After recently having a Snickerdoodle cupcake from Hot Cakes Bakes, a great bakery around the corner from my house, I became obsessed with the idea of making them. All I needed was a reason (since I’m not in the habit of making dozens of cupcakes for my own personal consumption). I thought that my friends’ Superbowl party would be the perfect excuse to try my hand at making these cupcakes since cupcakes and football go together like…well, maybe they don’t, but I did find that the cupcakes paired surprisingly well with beer and that surely goes with football. To make the cupcakes look like they belonged at the party, I found some cupcake liners with footballs on them and a football shaped platter to serve them on. Now that says football!
I set out to make my cupcakes on a Saturday night after a couple of strong cocktails, which is not, I repeat NOT, recommended. I did, however, discover that while I am able to cook while tipsy, I am completely unable to bake while tipsy – it’s just too much exact science and measuring to deal with in that state. Be that as it may, after pulling my first round of 12 cupcakes out of the oven, I realized that I had forgotten to add a key ingredient – baking powder. They tasted fine, but they were flat little cakes, so I trashed them. I added baking powder to the second round and they puffed up just fine, but I didn’t have enough for the party.
So, back to the drawing board on Sunday morning I went to make more cupcakes. In my sober and rested state, I realized that while the cupcakes (that had baking powder in them) turned out well, there was room for improvement. I tweaked the batter and frosting recipes I started with and the finished product turned out quite well, if I do say so myself.
For the batter, I started with Martha Stewart’s recipe, but I scrapped her Seven-Minute Frosting in favor of a buttercream frosting since my inspirational cupcakes also had butter cream frosting. I added some vegetable oil and whipping cream to the batter to ensure the cake was extra moist. I also sprinkled sugar on top of the cupcakes before they went into the oven to create a cookie like crust on top. The modified recipe is as follows:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups sugar, plus 4 tablespoons for dusting (I used organic sugar since it’s larger grained sugar and works better for dusting)
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. I use an ice cream scoop to dispense the batter because it ensures somewhat even division and is easy. Sprinkle about half a teaspoon of sugar on top of each cupcake, so that the entire top is covered with sugar. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester (aka toothpick) inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes (but check them at about 15 minutes to make sure that they don’t become overdone). Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
This recipe will make between 24-28 cupcakes depending upon how big your muffin tin is and how strongly you adhere to the filling the cups three-quarters full.
Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
For the frosting recipe, I used Jessica Burns’ recipe, but I modified it by adding cinnamon and more whipping cream because I wanted the cinnamon flavor to not only be in the batter, but the frosting, and I also wanted the frosting to be a little lighter and fluffier than a normal buttercream. Also, I ended up making a double recipe of the frosting because I had 32 cupcakes to frost (after my Saturday night mishap) and I didn’t want to skimp on the frosting. The modified recipe is as follows:
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 to 6 tablespoons whipping cream
With an electric mixer (or a standing mixer if you’re lucky enough to have one) mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed to achieve a smooth and fluffy consistency.
Frosting and Finishing the Cupcakes
Though tempting, and almost impossible for people like me that are impatient, do not try and frost the cupcakes until they are completely cooled, or else your frosting will melt.
I pipe my frosting onto the cupcakes rather than spread it on with a spatula because I like the look and actually find that it’s quicker and easier. I use a large plain piping tip (Wilton 2A) and a plastic pastry bag (both of which you can find at a cake store, or even a craft store like JoAnn or Michaels).
Fill your pastry bag with the frosting and starting on the outside of the cupcake, leaving a little bit of the cake exposed, pipe the frosting onto cupcake in a circular motion until you reach the center, forming a peak at the center by pulling the pastry bag up and away from the cupcake.
Mix a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of sugar together and sprinkle a little of the mixture on top of each cupcake (if you’re fancy and have patience, you can run this mixture through a sieve over the top of each cupcake to get a finer sprinkle).
Now pour yourself a glass of milk and enjoy your delicious cupcakes!