WTF, Cupcake?

I must confess, I love box cake mix. When my birthday would come around, I would always request that my mom skip the bakery and just whip me up a chocolate box mix cake. My fave. Like for real, yo. I am wanting to whip one up just thinking about it!

Anyway, although I love my cake mix, I feel like I should be more legit and make them from scratch. In my first attempt I ended up karate chopping it and turning it into cake balls (you can read about that here). I finally felt healed from that experience and was ready to give it another go. I made the You Rock Cupcakes from 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know.

You Rock Cupcakes
makes 18 cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened (10 tbs)
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  1. To start, preheat oven to 350 and put liners in pan.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a different medium bowl mix together the milk and vanilla.
  4. In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar until fluffy with an electric mixer on medium, about 5 min.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time until smooth and evenly mixed.
  6. with the mixer on low alternate adding the flour and milk mixture (2 batches each) until just combined (don't over mix!).
  7. separate into the 18 cups and bake for 20-24 min, or until you have a clean toothpick.
  8. Set on cooling wracks and remove once completely cool, then remove and frost!
Wilton Buttercream Icing
  • 1c solid white vegetable shortening (not crisco brand!)
  • 1 tsp Wilton Flavor (Vanilla, Almond, or Butter...or you could use 1tsp of each like me!)
  • 2 tbs water (add more to thin it out to your preference)
  • 1lb (4 c) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs Meringue Powder
Mix all wet ingredients (shortening, flavor, water). Then slowly add in dry ingredients. Blend until creamy.

I took some to work and sent some with B. The reviews were good, but I'm just not loving it. Maybe if I had followed step 5 with the eggs correctly it would have made a difference? I don't know. I felt that they were too dense and maybe not sweet enough? Even though they were a hit, I'm continuing the search for a recipe that I will love as much as funfetti box mix.

The icing was a whole other situation. I have made buttercream tons of times (literally tons of times), and it's always perfect. This time it tasted the same, but the texture was off. Maybe I was having a Mandy Moore moment from the movie Because I Said So. Who knows. Someone said it's because I'm a perfectionist so I just need to relax. Anyway, my taste testers enjoyed it, so you should give it a try too.

Do you have a favorite vanilla/white cake recipe? Please share!!!


Dinner For One...kill me

Ugh. Honestly, I don't cook as much as I used to because it's just not gratifying to cook for myself. I'm working on it, but it's a lot of work that I don't always appreciate.

I have started baking again, and that's been successful, I guess. I used to bake stuff for Daniel, but since that's obviously no longer happening, I have a new wife to send sweets with! (love you B!). Anyway, I say I guess because I feel that some of the recipes need improvement, but then again it's hard for me to gage the tastiness of something I don't like to begin with. For example, red velvet cake. I don't hate it, but I don't like. I just can't. blah. I made it anyway, and B said that it was a hit at work! Fan-freaking-tastic! I'm not even going to share the recipe because I feel that it could be improved...but here's a peek at it.

P.S. this cake was freaking heavy! It completely smashed the cream cheese icing between the two layers. I didn't think B was going to be able to handle it.

I also made some Butterscotch Chocolate Rice Krispy treats. They were good, but I'm going to switch up the recipe before I share it, so stay tuned!

This week I sent B to work with those delicious mini cherry cheese cakes that I previously posted about. Luckily they were also a hit! Not that I ever doubted it since it's a recipe from grandma.

Back to the title...

Tonight I cooked myself dinner. And it.was.awesome!

Fried Chicken
I didn't measure anything, I just 'eye-balled' it. good luck!
  • milk
  • flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • chicken breast
  • veg oil
Heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Dip chicken in milk, flour, milk again, flour again, then carefully place in the hot oil. each side about 4 min? Honestly, I don't know. Just watch it until it browns.

Grilled Veggies
  • vegetables (I used zucchini, squash, and asparagus)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • olive oil
Just toss veggies, oil, and seasoning in a bowl, then lay out on the grill (or in my case the grill pan) about 4 min on each side.

I was also in the mood for fries (I prefer the sweet potato variety, but I was out).

Truffle Potato Wedges? Fries? Slices? Whatever.

  • Potato
  • Olive Oil
  • Pepper
  • Truffle Salt
Preheat oven to 450, cover baking sheet with foil, spray with Pam.
Slice and dice that potato, toss with olive oil, pepper, and truffle salt. Lay out on baking sheet. Cook for 20 min, turn, then 20 more min. Eat.