When I started this blog a few years ago, a major "cupcake craze" was sweeping America. Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" was a popular show that my daughter and I loved to watch. We were fascinated-and a bit grossed out-to discover hot dogs, tuna fish, and plantains could be properly baked inside of a cupcake. And in some cases, the judges liked them!
Julianna was so enamored with cupcakes, we decided to start a blog. I ordered matching cupcake aprons and we set to work. I've never seen so much pride in my daughter's face when she is baking. She is filled with opinions and always takes baking to the next level. If I say, "I think we've added too much," she will say "let's add more!" She has a zest for life and a love for baking that goes way beyond her years.
With her new passion for cupcakes, she decided to have her birthday party at a local cupcake shop called "Just Baked." She invited all her first grade friends to the shop for two hours of buttercream bliss. It was so cute to see the boys get involved with the decorating just as much as the girls.
In the months following her party, our family returned to Just Baked on holidays, birthdays, and "just because we want a delicious cupcake" type occasions.
Unfortunately, the cupcake fad died out, and Just Baked closed its doors. A feeling of nostalgia sweeps over me as I pass the empty shop. I miss the memories of Julianna's party just as much as the cupcakes. Although the craze for cupcakes is over, Julianna and I will always be crazy for cupcakes.
Cupcakes: 2 cups sugar; 2 cups flour; 1 cup cocoa powder; 2 1/2 cups milk; 1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco; 2 eggs, 2 tsp. baking powder; 1/2 tsp. baking soda; 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Buttercream bumps: 1/4 cup whipping cream; 1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco; one 7 oz. jar marshmallow cream; 1/2 tsp. vanilla; 1 pound powdered sugar
Ganache: 1 cup whipping cream; one 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cupcakes: Combine dry ingredients in medium size mixing bowl. Add remaining ingedients and mix together for two minutes. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Buttercream bumps: When cupcakes are cooled, cream together Crisco and whipping cream. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add marshmallow cream and vanilla. Mix until light and fluffy. Using a star tip, pipe several "bumps" of frosting onto top of cupcake.
Ganache: Heat 1 cup of whipping cream on medium setting of stovetop. Remove from heat as soon as cream comes to a boil. Pour over chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. Let ganache thicken for several minutes before spooning over cupcakes.