October 19, 2006

Sarah: Betty Crocker, Rescue Me

My grandma worked for many years as a Home Economics teacher, instructing countless cooking classes. My mom won the title as her school's Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow. The domesticity gene runs in the family, but apparently took a detour around me. I offer as proof my latest kitchen endeavor.

Using a recipe from this book, I attempted to make pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing for our girls night. Sounds delicious, right?

Wrong. Apparently baking cupcakes from scratch is harder than it looks. Cream cheese frosting, however, is simple and delicious.

The cupcake saga: I doubled the recipe and measured ingredients exactly. I preheated the oven, set the timer, and did everything right. Here is my first batch:

Complete disaster. They were so large that they flowed into each other, then they deflated and made sad little concave puddles of moist cupcake. I decided that the problem was I had overfilled the tins, and perhaps I opened the oven one too many times. I prepared the second batch, leaving more room at the top of each cup. I set the timer and left the oven completely alone.

These were actually a little bit better. Although just as sunken, there was not as much lateral cupcake expansion, and the bottom of the cupcake was actually quite tasty. Still, these monstrosities were too hideous to give away.

After two bad batches, I was filled with sadness and a little bit of self-loathing. How hard could cupcakes be? Too hard for a Wednesday night, apparently.

The frosting, which I made while Cupcake Batch #2 was baking, had much better results.

See? Tasty. So... want some frosting? Here's a spoon.

Posted by sarah at October 19, 2006 01:35 PM

I thought for sure you were making a birthday cake for Mark. Sorry about the frustration!

Posted by: lisa on October 19, 2006 02:56 PM

I think you should still bring them. I bet they will taste DELICIOUS. because um. Pumpkin? cake? CREAM CHEESE ICING? WHO CARES WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE?

Posted by: Mallory on October 19, 2006 02:57 PM

Good point, Mally! And the indents can just hold an extra cache of cream cheese frosting!

Posted by: lisa on October 19, 2006 03:05 PM

Sorry to disappoint you guys, but I threw away the cupcakes. They were hideous, and they were taunting me. I will come up with some frosting-warranting alternative.

Posted by: sarah on October 19, 2006 03:13 PM

You are adorable.

Posted by: Andrea (RAZRPHONE!) on October 19, 2006 03:43 PM

YOU THREW THEM AWAY! You know we would eat them still. Im sure they were tastey

Posted by: Marci on October 19, 2006 03:46 PM

I'm so sorry. I'll make some other disgustingly flaccid and pitiful baking project, smother it in icing, and bring it to a future get-together. I'm sure it won't be hard. I mean difficult. Ugh. I shouldn't have said "flaccid."

Posted by: sarah on October 19, 2006 03:49 PM


Posted by: lisa on October 19, 2006 03:52 PM

Maybe you can brng the frosting and we can sit around the bowl eating it with a spoon.

Posted by: Marci on October 19, 2006 04:44 PM

Thanks for a good laugh.

Posted by: Emily on October 19, 2006 09:43 PM

My vote is to just go with frosting. Cupcakes are just an excuse to eat frosting anyway, so cut out the middle man

Posted by: Troy on October 20, 2006 12:47 AM

I was trying to do research on the internet to find out why my cupcakes were concave, and I found this entry on your blog. Interestingly enough, my concave cupcakes were also pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting! So maybe it's just pumpkin cupcakes that are weird? I've always made good cupcakes before. Anyway, I'm still trying to find out the cause of this. I doubled the amount of pumpkin in the recipe to make it more pumpkiny, and maybe that was it? Yes, the cream cheese frosting is yummy.

Posted by: sugene on October 26, 2006 09:49 PM
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