The Business of Birthdays
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)
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
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a small bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In an electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix on low speed until blended.
- Add eggs and cocoa mixture. Blend on low speed for about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl.
- 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.
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until tester comes out with a fine crumb. Remove pan from the oven.
- 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.