Friday, February 17, 2017

Single-Serving Vanilla Cupcake (With Video! Or not.)

Oh, hello! How are you? Come in! Hurry! Mind the mockingbird out there, he's a biter. Can I offer you a cup of tea? Maybe a cupcake?

That's a single-serving cupcake. Would you like the recipe? Why bother making one single cupcake, you ask?

I'm glad you asked, for I have made a list of reasons why one might want to go through the trouble of making one single cupcake. I'll take any opportunity to make a list. The possible reasons one might have to make one lone cupcake are as follows.

*clears throat*

1. You are on a diet and you want to have a sweet treat without having to bake a whole batch of cupcakes or an entire cake. If you're anything like me, making an entire batch means eating an entire batch. Or, you may want to make one little treat for someone else who is on a diet.

2. You live with someone who is taking a break from sweet treats but you don't necessarily want to be dragged down that sugar-free hellhole. You don't want to tempt the poor miserable sweet-treat break-taker with a big batch of cupcakes that would probably sit there for days under his or her nose while you leisurely eat them all. This is my reason.

3. You only have a couple of tablespoons of flour left and you are desperate for some cake. It's 3am and you don't feel like putting on pants to drive down to Walmart.

4. You are a tiny little mouse and one single cupcake will feed your entire family of 14 for a couple of days.

5. You have been miniaturized with a shrink ray in a lab experiment gone wrong and one cupcake will last you a week.

6. Why not?

Right. Now that we got that out of the way let's get baking! I bought myself a little toaster oven to make tiny bakes like this one. It's a Cuisinart TO-60. I'll tell you all about my toaster oven buying adventures next time. Let's just say that the Cuisinart was the fifth oven that I tried because I am a picky oven buyer, apparently. Who knew?

Anyway, I made you a recipe video for this one. It's one of those kooky quiet videos that I make for my YouTube channel sometimes. The actual recipe is just below the video if you don't feel like watching it. Rude.

Actually, I made you two videos. One at regular speed and another sped-up version for hyperactive squirrels. I find the cooking sounds of the sped-up video oddly satisfying.





SINGLE-SERVING VANILLA CUPCAKE


2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 teaspoons vegan milk, divided
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/16 teaspoon salt (a pinch)

1. Preheat your toaster oven or regular oven to 325 degrees F. Spray one paper cupcake liner with cooking spray and place it in a small ramekin or cupcake tin.
2. In a small bowl or cup, whisk together the sugar, powdered sugar, oil, two teaspoons of milk, and vanilla extract. Give it all a really good whiskin'.
3. Sift in the flour and the baking powder. Add the salt and gently stir until the dry ingredients are barely incorporated.
4. Add the remaining two teaspoons of milk and gently stir trying not to overmix the batter. If you watch the video you can see how I sort of push the batter around rather than mixing it too vigorously.
5. Pour the cake batter into your prepared cupcake liner and bake at 325 for 15 minutes.
6. Crank the heat up to 350 and bake for 5 or 6 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. I wouldn't be tempted to check it before it's had a chance to bake at 350 for 5 minutes lest we end up with a deflated cupcake. Let the cupcake cool down to room temperature before frosting it.

Specific baking directions for the Cuisinart TO-60:

Set the "FUNCTION" dial to "WARM" instead of "BAKE" and set the temperature at 325 degrees F. This will keep the oven from toasting your cupcake from the top which would leave you with a dry, cracked cupcake. Once the oven is preheated, bake your cupcake for 15 minutes.

When the 15 minutes are up, switch the FUNCTION dial from WARM to BAKE and crank the heat up to 350 degrees F. Bake your cupcake for 5 or 6 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.

FOR THE FROSTING


1 tablespoon vegan butter, softened
1 tablespoon vegan shortening
1 or two tablespoons of powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Combine the butter and shortening in a small bowl or cup, the narrower the better, and use a small spoon to beat them together for a minute or so.
2. Add in the powdered sugar one tablespoon at a time and beat vigorously until light and fluffy. This should take a couple of minutes. I like mine with just over a tablespoon of sugar, but we all like what we like so if you end up adding lots of extra sugar to yours you may need to add a tiny bit of milk to make the frosting workable and soft.
3. Add the vanilla and give it a good beating until smooth. The whole process should take about five minutes.
4. Frost your cupcake and eat up! I actually like to refrigerate the finished cupcake for a few minutes before I eat it because I like the frosting to be a bit more firm.

NOTES


. I like to put my room-temperature cupcake in a small food storage container for a while before I frost it. This makes the top of the cupcake super soft. There's no need for it, it's just personal preference.

. You could just bake it at 350 from the start, but that will give your cupcake a more dome-shaped top like a muffin. Baking it at 325 for the first 15 minutes keeps it nice and flat on top.

. I like to use a little bowl with a handle of sorts to make the hand-beaten buttercream. It keeps me from grabbing the actual bowl and transferring heat from my hands onto the butter.



Did you watch the video? Did you catch my cute foxy creamer? Argh! I love it! Lookit!


It's this cute little ceramic fox creamer from World Market. I also bought a cute sugar bowl but I'll show you that one next time. I have kept you long enough today.

Sorry about that. It's just that when I go so long without seeing you I have so much to tell you! Did I tell you that I passed my driving exam last week and I now have a driver's license for the first time? I did! I do! At 37 years old! Practically 38! Slay! Everyone else taking their driving exam was 16 or 17 years young. It was terrifying! Terrifying! I'll write a whole blog post about it soon because I think there may be some fellow non-driving panickers out there that may find it helpful. Driving is some scary schtuff for some of us.

OK, I'll shut my mouth now. See you next time. Don't be a stranger! Really, mind the mockingbird as you leave. He's a cranky little grumpasaurus. If you follow me on Instagram you may have already seen His Grumpiness. That's where I mostly hang out now, on the Instagrams. Sometimes I also hang out on the Twitters.

OK, OK, bye!