A cupcake is a small cake designed to serve one person, which may be baked in a small thin paper or aluminum cup. As, with larger cakes, icing and other decorations such as fruit, candy and gems may be applied.
The cupcakes evolved in the United States in the 19th century, and it was revolutionary because of the amount of time it saved in the kitchen. There was a shift from weighing out ingredients when baking to measure our ingredients. The idea behind making tiny cakes was elaborated in ‘American Cookery’, a 1796 cookbook by Amelia Simmons.
In, the beginning they were called number cakes because they were easy to remember by the measurement ingredients it took to create them. One cup butter, two cup sugars, three cups of flour, one cup milk, half spoon soda, and baking powder. Today cupcakes have expanded to a wide variety of ingredients, measurements, shapes, and decorations.
The cake is a group dessert. Cakes involve gathering, celebration: Birthdays, weddings, holidays. Cakes are made to be cut and shared. Cupcakes, on the other hand, are single-serving indulgences, selfish celebrations. Party of one. They are not designed to be shared. It encourage you to take big gulping bites, lick that frosting from your fingers and feel a smug, personal satisfaction that is all yours. Today, they come in a variety of flavors and styles.
I have written a small poem on the life of cupcakes. The small cake of joy says something to their lovers.
THE LIFE OF A CUPCAKE
They put me in the oven to bake.
Me, a deprived and miserable cake.
Feeling the heat, I started to bubble.
Watching the others, I know I was in trouble.
They opened the door as I started my life.
Frosting me with sprinkles.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 tbsp strawberry fruit topping
- 1/2cup strawberries hulled and diced
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
Whipped Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk (or sift) together with the dry ingredients: cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and granulated sugar. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add egg whites and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Now add strawberry fruit topping and mix well.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk, until all ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling each 2/3 full. The batter will fill 15 cupcake liners. Bake in preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Gently core the center of each cupcake (about a 3/4″ circle) and fill with cooled strawberry filling. Be careful not to core through the bottom of your cupcake. Leave about 1/2″ on the bottom so your filling doesn’t fall through when unwrapped.
Whipped Buttercream Frosting
- In a large bowl, add room temperature butter, beat until creamy, about 1 minute.
- Add confectioner’s sugar and slowly mix until ingredients are fully combined. Then, whip at high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla extract. Then, add heavy cream and whip for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add additional heavy cream as needed to reach desired consistency.
- Pipe or spread the frosting with a knife onto cupcakes and serve.