• Sarah Davis

Cupcakes!

In the countless hours that I drive, I have mentally composed thought provoking and entertaining blog posts. As I sit down to actually write one of those brilliant works, my cursor winks at me. The words are lost in the ether of my sub/unconscious to return, perhaps once more, while I’m driving.

A similar thing has happened with my current novel in progress. Finding myself wide awake this morning at 0530, I decided to take some time to work on my first round of edits. Unfortunately, the completed first draft was…can you guess?? Only in my HEAD! Yep. A completed novel not saved to my computer hard drive, just my mental one. At least I’ll know what to write when I sit down!

So, in the absence of the brilliant ideas for blog topics, let’s talk about cupcakes! French toast cupcakes are a favorite in my household. I have tried variations…added streusel, used cake flour instead of regular, tried vanilla bean paste instead of extract. The original is still the favorite (although I like them with the streusel). In fact, they are so good that I had to include them in “Inside Voices.”

Since I am unable to make them for everyone who really needs to try them, I decided to share my recipe. Gasp. Don’t tell my family…they said, “No, don’t share it!” They cried and whined. But here you go.

What’s the secret? Besides vanilla, buttermilk, cinnamon, and nutmeg, not much is different from a regular white cupcake recipe.

The frosting has a cream cheese base with…cinnamon and maple. No surprise there, if you eat “old fashioned” French toast.

Cupcake Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 ½ cup sugar (half white sugar, half brown sugar)

2 eggs

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

2 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/3 cup buttermilk

Heat the oven to 350ºF.

In a large stand mixing bowl, cream the butter until it lightens in color (approx. 3 min). Add the sugar and continue creaming the mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla (I might add a bit extra…)

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the better mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Fill cupcake wrappers 2/3 full and bake for 17-20 minutes. Cool completely (in the refrigerator if possible).

Optional: Streusel…

½ cup brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon sugar

½ cup all-purpose flour

1.2 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients by hand. Add the butter and mix by hand, squeezing the butter into the mixture. Place on top of the cupcakes prior to baking.

Frosting:

8 oz cream cheese

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon maple (or a tish more)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons whipping cream

Cream the butter, again until butter lightens. Then add in cream cheese. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Mix on low until incorporated then high for 10 seconds. Add in cinnamon, maple, and vanilla. Then add whipping cream.

Frost your masterpieces. Top with colored sugar crystals for an added crunch.

During a cupcake competition, my creations placed first in taste. My daughter placed first in the children’s division (she also had mermaid tails sticking out of the frosting…the other daughter had dragon heads on cinnamon hot cupcakes that hit second place). They really are tasty cupcakes!

Although I didn’t touch my edits for the first draft of my next novel, I hope you enjoy my cupcake recipe! I would love to taste test your concoctions! Let me know when you have them ready!

Cheers!

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North Dakota, USA

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