Friday, October 30, 2015

Boo To You!

While I was staying with Mommy's family, there were several times when it was just me and the bigger sisters at home. Mommy was at the hospital all of the time. J-Daddy was there late afternoon and evening. And you know when Mimi is left in charge, the rules get bent a little.

So when Big Sister asked one night if she could bake something after supper. I told her it was fine with me—as long as she cleaned everything up. And I meant I didn't want to wash or wipe one single thing. She agreed and stuck to her end of the bargain. Big Sister picked a recipe she had made before, so she knew what she was doing. 

Poor Little Sister didn't get to eat a cupcake until the next day because her bedtime came before everything was done. She is such a little ray of sunshine, though, and she went on the bed willingly. 

She did remind me promptly the next morning that she was supposed to have a cupcake! She wanted it for her breakfast. After some fast talking, she agreed it would be better for her afternoon snack. (Remember, I said I "bend" the rules—not totally break them!)

I asked Big Sister if she would make a couple of photos when she was done so I could use this recipe here on the blog sometime. She grabbed a couple of decorations off the mantle and staged these pictures. Just right for a Halloween blog post. And they were Devil's Food cupcakes. Couldn't have been more perfect for this holiday! Sometimes luck is better than planning.

The cupcakes were totally yummy! Big Sister is very at home in the kitchen, both the cooking and the cleaning parts. So proud of the young woman she is becoming. 


1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Vanilla Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners--this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.

Make the cupcakes:
Whisk the cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla until completely smooth. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients; then the buttermilk. Gently whisk—about 5 stirs. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Sitr until just combined. Do not over mix. The batter will be a little thin.

Pour batter into the liners, filling only halfway to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting:
With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add 4-1/2 cups powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla with the mixer running on LOW. Increase to HIGH speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add up to 1/2 cup more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin, or another tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.

Big Sister had written a note on the bottom of the recipe page that said:
*To make buttermilk, place1 tablespoon white vinegar in a 1-cup measure. Fill the rest of the way with whole milk. Let stand 5 minutes.
She did ask me how to divide a tablespoon in half. I told her that a tablespoon equals 3 teaspoons, so she made a half-cup of her substitute buttermilk:  1-1/2 teaspoons white vinegar, plus whole milk to equal 1/2 cup.

Big Sister made these cupcakes look so professional by spooning the frosting into a ziploc bag, snipping off a corner and piping the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

Another tip Big Sister learned from her Mimi this time—if you can't find a toothpick (and we couldn't) to check for doneness, press your fingertip lightly into the top of the cake. If it springs back, it's time to take them out of the oven. If a dent remains where you pressed, let it bake a little longer.

Happy Halloween!


  1. Big Sister did a good job on staging the photos!

  2. Big Sister is quite the baker and a good food photographer as well! That frosting is the crown on top - those cupcakes look like they were made by a professional. I could use a treat like that right now!

    1. Oh, if you were only closer! She would love to bake some cupcakes for you. (We ate all of the first batch.)


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