Monday, June 15, 2009

Birthdays and The Perfect Number of Cupcakes

I remember when I was so young (maybe I should say younger?) that I would be out of my mind with excitement for the coming of my birthday. Remember that? 

Or maybe you still do get all excited? 

I remember turning two numbers (10!) and then officially becoming a teenager (13). Getting my driver's license (16) and of course being able to vote (18) and then legally drink (21). 

Then there was turning 30. hmmm... not too bad.
Then 40. umm.. okay. 
Then 50. What?? How on earth did that happen - although the alternative isn't exactly what I want either. 

Time is the great gift and the great thief. It gives us our life and then while we are busy living and celebrating it, it robs us of our youth. 

Although I don't consider 50 old - it is a surprise; it seems like just yesterday I was that excited little girl turning two numbers. 

Yesterday I had the privilege of helping another excited little girl turn 7 with a cooking birthday party. She proudly showed me her missing two front teeth, but wouldn't let me take her picture like that. Instead, we took this picture. The hat says "Le Chef Extraordinaire" which she is. 

Abby and six of her BFF's (yes, they really do use that term) made (and ate):
Ranch Dip for Vegetables
Personal Size Pizzas
Ice Cream Tacos
and Cupcakes which they iced and decorated themselves. 

They all did a great job with a little help from The Good Cook and mommy assistants. Thanks ladies for a fun day.

This cupcake recipe makes only 12 cupcakes and everything you need you probably already have in your cupboard. Twelve is the perfect amount for making and enjoying at home. I mean really, do you honestly need 24 cupcakes?? 

Golden Cupcakes (makes 12 regular size cupcakes)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 tablespoons corn starch

1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs at room temperature

1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons butter, melted

¼ cup canola or vegetable oil

½ cup milk, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper.

In medium bowl whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside

In a mixer beat sugar, eggs and vanilla on medium high speed until smooth and slightly thickened about 2 minutes. Add butter and oil and beat well. Add dry ingredients and milk alternating batches beginning with dry and ending with dry. Carefully scoop batter into lined muffin tins filling them about 2/3 full.

Bake in center of oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack before frosting.


Buttercream Frosting

6 tablespoons butter, softened

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

In mixer, beat butter until softened. Add sugar, vanilla extract and salt and beat until just combined. Turn up mixer and beat until smooth. Add milk or cream and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. 


  1. So with you on this post! I'm 40 in December and I know it's young (very young if you are me!!) but it doesn't seem 5 minutes since I was 30!

    Nice cupcakes. Lovely photo and a very proud little girl.

    CJ xx

  2. Hi Linda! I just wanted to say hello, your blog is making me drool thus far, lol! I wish I could take your Basics of Roasting course. That's one thing I've always wanted to try is a roasted chicken, but I lack the confidence, and maybe the tools! If that's you holding the wooden spoon, nice to see you, you look so happy in the kitchen! I think it's great that you left the corporate life behind, people are so afraid to do that because we're kind of brainwashed into "but, this is my security net....what else will I do...." I've learned that there is always a way and things always seem to work out! I'm a new happy follower!!!

  3. Hello Rain! So nice to meet you. No, that's not me, it's a student of mine, although yes, I am very happy in the kitchen. If you want a sneak peak at me, go to and type in (search) cocktail exit 136.

    Welcome - and check out Rainy Day Monday Chicken for a great, and easy roast chicken recipe. No special tools needed. If you can't find my previous blog let me know and I'll send you the recipe. you will love it. I promise!

  4. Oh neat! You have the video up on your website right? I couldn't see it from your website because I had to disable all of my add-ons, they were messing with my blog pages, so I'm glad you pointed me to Youtube!!! I love seeing you and that cocktail looks very delish!!! Black current nectar sound like an interesting ingredient!

    I found your post for the roasted chicken, lemon and rosemary, I'm sure I've had that combo before...sounds yummy! But I didn't see how long you cook it and at what temp?

    Btw, 51? Not a chance!!!

  5. I love cake, cookies, cupcakes...yum!

  6. Rain,

    Oven temp 400 degrees F. Roast for 20 minutes per pound. A 3 to 4 pound chicken works best and the leftovers are just as good as the dinner! The important part of the recipe is letting the chicken "dry" with the rub on it, uncovered in the fridge for at least 4 hours.


  7. Jan,

    This is a basic cupcake recipe from culinary school. Students always learn the basic recipe, then once mastered, you can begin to add and change the flavors and ingredients. For instance, if you wanted lemon cupcakes, add zest and juice, voila! Anyway, enjoy and experiment!

  8. Thanks so much for that information! Everytime I see a whole bird on sale, I want to buy it, but I'm always wondering how I'll cook it! I'm going to try next time and let you know how it turns out!!

  9. Yep, life goes fast, doesn't it?

    This looks like the perfect party to me! Thanks for the cupcake recipe. Twelve is plenty.

  10. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your blog is making me really hungry! Funny, I don't like cake, but I love cupcakes. Yummy.

  11. Travel and Dive Girl,

    I'm with you on that. There is just something about a cupcake.... yum


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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