There are always excuses not to. Maybe there is no money. Maybe you are sad. Maybe you are sick. Maybe you are just grumpy & miserly and don’t ever want to have fun (it’s ok, sometimes even I feel that way).
I have as many reasons as the next guy to not want to celebrate. I can’t find the strength to get to the gym. Real pants make me want to cry. An ill-timed night out with friends can ruin my life for a month. But those are the absolute wrong things to focus on. They can give you grey hair before your time. And we all know that would just lead to more fretting.
And you know, girls just wanna have fun.
So really, let’s celebrate.
Have a party. I mean, heck, it was a birthday after all.
We can throw a little party with a few dozen cupcakes.
Cupcakes with chocolate frosting.
And maybe a few sprinkles thrown in the batter for good measure.
And maybe some balloons. Balloons are good for a birthday.
It is good to celebrate.
And don’t forget to smile, it’ll do you good. And maybe eat a cupcake. Because cupcakes are theraputic.
- 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) milk at room temperature
- 7 large (210 grams) egg whites (pasteurized are fine), at room temperature
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 460 grams ( 3 1/4 cups) gluten free all purpose flour*
- 2 teaspoons xantham gum**
- 450 grams (2 1/4 cups) granulated sugar
- 7 grams (1 teaspoon) salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
- 85 grams (6 tablespoons) vegetable shortening
- 1 cup gluten-free sprinkles (optional)
- 1 Recipe Easy Chocolate Frosting (below)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 cupcake tins with papers (if you have 4, by all means line them all), grease the tops of the pans and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of the mil, the egg whites, egg and vanilla extract.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients including the sugar on low speed for 30 seconds.
- Add butter & shortening and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the remaining milk and stir untill just moistened. Increase the speed to medium and mix for a minute and a half.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg/milk/extract mixture in 3 groups, scraping down the sides before each addition.
- Using a large ice cream scoop, divide the batter evenly among the cupcake papers, making sure that none of them are more than 2/3 full (or you could have a little bit of a mess).
- Bake 2 trays at a time for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
*I use Cup4Cup gluten free flour in my kitchen, and it is my favorite, but I have also had good experiences with the following: Jules Nearly Normal Flour, Better Batter All-Purpose flour or King Arthur Flour’s Gluten Free All Purpose Blend.
**If your blend has xantham gum or expandex in it, you can omit this.
- 340 grams (1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
- 150 grams (1 3/4 cups) cocoa (I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa, the dark helps cut the sweetness a little bit)
- 1 cup milk or cream
- 225 grams (1 cup or 2 sticks) butter
- 565 grams (2 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, whisk together the first amount of powdered sugar and the cocoa.
- Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stirring constantly so the milk does not scald. Whisk this into the powdered sugar mixture. Let cool to room temperature, about 20 mins.
- Beat soft butter, vanilla extract and salt until creamy. Add the 2½ cups of powdered sugar and mix slowly until incorporated. With mixer on low, add the chocolate mixture a spoonful at a time.
- If the frosting is too loose, add up to an additional half cup of powdered sugar.
- This makes enough to frost a layer cake or put a good amount on 48 cupcakes (see photo for how much I used per cupcake)