Bake sale – the one bowl wonder cupcakes!

box of cupcakesFor some, the words “bake sale” can create panic. Personally, I love baking,  and I don’t often have the time, so bake sales give me the opportunity to indulge my inner Betty Crocker. I always ask my sons what they’d like me to make. We discuss whether they want cookies, cupcakes, tarts; we go over flavours and icings and sprinkles and details. This past weekend I’d not had the chance to go shopping, and with only 2 eggs, no butter, no fruits in the house and not much time, I altered my favourite chocolate cake recipe to work with what I had on hand.

So easy, this one bowl wonder will make you look like the Mommy of the Year! The flavour of the cake part is very chocolatey, but not too rich. Whipped cream instead of icing also cuts back on the sugar buzz.

What you need:

CAKE
– 2 cups flour
– 2 cups white sugar
– 3/4 cup cocoa powder or raw cocoa
– half teaspoon salt
– 2 teaspoons baking soda
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
–  1/2 cup vegetable, corn or canola oil
– 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (should not be fat free)
– dash of vanilla
– 1 cup hot decaf coffee
– 2 eggs
– cupcake liners

ICING
– 500 ml/1 pint carton of whipping cream/heavy cream (35%)
– 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup icing sugar (add to taste, I like to go light on the sugar for this part)

What you do:

Preheat oven to 325°.
In the bowl of your mixer, add all dry ingredients. Stir/blend well. Then add the rest of the ingredients. On medium, blend all ingredients together for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Fill liners almost completely full, about a quarter-inch from the top. Put tray in the oven. Bake small cupcakes for 18-22 minutes, large cupcakes for 22-25 minutes. Use a toothpick to test that they’re done.
Pour whipping cream into bowl of mixer. Start beating on medium-high and add icing sugar. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form and keep their shape. Don’t over-beat the cream or you really will end up with butter. (BTDT)
cupcakes in the briefcaseOnce cupcakes are completely cool, use a teaspoon to drop a dollop of whipping cream on each cupcake and smooth it out with back of spoon. You can get fancy with an icing bag, but spoon method is quite easy. Finish the cupcakes with a pinch of sprinkles, some chocolate shavings, some cookie crumbs, a cherry, or any other garnish you have.
Word of caution, if you use sprinkles, the colours bleed into the cream within a few hours. Whipping cream will last at a bakesale, but isn’t as hearty as thick icing, so these can’t stay out all day.
Who am I kidding, they rarely last on the table for more than a few minutes before they’re sold out!
I like to label the ingredients, and I look like a pro walking in with my handy dandy cupcake briefcase.

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