June 4, 2011 § Leave a comment
In case it’s not clear, I love to bake. Like really, seriously, I LOVE to bake. I have been known to bake 4-5 different kinds of cookies in a single day, in the summer, in a non-air-conditioned house. I’m pretty darn good at it, too. I make all kinds of different varieties of breads and pies and cookies and other nommy things…but I’ve never really been successful with cakes, for some reason. I have trouble with the flavor and texture and they just don’t turn out right somehow. So I’ve always relied on…shameful pause…mixes.
And really, I was okay with that. Cake is rarely eaten at my house (the incident when I ate an entire double layer cake by myself in under 36 hours notwithstanding), so on the rare occasion when I needed a cake, a mix got the job done. But now I have kids, who expect fabulous cakes. And while so far they have been satisfied with the mix cakes I’ve used as the base for those fabulous cakes, I just don’t feel right about not making their cakes from scratch. So I decided to work on my cake baking skills. On the day I decided this and started cruising the internet for cake recipes to try out, this recipe came across my Twitter feed.
Cupcakes have long been my nemesis. I can’t even make decent cupcakes out of a box. The bottoms always get burned, and they’re dry but somehow also underbaked in the center…I dunno. It’s weird. But seriously…Key Lime Cupcakes? Yeah, I had to have me some of those. So I started down the ingredients list, checking to make sure I had everything on hand. (Protip: Always make sure you have all the ingredients or adequate substitutions before you begin mixing. I cannot tell you how completely it sucks to get halfway through your batter/dough making only to discover you’re an egg short or are somehow completely out of flour.) That’s when I discovered that this recipe called for seven whole eggs. No, seriously. Let me say that again. Seven. Whole. Eggs.
I happened to have seven eggs on hand, but that just seemed ludicrous to me. I mean, seven egg whites I could see, or even seven yolks. But seven whole eggs? I thought not. So I Googled “key lime cupcake recipe” or some such thing and came up with this recipe, which was much more reasonable in the egg department. I did decide to stick with the original glaze, though I actually found it a little overpowering and I think next time I’ll try a lime cream cheese frosting. Also, I left out the food coloring.
The cupcakes, though, were to die for. They were dense, but not heavy. Velvety on the tongue. Lovely crisp flavor. No burnt bottoms. I’m actually going to try it without the lime juice at some point and see if they serve well as a plain cake base. I strongly suspect they will. It will be delicious to find out.
ETA: Almost forgot — this recipe calls for some self-rising flour, which I never have on hand. Here’s a quick and easy substitute, made with stuff I do generally keep on hand.