Tough Little Cupcakes

January 28, 2008 · 0 comments

in desserts/sweets

My coworker’s birthday was this weekend, so I wanted to bake something to take to work for her this morning. At first, I thought pound cake. Hell, marbled pound cake. Delicious, easier to transport than cupcakes or a layer cake (especially for me, since I take public trans), no frosting =  less time consuming and less room for error. But then I thought,I have never made a pound cake before. And cake is risky. I mean, I can’t exactly try a piece of the cake before taking it into work. What if it doesn’t taste good? Tom suggested I make two pound cakes and keep one; a good idea but 1) that would mean there would be seriously buttery, fatty marble pound cake around that I would devour and 2) I would be using 12 eggs and a truckload of butter for two pound cakes. No thanks.

So then I thought cupcakes. Not terribly easy to transport, but easy enough to taste-test before taking into work. Plus, while I am definitely a waaaaaaaaay better cook than a baker, the things I usually manage to bake without screwing up are muffins and cupcakes. I can rock out the tasty cupcakes when I need to. And, I’ll use a Joy of Baking recipe, I thought. Everything I’ve made from there is foolproof. Yes, of course. Cupcakes it is!

Well, I jinxed myself. Somehow, these cupcakes were just tough and not really moist at all. I figure one of two things happened: I overmixed them or I overbaked them. Since I have more of a tendency to do the latter than the former, that could definitely be it. It probably doesn’t help that my oven is around three times older than I am. It’s not level, it runs hot, and the door doesn’t seal completely so heat spews out of the sides. I am so over apartment living. But they don’t really look overbaked, so it’s also possible I overworked the batter. I don’t usually pull out my stand mixer unless I am doing a lot of baking, but I did get it out this time. So, maybe I just let it go too long. 

Either way, while these vanilla cupcakes weren’t awful and they were tasty, they were definitely tough. They were not my best venture in baking (though certainly not my worst, either). Luckily, the frosting is good. And, they turned out looking nice, at least. As for how the coworker liked them? Well, she called in sick today. :P

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