Keeping It Real Cupcakes

Such a sad sight. - cupcake baking fail

Lovely cupcakes, don’t you think? (not)

A few days ago, Papa mentioned that we had frozen strawberries and some whipped cream available … wouldn’t it be nice to have some sort of cake with it (hint, hint). I wasn’t exactly feeling the baking bug, so I went to see if we had any cake mixes available. Only one – in chocolate. Little Chick insisted I made a white cake instead but that meant a from-scratch cake. I was ok with that plan. As much as I love chocolate, if there’s a choice, I actually prefer a good vanilla cake instead. But it has to be good.

Off I went on an internet search for an inspiring recipe.

<start rant> Dear internet recipe sites: Please do not list your recipes as “from scratch” when the first ingredient in your recipe is a cake mix from a box! I don’t care if you add 20 ingredients after that. It’s still not “from scratch”. <end rant>

I found a good vanilla cake recipe from one of my favorite sites, but I won’t bother to even link here, because I obviously didn’t do it justice.

That’s what happens when you’re not paying attention because there are too many people “helping” in the kitchen while you’re trying a new recipe. That’s my story … and I’m sticking to it.

The white cake recipe I found called for cake flour, which we never have on hand. Thankfully there’s an easy substitute – for each cup of cake flour you take out 2 Tbsp of the flour and replace it with 2 Tbsp of cornstarch.

Did you see that?


Ahem. Not baking powder.

Warning bells should have gone off when I’m putting the ingredients in, and for a moment thought “wow, even more baking powder?” Yeah. Again … blame the family distractions.  What’s worse is that I’ve made cake flour substitutions many times before for my favorite angel food cake recipe. Wait! I haven’t shared that recipe yet? I’ll have to remedy that very soon.

But I digress. About 15 minutes into baking I started to smell burning. Not surprising considering that my super-inflated dough had spilled over the sides of the pan all over the racks and oven floor.


So much for white cake. At this point, I was ready to give up and I went to plan B: brownie cupcakes. - brownie cupcakes

I’m not sure why I never thought of making brownies in a cupcake form before! Portion-control when it comes to brownies is a very good thing in our house, and we all seem to like the crispy edges mixed with a bit of gooey center. Making them in a cupcake pan gives us all that! - brownie dessert

I couldn’t find the strawberries in the freezer (Papa found them later), but I found a container of unsweetened cherries. Dessert was saved. Brownies, a spatter of good vanilla ice cream, cherries, whipped cream, and a little drizzle of chocolate sauce. Yum!

Any baking failures you’d like to share? I know I can’t be the only one 🙂

3 Replies to “Keeping It Real Cupcakes”

  1. Ouch! I feel your pain! But the chocolate dessert looks great.

  2. Dramatic baking! I hope your oven is easier to clean than mine.
    Perfect timing, too – the King Arthur Flour website/blog did a wonderful post yesterday on baking “fails” for April Fools Day – you might enjoy it. Some of the problems are mysterious, but some are things like what happens when you forget to add the FLOUR!
    Congrats on the “save” which looks absolutely delicious 🙂

  3. at least you didn’t “stir by hand” 😀 (hehe)

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