Life is Butter Cream, Sweetheart
Who doesn't love a cupcake? Probably the urban hipster foodies who started the whole cupcake craze, that's who. I mean, even Little Rock has a specialty cupcake shop, and you know by the time a fad has rippled this deep into the hinterland, the folks at the epicenter of it have moved on. More cupcakes for the rest of us, I say!
The cupcakes at the shop are pretty, and it's fun to sit up at the counter and eat one with a spoon, but it's hard to justify the boutique price (times three kids) when it's so very easy to make a batch at home. Foodies may shudder, but I just use a mix for the cakes and make the frosting from scratch. Watch any kid in the cupcake shop, the frosting's what it's all about anyway. I read that in Southern California, the latest cupcake trend is to serve frosting shots, making the cake obsolete. By the time that one trickles down here, big city coastal folk will be just mainlining glucose.
You can make it hard on yourself and insist on a scratch cake, but all you really need to make your own fancy cupcakes at home are some pretty paper liners and a wicked buttercream. Today's was this recipe from the famous Magnolia Bakery in New York. It's a simple, and scrumptious one. The only way it could possibly be improved is to add about 1/8 tsp of salt, which I did.
It's definitely worth it to pipe the frosting on. It tastes ten times better that way, because it looks so pretty. I have the Wilton 12 Piece Cupcake Decorating Set (Amazon Associates link). Just don't let the kids see you sucking the last of the buttercream straight from the nozzle.