A couple of weeks ago I decided to celebrate the last of summer by making a drinks inspired cupcake recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Cupcake magazine,. The magazine has been resting on my coffee table since the middle of June, taunting me with its glossy photos of cupcakes covered with swirly coloured icing and fancy long-stemmed cherry garnishes.
From the moment I picked the magazine off the drugstore shelf, I knew that I would have to bake at least something from the pages. After staring at the photos for a few months (hoping that if I looked hard enough, they would magically materialize in front of me), I decided that the raspberry lemonaide cupcake recipe would be worth making.
As it turns out, this is the lightest and fluffiest cupcake I have ever made. This is probably due to the presence of butter in the recipe, which is creamed with sugar before beating in the other ingredients. Most of the cakes I bake use liquid fat such as canola oil or coconut oil instead of solid fats, which makes a huge difference in the way that a cake rises. Most of you probably know this already, but I just discovered that the creaming process allows the sugar to slash tiny holes into the butter. The cake batter will therefore have many pockets of air while it bakes, allowing it to rise into the light textured cupcake that we all love so much.
Cakes that use liquid fat won’t bake the same way since liquids cannot hold air pockets. I’m not saying this to knock down liquid oil based cakes; some of my favourite recipes don’t use any butter at all, and there are several other ways to make a cake rise. I only explain the difference because it is helpful to keep it in mind when choosing between two different recipes. Any recipe that asks you to cream together sugar and butter should give you fluffy results, while oil based cake recipes will give you something more dense and moist.
Anyway, I changed the recipe slightly by using Torani raspberry syrup instead of the raspberry liqueur. The fresh lemon peel and lemon juice give it the perfect amount of tartness to balance out the sweetness. I brought the entire batch into work to share, so I wouldn’t eat them all by myself like a pig.
I’m happy enough with the results that I’ll likely turn to the magazine again when it’s time to bake an autumn inspired cupcake. Something with coffee and chocolate or perhaps rum would really hit the spot right about now.
What do you like to bake (or eat) at this time of year?