I’ve said it before, but here I go again: I’m not super into baking. Even though cooking is more my speed, I’ve recently found myself popping more and more items into the oven lately. I even told Keith on his birthday this past Wednesday that I wanted to make something for him — though I was careful not to use the word bake. I was semi-hoping he’d ask for a steak.
After some thought though, he said, “I like cupcakes.”
Of course, I didn’t just want to make — I mean bake — a prosaic sort of cupcake; since I know how much Keith likes cinnamon I decided I would try to figure out how to make one fashioned after a snickerdoodle cookie. The thing was, I had no idea how to go about doing this, so I got on the phone.
“There are so many recipes for orange-cinnamon cupcakes, or strudel-y things,” I said to Marcella, “but nothing snickerdoodle-y. I don’t want just a cinnamon cupcake.”
What if I were to butter my cupcake tin so that a cinnamon-sugar mixture would stick to the walls of each depression? Or, better yet, what if I were to instead use individual foil cupcake liners, each sprayed and dusted with cinnamon-sugar? I could whip up a vanilla cupcake batter in lieu of a sugar cookie dough, and still end up with exteriors marbled with cinnamon just like a snickerdoodle. This way, I wouldn’t even need to make a frosting to top the cupcake; their cracked and swirled domes would be decoration enough. I could even sprinkle a little cinnamon into the cupakes themselves for a little more pep…
You know what? Not only did the cupcakes came out perfectly, but they were ridiculously easy to make. Not as easy as a steak, but simple nevertheless.
1 ½ leveled cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/8 cup plus one tablespoon ground cinnamon, separated
2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange 12 foil cupcake liners on a baking sheet; spritz each liner with baking spray. In a small bowl, combine 1/8 cup cinnamon and ¼ cup sugar. Spoon mixture into foil liners, swirling to thoroughly cover entire interior of each one. Tap out excess and return liners to baking sheet.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and remaining cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. In a liquid-measuring cup, mix milk and vanilla; set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add half of dry ingredients, followed by milk-vanilla mixture, then remaining dry ingredients. Take care not to overmix. Divide batter evenly among prepared cupcake liners; bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.