September 17th, 2009
Who doesn’t love cupcakes?! They’re portable, versatile, celebratory, easy to make and even easier to eat! Cupcakes are pretty much the cat’s meow in the world of sweets these days.
If you want to make ’em yourself, Chronicle Books has put out a Cupcake Kit with everything you need to get started—the kit includes super-cute baking liners, a pastry bag with piping tips, and a 64-page booklet chock-full of tips, tricks and 14 mouth-watering recipes by noted cookbook author Elinor Klivans.
And if there’s an aspiring “really young” baker in your life, check out the Girl Gourmet™ Cupcake Maker that makes cupcakes in 30 seconds! There’s even a fun little “old-school style” commercial to watch on them. The Cupcake Maker’s kind of like the Easy Bake Oven, but quicker. You can nuke your cupcakes for 30 seconds then whip up the frosting and put it in the frosting spinner. Voila! Offered in 4 different flavors, each Cupcake Maker comes with mixes, frostings, cupcake cups and sprinkles. We “whipped up a batch” and—though kinda fun—they do taste like they took 30 seconds to make. There’s no substitute for the real thing … but this can be a great start to getting the little ones curious about making things themselves.
Ready to Microwave
Pump on the Frosting
Sprinkle with Fun
Now speaking of kids—and things kids love—my gal pal Cheryl Kroupa at the Cherry Foundation asked me to come up with some fun maraschino cherry recipes. I know you all have a jar of these cherries somewhere in your pantry or fridge and might not know what to do with them other than plop onto a sundae, toss into a Manhattan or garnish a Shirley Temple … well that’s an inspiration! Shirley Temple Cupcakes! Quick, easy and fun to make with the kids. Chef Cameo and I whipped some up—we loved them and sampled a few … okay, maybe more than a few. Just looking at them will make you smile! (Recipe follows.)
Kathy & Cameo whipping up some Shirley Temple Cupcakes
Now, if you just want to go buy some super-tasty cupcakes, there certainly are a lot of delicious choices out there—from Trophy Cupcakes to Jody Hall’s Cupcake Royale! And Jody’s just opened her 4th location—this one on Capitol Hill (1111 E. Pike Street)—which, like its sister shops in Madrona, Ballard and West Seattle, is open daily. Most recently I enjoyed a pink frosted cupcake and a few fresh raspberries from my garden for breakfast. So nice … but naughty Happy cupcakes for all!
Cupcake Royale Assortment O’ Cakes
Shirley Temple Cupcakes
This recipe uses about two 10-oz jars of maraschino cherries. Every kid—young and old—will enjoy these easy cupcakes!
Makes 24 cupcakes
1 box (18.25 oz) super-moist white cake mix
1 1/4 cups lemon-lime soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries (about 12 cherries)
1 container (12 oz) white frosting
Garnish: 36 maraschino cherries, halved
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners and set aside. Combine the cake mix, soda, oil and egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl and then mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in the chopped cherries. Fill each lined cupcake cup 3/4 full with batter. Place pans in oven on a lower rack. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting. Frost cupcakes and decorate each with 3 cherry halves. Created by Kathy Casey Food Studios for the National Cherry Foundation.