Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

I really wanted to sub-title this post something like "try them despite what they look like here!" or "taste success, presentation fail!" or something to that effect... Know up front that the pictures are a little blurrier than usual (I let little miss do as much of the work as possible, and trying to slow down a four year old baker to take photos is a little on the tough side...), and that these didn't turn out picture-perfect like most other websites would showcase... but they were super fun to make and are very yummy, so I will share anyway.

It is actually quite crazy that I wound up making cupcakes at all today. I have been wanting to make muffins all week, but we have somehow found ourselves (*gasp*) out of fresh fruit, which I always throw into muffins, so a trip to Produce Junction is in the plans for tomorrow. Anyway, as I was trying to think of alternative muffin flavors, my thoughts first went to dried fruit, then to chocolate chips, then to cinnamon. Cinnamon made me think of snickerdoodles. Which made me think of snickerdoodle cupcakes. Not a far leap, right? So I searched for recipes online. Not surprisingly, the source recipe for many, many, many of the snickerdoodle cupcakes that I saw posted was Martha Stewart's recipe. I chose this version, from Bakerella, but didn't do the fancy frosting and cookie version that she did. No matter how good it looked.

As I mentioned before, little miss was a very, very active participant in today's baking activities. She started by sifting the dry ingredients together. Well, whisking them, which is our version of sifting... then she measured and poured the butter and sugar into the mixer. Trust me, she measured and poured the sugar. That is the closest to an in-focus picture as I could get of that... I told you - hard to slow her down.

I handled cracking the eggs and measuring the vanilla, but once those were thoroughly mixed in, little miss helped me to alternately add the whisked dry ingredients and milk. Again, trust me, that's actually her hand on the bowl, pouring the flour mixture into the mixer.
She was having so much fun and doing such a good job with all the measuring, mixing and pouring that I got brave, and actually let her help me spoon the batter into the sprayed cupcake tin. She actually did a decent job, and wasn't all that much messier at the task than I was. Just a little clean-up required.

The only problem is that we (I) overfilled the wells of the muffin tin. Note to self: when the recipe says "fill each well 2/3 full" don't get too lazy to grab a second pan and just divide the batter evenly between the 12 spots. Fill each 2/3 of the way. Because this is what happens when you overfill your cupcakes:

They overflow the wells, the tops spread out, and they are very, very difficult to remove from the tin. And, as a result, most of them break on the way out. Oops.

On the plus side, little miss didn't care. In fact, I think she liked the fact that they broke a little, because she thought that the little pieces were perfect for tasting. Gotta love a four year old's persective on some things!

Anyway, we allowed these to cool while we ate dinner, then we added the final touch - a simple powdered sugar and milk glaze. I just made enough to drizzle over the two that we were going to have for dessert tonight. Keep in mind, by the way, that I am right handed, and this picture was taken with my left hand while drizzling on the glaze with my right hand, so the fact that the cupcakes are actually in the frame at all is pretty cool. To me, at least.

But the real test is in the tasting, and these absolutely passed, regardless of overfilled pans, broken pieces and my crazy lack of photography skills. Little miss, after each bite, told me quite how delicious she thought hers was, and I had to stop myself from grabbing more after finishing mine. These will definitely be made again. And I will try really hard next time to make them look as good as they taste.

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
(from Bakerella)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare your muffin tin (spray or line with liners).
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
Add in eggs, one at a time, beating until combined.
Add vanilla and mix until combined.
Alternately add in flour mixture and milk, starting with one third of the flour, then half of the milk, then another third of the flour, the rest of the milk, then the rest of the flour mixture.
Fill baking cups to about 3/4 full. Bake cupcakes for 15-20 minute.
Remove cupcakes from the trays and allow them to cool.



  1. Sounds delish! Especially with all the rain we're having here, I can just imagine them right now! I think it's wonderful how involved she is, she's learning and enjoying so much! Good job mama!

  2. Gonna have to try these for sure. Chris' fave is snickerdoodles!


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