my sweet tooth! Baking really isn’t that hard – just pick recipes with lots of detailed instructions and follow them as precisely as you can. That’s what I do! I was pleased with how the windowsill picture turned out, so I’m glad you liked it 🙂

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