Cakes come in different shapes and sizes, but it’s the cupcake that has taken center stage! It’s gone from craze to complete craziness with the explosion of gourmet shops and bold bloggers that have taken the plain-Jane cupcake of our youth, to lusciously grand masterpieces that almost look too good to eat.
Because of our fascination with cupcakes, we wanted to feature some extraordinary blogger bakers who've made it their business to create delicious mini-masterpieces from flour, eggs, frosting and, of course, love. Meet Kelly from Kelly Bakes!
Kelly's Tips, Tricks and Tragedies to the Great Cupcake
What’s the secret to making a great cupcake? Uniformity. If your cupcakes are different sizes, they'll bake unevenly, leaving you with some dry, crispy cupcakes and some that are underdone. To make sure your cupcakes come out the same size, use a cookie dough scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup to distribute the same amount of batter.
Do you prefer using cake mixes or making cupcakes from scratch? I like to bake from scratch. There are more variables at play like leavening, ingredients, humidity/environment and oven temperature. If something goes wrong with your recipe, it makes you a better baker because you learn about each factor as you adjust each to see how they impact the recipe.
What’s the strangest ‘filling’ you’ve ever seen in a cupcake? I've seen savory cupcakes like tomato soup cupcakes or cupcakes with blue cheese filling and they always make me scratch my head. Admittedly, though, I'd love to make a durian cupcake – it's a sweet but very stinky fruit found in Southeast Asia. So stinky, in fact, that it's often banned in public places. Now THAT would be a strange filling!
How many cupcakes do you make in a year? In grad school, I made a lot more cupcakes than I do now because I worked in a student center and always had willing taste testers. Between weddings, student birthdays, friends' parties and events, I easily made over 1,500 cupcakes in the two years I was in graduate school.
Have any cupcake disaster stories? Boy, do I ever! I had made cupcakes for a friend's wedding and another friend asked me to bake her wedding cake. It was a lot of pressure, but I agreed, even though the wedding was in August at a hilly venue. After transporting the cake, I opened my trunk to find that the cake had split down the middle and the top tier had slid in two! I panicked initially, but thanks to extra frosting and a very understanding and laid back bride, I was able to fix the cake and no one was the wiser!
Falling in Love with Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
In terms of flavor, these are the hands-down favorite cupcakes I've ever made (I've gotten a mean stomachache from eating the Nutella buttercream frosting by itself and the banana cupcakes' texture is just lovely).