I’m a big fan of Cupcakes. Have always been one. Back in Dubai, I frequented shops like Mister Baker, Cheesecake Factory and Starbucks to try their cupcakes. My best friend Israt had once bought some yummy cupcakes for me from a shop called Sugaholic. I loved it!
When I moved to Switzerland, I had a hard time finding a nice cupcake shop, until my friend, Aniko, suggested a place called `The Little Shabby`. It’s a tiny cafe that specializes in cupcakes and coffee. They used to have 2 branches in Switzerland, one in Winterthur and the other in Schaffhausen. Unfortunately, the branch in Winterthur, got closed recently.
Little Shabby is owned by 2 sisters who bake their own cupcakes. You’ll find different flavors every day. If one day they bake Mango, Chocolate and Lemon flavors, the next day it is Blueberry, Red-velvet and Vanilla. They are super-delicious and super-pricey (5 US Dollars / cupcake), but they’re well worth it.
Along with the cupcakes, they also sell baking tools like paper cups, baking pans, cupcake decorating items, piping bags etc. Once every week my husband, Mike, and I treat ourselves to a cupcake and a hot cup of coffee or cappuccino after a long walk around the city. He likes to try different flavors while I usually stick to my favorites, red-velvet or chocolate. As a special surprise, Mike ordered their 4-tier cupcakes arranged with a beautiful fruit-cake with lemon for our wedding in Switzerland. I was in seventh heaven!
I decided I had to bake my own cupcakes. I wanted to be that mom and aunt who bakes the best cupcakes! With this urge and a full-fledged support from my husband, I planned my first bake.
I found this recipe for a simple vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing. I modified the measurements to suit my requirement.
I shopped for some baking equipment like a piping bag set containing nozzles of different sizes, cupcake papers (these papers can be used directly in the oven), sprinkles for decorating, vanilla essence, coloring agents (blue, red and yellow) and plastic spatulas from a supermarket called Migros.
To bake about 10 cupcakes, I used the following:
200 gm All purpose Flour
100 gm icing sugar (You can add more if you want it sweeter)
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1-1/4 tsp baking powder
100 gm butter
2 drops of vanilla essence
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 175°C. In a bowl, sift the flour; to this add salt, baking soda and baking powder and keep aside.
Step 2: In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar using an electric mixer. Try to keep the speed as low as possible.
Step 3: Once it starts to become smooth, add the eggs, one at a time and the vanilla essence. Whisk it thoroughly until the batter gets smoother.
Step 4: Pour the mixture into paper cups. Fill only halfway to avoid spilling over the sides
Step 5: Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, I used the following:
200 gm butter (Softened i.e, kept at room temperature and not frozen)
200 gm icing sugar
2 drops of vanilla essence
2 drops of coloring agent
Step 1: With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar till it gets fluffy. Add vanilla extract and color. If the frosting is too thin, add extra sugar and if it is too thick mix in a bit of milk.
Step 2: Once the frosting is done, pour it into the piping bags* and decorate the cupcakes. Top them with your favorite sprinkles.
*I used simple round nozzle to get this design.
The cupcakes were delicious. The cake had the right texture and taste and the frosting was yummy; only it wasn’t as fluffy as I wanted it to be.
My friend suggested I add fresh cream in the frosting to make it more fluffy and creamy, instead of using only butter (that is half portion cream and half portion butter). I am going to try that for my next batch. I’ll let you guys know if it works. (Please do tell me if you have any suggestion…)
I have to got to nail this…
(‘Cause I will be baking cupcakes for the guests at my sister-in-law’s birthday party next month. Don’t tell her this… :))