We Celebrate with Cupcakes
Joan is in Atlanta today for the GCLS Book Awards. Since we all felt sad and lonely, I made Pink Lemonade Cupcakes.
Some of you know that I have abandoned my long-time dream of owing Melynda’s Roadhouse (with the flashing neon sign of a donkey kicking a cowboy which reads, “Kick Ass Chili”). I now dream of a tiny little shop decorated in sky-blue and chocolate brown with toile de Jouy draperies and a lovely rococo sign with cherubs bearing a broad ribbon emblazoned, “The Marquis de Cupcake.”
In the meantime, I make these. And since it turns out that Idaho Code won the prize for year’s best lesbian mystery, these are celebratory cupcakes.
Warning: I like my cupcakes on the slightly dense and tender, fairy cake-y side, rather than on the fluffy, spongy, Twinkedy side. The frosting is intensely lemonade-flavored, and not for the faint of palate.
Plain Vanilla Cupcakes
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla (today I used the Neilsen-Massey vanilla paste Joan bought me, but regular old Costco vanilla has worked splendidly in the past)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put cupcake papers into 2 muffin tins (24 cupcakes).
Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and creamy. Add eggs and beat until the mixture resembles a fine homemade mayonnaise.
In another bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.
Add dry mixture, milk, and vanilla to creamed mixture, and beat at low speed until mixed. Do not overmix, but make sure there are no pockets of flour on the bottom of the bowl.
Divide mixture among cupcake papers. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until cuppies are golden brown. The tops should feel springy to the touch, and if you listen to them, you should just barely hear them rustling and murmuring to themselves.
Cool them completely on a wire rack, then frost with:
Pink Lemonade Frosting
1 stick butter, very soft
4.5 cups confectioner’s sugar
Frozen pink lemonade concentrate
Beat butter and sugar together at low speed until well-mixed. Add pink lemonade concentrate by the tablespoon, continuing to beat, until the mixture reaches spreading consistency (usually about six tablespoons will do it).
I like to pipe the frosting on and decorate with sprinkles, but suit yourself!