Don’t be deceived by the picture you see above this text. Those haphazardly frosted morsels may look like simple yellow cupcakes, when in fact they are works of art. Why, you ask? Because they are 100% from scratch and they are perfect. Or, I should say, they are as good as yellow cupcakes whipped up from a mix in five minutes. Why bother, you ask? Because I wanted to know that I can do it. Cakes from scratch are notoriously tricky, but it’s safe to say I have mastered the basics. That gives me a tremendous feeling of satisfaction. Now when I reach for that Better Crocker box, I will do so with the knowledge that I could make one from scratch…but who has the time?
If you were wondering: the cupcakes are for a birthday in my new research group. There’s no ingredients picture because my camera battery died, so you’re just going to have to trust me. The recipe is the basic yellow butter cake from the MS Baking Handbook, reinterpreted as cupcakes, and topped with chocolate buttercream frosting (Wilton recipe). The frosting was supposed to be piped on in perfect bakery-style swirls, but my piping bag ruptured not once but twice, so I gave up on the decorator tip and attacked them with an offset spatula and steely-eyed determination.