I’m listening to Patti Smith‘s Horses and writing about excellent cupcakes. You know, there was a time in my life when I so desperately wanted to be like Patti Smith. I was going to move to New York and live my life as a punk rock activist / writer / painter / artist… Patti Smith continues to rock in her 60s and I’m posting about cupcakes from my cozy suburban home.
Since the release of Horses in 1975, Patti Smith went on to become a mother, an acclaimed writer, continued people’s activist and rightfully considered the “godmother of punk rock”. She is an icon and the perfect example of someone who maintains their convictions, stands by their beliefs and uses true passion to create art: this is my definition of “punk rock”. When you are passionate about what you do and enjoy expressing that part of you, people get excited. For that, and to celebrate the iconic rock goddess Patti Smith, I’m calling these cake gems ‘Punk Rock Cupcakes’. Feel free to adjust the title to your own liking or current musical reflection.
As I research existing food shops, while developing my very own cafe, Magnolia Bakery keeps having mention. Magnolia now has 5 locations (New York (3), L.A. and Dubai). The original shop opened in Greenwich Village, NY and has been accredited for starting the ‘whole cupcake trend’. Naturally, I had to hunt down these recipes and try them for myself and “Yup!” She says, mouth full, crumbs falling, ” These cupcakes rule!”
“Oh, they looks so good, Oh, they looks so fine and I got this crazy feeling and then I’m gonna ah-ah make it mine” (lyrics from Gloria.. listen to it now.. loud!)
Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
- In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
Note: Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes (depending on the size of your cupcake papers and muffin tins). If you would like to make a layer cake instead of cupcakes, divide the batter between two 9-inch round cake pans and bake the layers for 30-40 minutes.
.. and then there’s the icing on the cake! This is one of my ‘secret weapons’. Use it on cakes, cupcakes, erotic movie nights with the lov’a. Wherever you smother this frosting, it will be licked to a sparkle, I promise.
Ultimate Creamy Chocolate Frosting
Courtesy Cook’s Illustrated ‘The Best of America’s Test Kitchen’
Makes about 2 cups
- 1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- Pinch table salt
- 12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine sugar, egg whites, and salt in bowl of stand mixer; place bowl over pan of simmering water. Whisking gently but constantly, heat mixture until slightly thickened, foamy, and registers 150 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Place bowl in stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat mixture on medium speed until consistency of shaving cream and slightly cooled, 1 to 2 minutes. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. (Frosting may look curdled after half of butter has been added; it will smooth with additional butter.) Once all butter is added, add cooled melted chocolate and vanilla; mix until combined. Increase
speed to medium-high and beat until light, fluffy, and thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds, scraping beater and sides of bowl with rubber spatula as necessary.
- To frost, mound 2 to 3 tablespoons frosting on center of each cupcake. Using small icing spatula or butter knife, spread frosting to edge of cupcake, leaving slight mound in center.
Let’s face it, everything worked out for the best. I make a far better cupcake than rhyming rant and landed right where I belong. That certainly doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun living the ‘punk rock dream’ while it lasted 😉Add to favorites