Oh no, not the pipes! | The best cake & frosting EVER.

This weekend was pretty insane for me. On Thursday night, I was cooking lunch to bring to work the next day when all of a sudden, my shoes were completely soaked. I looked down and water was flooding my kitchen. I took a look underneath our sink, and the pipes had come undone. My roommate tried to put it back together, but it just kept popping out. We can’t do dishes, or use the water in the kitchen for now (as of now, the plumber was supposed to be here TWO HOURS AGO). I cook pretty much all of my own food at home, so right now I’m freaking out – am I going to have to microwave pork tenderloin? This might be a fabulous opportunity to do some crock pot magic!

I was upset. I usually do my recipes on the weekend, so I have adequate time for trial and error. Sometimes I have to make something twice or three times before it comes out the way I want it, and between working out, and work, I just don’t have time during the week. I called my mom and asked her if I could come use her kitchen. She didn’t answer, so I packed up my bags and headed out to Katy with all of my kitchen tools, hoping she would just laugh at me, and let me bake all day!

I really did bring everything…

So what was the recipe this week? Last week, I photographed a party for my company, Metro Marketing & Design. It was for twins who were having their 30th birthday bash! One of the coolest things about it was that they had an ice cream truck, where people could pick up whatever they wanted. I ended up getting a push pop, and it was AMAZING! It had cinnamon, nutmeg, and gin in it! It drove me nuts, because I never thought gin would taste good in anything, but it really did. I decided to replicate it into cupcake form. I also wanted to try my best to engage in some cooking chemistry, and make my own cake.

I always use cake recipes that I’m really fond of when I make cupcakes, but I’ve yet to find one that has wowed me. I’ve dealt with every kind of cake batter – cakes that are far too dense, or cakes that could blow away in a light wind, or anything in between, really. I’ve dealt with cakes that are great, but have really weird, and complicated mixing instructions. I’ve never found a suitable cupcake recipe though. Something light, but moist, with a tiny bit of resistance when you cut through it with a fork, but also not too sweet. I just wanted to create something delicious, but straight forward.

And then there’s the frosting. I became intent on creating the perfect frosting. I’m a huge fan of cream cheese frosting, and I use it on most cakes I bake, but just like finding the perfect cake recipe, I never found the perfect frosting recipe.

I think I succeeded in both areas. I made a cake and frosting so good, I pretty much scared myself.

For the cake, I experimented a couple of times. The cake flour to all purpose ratio, how high it would rise, and in turn, how many scoops should go into the liners, what kind, and how much milk to use in the batter (if any), and how to make the cake taste like cake, with relatively normal ingredients (because everyone knows that I LOVE good, rich food and I love to be moderate with it, but I’ll still eat it).

For the frosting, I opted for two types of cheese. Mascarpone (an italian cheese – you’ve probably tasted it in Tiramisu desserts). The other was Neufchatel. You can get a brief history lesson on it from The Kitchn. It’s so tasty, and it’s a little less fattening than cream cheese. I love the way it tastes. I would suggest making it prior to baking the cupcakes. It needs time to chill- about an hour or so.

All of this research for the perfect cake.

My mom and dad loved them, and suggested that it go on our Thanksgiving menu. We also had some guests over, and I invited them to try them too – they didn’t last. See the recipe below, and let me know what you think? Do you have a favorite cake recipe? I want to hear about it!


Leave a comment

  1. October 22, 2012 / 1:25 pm

    I was lucky enough to try one of these babies and it was SOOO GOOD! And, the texture was spot-on. I love how the cake rose up into a perfect little dome!

  2. October 22, 2012 / 9:44 pm

    OMG I WANT THIS RIGHT NOW. Also, what camera are you using? Your pictures are awesome!

    • October 23, 2012 / 8:08 am

      Thanks, Kate!

      I’m using a Nikon D7000, and the lens I used for this was a 50 mm f1.8 prime lens. I really love my camera. It’s definitely “middle of the road” in the world of DSLRs (the body was a little over about $1,000, and that lens is actually under $200), but it does everything I need it to, and more!

  3. October 23, 2012 / 9:01 am

    These sound DELICIOUS. I’ve been wary of cream cheese frosting ever since a bad experience a few years ago (had a red velvet cupcake with a really cheesy flavored frosting that got me sick!)… but this one seems like it would be light on the cheese (even though there’s two types of cheese, they aren’t heavy on the cheese flavor, lol). I’m definitely saving this recipe!

    • October 23, 2012 / 7:47 pm

      Me too! I feel like a really great cream cheese frosting is hard to make. I wanted to make one with just a few ingredients, but not one that was too buttery (like some recipes tell you to add in a stick and a half of butter, and I’m always like “HUH?”) and one that didn’t taste like straight up cheese. This one does it well for me. I don’t like frosting that’s too sweet, or too cream cheesy, so this worked out!

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

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