One of my earliest memories of cupcakes was sitting at the edge of the kitchen sink with my feet soaking in jik* and licking the cupcake batter off the ends of the beater. My mother called them ice-creams sticks and it was my turn to lick them clean.
*After spending the day in trees picking Mulberries, my mother worked out that the quickest way to get purple stained hands & feet off 4 children, was to soak them in jik*
Not only was my mother good at soaking kids in jik, she was also an amazing baker.
The clank of the enamel bowls & tins coming out of storage & the whirl of the beater had the ability to bring us running from miles away. Bike rides, adventures to the grave yard and mulberry picking were unceremoniously abandoned as we bolted home to get prime spot on the kitchen counter. We’d watch an entire cookie baking marathon enfold before our eyes – ginger cookies, peanut butter, butter cookies and the list goes on. Getting to lick the end of the beaters clean for the next batch and sitting cross-legged, cradling the mixing bowl and licking it clean with a wooden spoon, are some of my fondest memories.
And when I say a cookie baking marathon I mean it. My mother would make enormous batches of each cookie and pack them into huge tins the size of 2 ton drums and store them in the depths of our the pantry. Being a mom she had eyes at the back of her head and anyone seen venturing into the pantry was commanded to whistle………ever tried whistling while chewing on a butter cookie….don’t bother…..it’s not possible.
Every kid in the neighbour hood knew that 41 Marie Drive was the place to be ….there was always an endless stream of kids in & out our home, snacking on green apples and trying to whistle with cookies in their mouths.
But let’s get back to my 1st memory regarding cupcakes. On this particular day my mom was making cupcakes but no ordinary cupcakes, she was making butterfly cupcakes for my sister’s birthday and I couldn’t wait to see how. Major disappointment….being a kid with a vivid imagination I pictured a bright & beautiful butterfly with fluttering wings sculptured out of a cupcake……….not! All mother did was scoop out the centre of the cupcakes, fill it with butter icing, then with the hollowed out bit, she cut it in half and arranged in back on top of the cupcake and these were suppose to be the wings, butterfly wings???. I think my mother sensed my disappointment so I got the lick the entire butter icing bowl on my own.
So with that said I’m not going to get your hopes up by pretending this cupcake recipe is going to win you lots of accolades or awards from your local Women’s Weekly group. This cupcake recipe is totally forgiving….you cannot ‘cock it up’ and I mean it.
I’ve had 4 year olds at a cooking class beating the shite out of the mixture because they all had to have, a turn to hold the beater. There were times when half the flour ended up on the table and not in the bowl but they still came out good. Then there was my sister in law who conquered her fear of making cupcakes when she made this recipe because you cannot C.I.U (cock it up)
So truly, no big deal. Get the kids to bake a batch this holidays and see if you can prove me wrong.
VANILLA CUP CAKES
- 2x Eggs
- 2x cups of flour
- 1x cup of sugar
- 10ml (2 teaspoons) of baking powder
- 250 ml of milk
- 100g of soft butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- paper muffin cases
- Preheat the oven to 180 C
- Using a beater, beat the butter and sugar together.
- Add the eggs to the butter and sugar and beat until creamy
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the butter mixture. Add the milk and vanilla essence and beat until everything is mixed together.
- Place the paper cases into the muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Butter cream Icing
- 60g soft butter or margarine
- 450 -600g of icing sugar
- A few drops of milk
- 1tsp of vanilla essence
- Beat the butter or margarine until soft and fluffy
- Add the vanilla, icing sugar and a little milk to start and beat together with a beater. If the mixture is too dry add a little more milk until the mixture is soft.
- When your cup cake has cooled completely, ice your cup cake with a thick layer of white icing.
- Now here comes the fun bit….decorate with all your favourite toppings.