Sow: cupcake tree

Ok, there’s no such thing, but believe me, if there was I’d certainly add it to the collection of plants in the Mortroski Midcentury Urban Farm. Baking’s always been something that I love to do. However, I find that as the years march on, eating the stuff I make is no longer all that appealing to me. And I don’t have as much time as I’d like to make more elaborate desserts. How nice it would be to head outside cupcake carrier in hand and pluck the number needed fresh from the tree. Hopefully they’d have a grafted version with vanilla, red velvet, coconut, and chocolate all growing together.

white cupcakes, decorated and ready to go

white cupcakes, decorated and ready to go

Since my dream tree doesn’t exist, last night my old friend Duncan gave me a hand. He and I have been pals since I was old enough to use the mixer and turn on the oven. Betty plays second fiddle to Duncan when it’s cupcake time. What?!? I don’t grab a Barefoot Contessa/Nigella Lawson/Martha Stewart/other famous baker’s cookbook and start from scratch?

Hell no.

I’ve done it. And when it comes to cupcakes, Duncan Hinds is what everyone wants despite Sprinkles’ success. Why? Because eating a cupcake makes you feel like you’re 6 years old again when that cupcake was HUGE and you were so excited it was all yours. (By the way, that’s my theory for the size of the Sprinkles ones too. They are huge even by adult standards.) Unless your mom is Martha Stewart, Mom’s cupcakes were probably lovingly made by taking a box of cake mix made by Duncan Hinds or Betty Crocker, mixing it up with eggs, oil and water, pouring it into the cute little papers and baking them up.

My mom always made homemade icing, which I love, but over the years I’ve found that over the years my dear coworkers on either side of the border don’t really notice it’s homemade. They are too busy devouring every last crumb in seconds. So Duncan to the rescue again with his wide selection of frostings in cans.

devil's food cupcakes

devil’s food cupcakes pre-frosting

cupcakes pre-frosting

white cupcakes pre-frosting

Last night I made white and devil’s food cupcakes. 36 to be exact. Frosted and sprinkled, just like many moms made for class birthday celebrations when I was a kid. They’re for our department’s January birthday celebration and even though there are more than there are people attending the celebration, I guarantee they’ll all be gone. First of all, they’re free food and second of all, Creatives love to hit the ‘way back machine and remember their childhood.

Cupcakes also take me back across the border. My friend Reesa and I made cupcakes for occasions of all sorts: bridal showers, dinner parties, any holiday you can think of, birthdays, you name it, we’d make a cupcake for it. Usually the baking was accompanied by several glasses of wine, but always there was copious amounts of laughter and plenty of catching up.

my "helpers" are supervising

my “helpers” are supervising, surprisingly Guinness is actually in the kitchen, George and Godiva are handing back

Lest you wonder what the exhausted hounds were doing while I was up to the elbows in dishes and cake mix, all three of the 3G Network were curious about  what was going on in the kitchen. George was an especially good helper once I spilled a small bottle of sprinkles and most landed on the floor. We should have called him Hoover.

packed up and ready to head to the office

packed up and ready to head to the office

PS: If you have any doubt about my love of baking, check out my linked in profile. Not sure if potential employers consider baking an asset, but if they do, they’ll be pleased to know that it comes highly recommended by former coworkers.