It’s been a while since I’ve made cupcakes. There haven’t been many occasions for the frosted little cakes in their delicate accordion wrappers lately. But oh how I’ve missed them! They’re just such delightful treats and they make everyone smile. Although I did read a choice description of the ubiquitous baked good from a rather cynical point of view. But the book is brilliant and the author hilarious, so I’ll allow it:
Is there anything more blandly sweet, less evocative of this great city, and more goyish than any other baked good with the possible exception of the Eucharist wafers than the cupcake?
-David Rakoff, Half Empty
Okay, it’s way harsh on the cupcake, but it’s also sharply witty and painfully true. Although I like to think that he refers here to the sheer number of cupcake shops dotting this city as opposed to homemade treats such as mine…at least that’s what I’m going to believe.
So a friend at work had a birthday this weekend and naturally I offered to bake something for him. Because that’s what I do. Force baked goods on people whether they like it or not. Generally they like it. This cupcake recipient is one of those guys who can eat pretty much anything, in any amount, at any time of day with seemingly no negative outcomes. I watched him down four cupcakes before noon.
The cake is a light, airy chocolate with subtle hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. The spices play off the chocolate quite well and balance out the cake so it’s not too sweet. I hijacked Martha’s recipe for pumpkin cream cheese filling that she uses in her Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies and altered it to serve frosting duty. I added a splash of vanilla to tie the flavors together. The icing was simple enough and not too pumpkin-y as to overshadow the autumnal spices layered throughout the chocolate cake. Certainly better than a Eucharist wafer…