My eight year old is in second grade this year and birthdays in school are handled differently now - there is one party at the end of each month instead of individual parties. My guy, being a March baby, has his party tomorrow. A few weeks ago an email went out to the parents looking for contributions and I happily pounced on the cupcakes.
I decided to go with classic chocolate cupcakes/vanilla frosting and went in search of a good cupcake recipe. While I have a go-to (BEST EVER) chocolate cake recipe, I know it doesn't make good cupcakes. I tried it once and they were rather flat. Delicious, but not very pretty and a bit too tender and crumbly to eat with your hands anyway. Plus, I think the teacher will thank me for not supplying her gaggle of 7 & 8 year olds with espresso-laced cupcakes.
I ordered Martha Stewart's Cupcake Cookbook from my library thinking that a recipe specifically for cupcakes would give me the texture and nice domed top I was looking for. I chose to go with the Devil's Food recipe. I surmised the cupcakes wouldn't be as chocolatey as I generally prefer, due to the absence of any chocolate (cocoa powder only), but I didn't think the kids would mind. An additional bonus is that the recipe makes 32 cupcakes and I only needed 25. Far be it from me to complain about extra cupcakes!
The frosting was a no-brainer. I am a fan of frosting that doesn't make your teeth ache and I recently tried a recipe my wonderful friend, Jodie, an incredible baker and cook, recommended. I thought it would be too fussy due to the fact that you have to heat eggs to a specific temperature, but it's not much more difficult than my previous go-to. I made it for the first time a few weeks ago and it was a game changer. Not too sweet, beautifully glossy, easy to spread, and easy to dye. Best of all, it is DELICIOUS.
Last year I bought two large decorating tips and I was excited to finally have cupcakes to test them out on. Methinks there is a bit of a learning curve, as they didn't come out quite as pretty as I had hoped, but they were fine enough for me to be satisfied with my first attempt.