Buttercream frosting is my weakness. Sometimes I’ll buy a cupcake just to eat the frosting. This was one of those instances when the lament for frosting was greater than the need for cake baking.
I know I do stupid things like eating chocolate chips out of a bag, but just making a batch of frosting for the sake of licking the bowl clean would just make me a freak of sugar.
So I had to make some cupcakes which could be frosted. Being Indian, and living in India, I often entertain guests who are pure vegetarian and do not consume eggs- even in ‘hidden’ form like cake, cookies and brownies. And some members of my family observe a pure vegetarian diet on certain days of the week. I tried some eggless baking earlier, which was so-so…didn’t turn out so great. So factoring all this in, I knew it was time to learn and practice a new eggless cake recipe.
For great vegetarian recipes and variations, I often turn to Anushruti’s blog. I made her eggless chocolate brownies for a friend’s daughter’s birthday and the whole family loved them. For these cupcakes, I used her eggless vanilla cake recipe, with the only tweak being in one ingredient- the yogurt. The recipe calls for plain, I used vanilla flavoured Danone yogurt because it tastes nice. And I worked with this yogurt in an earlier cake recipe and it turned out well.
I must admit here- I have never frosted a cupcake before. I haven’t frosted much anything. I didn’t think it would be that hard- since I was doing a home-style cupcake- but boy, was I wrong.
- You need nimble fingers.
- You need to move deftly around the side of the cupcake so that you don’t accidentally sever bits off.
- You need practice.
I watched this video, where the YumSugar team goes to the famous Magnolia Bakery to learn how to create the signature Magnolia swirl.
I tried mimicking the movements, but my swirls just ended up looking like strange bumpy imperfections, so I took a butter knife and smoothed down the bumps and made an X. Because X marks the spot and all that. And also because it was the only pattern I couldn’t screw up. Badly.
EGGLESS VANILLA CUPCAKES WITH CINNAMON BUTTERCREAM FROSTING (From Divine Taste.)
For The Vanilla Cupcakes:
- 1 ½ cup + 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
- 1 tin sweetened condensed milk- I used Nestle Milkmaid
- 3/4 cup milk
- 4 tbsp vanilla flavoured yogurt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 150C
- Keep a cupcake tray aside, greased or lined with paper liners.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda well, and sieve everything once.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and Milkmaid until well incorporated, about a couple of minutes.
- Add the vanilla yogurt and beat some more.
- Pour in the milk and vanilla extract and beat well till everything is combined.
- Fold in the dry ingredients and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Beat everything for a few minutes longer until the mixture is smooth and devoid of lumps and bubbles.
- Pour the batter into a cupcake tray lined with paper liners and bake for about an hour at 150C.
I kept checking on mine after 45 minutes!
For The Frosting:
- 1/4 cup softened butter
- 3/4 cup icing sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Beat the butter, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl until you get a smooth frosting which can be spread over your cupcakes. You may have some left over.
Even though the icing looked like it was done by a Gremlin, these tasted pretty nice. The cupcake, as you can see, was very light and airy, but nice and spongy as well- perhaps the condensed milk gives it that bit of elasticity. Very versatile indeed, especially if you can frost like a pro!!
I also photographed the cupcakes atop my latest acquisitions for my bookshelf: David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life In Paris, and The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan. DL’s book is a must-have on any foodie’s shelf, and it has been so strongly recommended by other bloggers that I had to add it to my collection of food writing. And Hazan’s book is a wonderful repository of Italian food and cooking- from how to tell good Balsamic vinegar from one that is merely ok; to the best way to handle basil and pages and pages of illustrations and authentic Italian recipes. The illustrations are really wonderful; I highly recommend this book if you love Italian cuisine and want to learn more about it.
I was being all amateur and thought that by placing the cupcakes on the books, I may be able to divert some of your attention away from the hideousness of the frosting.
Because on this blog, I like to celebrate the hits and misses!!