The Business of Birthdays

  B'day cupcakes


Birthdays are my business. Everyday I bake and decorate birthday cakes for many people at many different stages of their life. I usually don't think much about the numbers on the cake, or that person's personal celebration. Surprise parties, intimate dinners, bucket-list getaways…anything goes in the name of celebration. When it comes to my own birthdays, I usually like to get away from my routine and mark the occasion without a fuss. This year there was no way to escape or avoid the fanfare. And there was fanfare….. it was a big one.

Many sweet people did very sweet things for me that day… and I enjoyed a celebratory chocolate cupcake, or two. Plus leftovers for breakfast. why not?

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Pudding Frosting ( like Mom used to make)

For Cupcakes:

1 cup cocoa

1 cup water, boiling

2 cups flour

1 ½ cups sugar

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

½ cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. In a small bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. In an electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Mix on low speed until blended.
  4. Add eggs and cocoa mixture. Blend on low speed for about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl.
  5. Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat on low speed 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until smooth. Ladle batter into cupcake lined pans.
  6. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until tester comes out with a fine crumb. Remove pan from the oven.
  7. Remove cupcakes from the pan and cool on wire cooling rack. Cool completely before filling and frosting.

Makes 20 cupcakes.


Chocolate Pudding Frosting

This was a classic topping for our chocolate birthday cupcakes throughout  my childhood.

2 packages Dream Whip ( yes, they still sell this !) whipped topping mix ( 2.6 oz.)

2 packages instant chocolate pudding ( 3.4 oz. each)

3 cups cold whole milk

With an electric mixer, whip all ingredients until thick and smooth. Spread on top of cupcakes . Sprinkle generously with sprinkles! Refrigerate.



mia's birthday