Sam went back to the condo last night with a bagful of cupcakes. She had been asking me all day yesterday, repeatedly, when I would bake. It’s one of her favorite lines when she’s home. I already told her there’s still mango ice cream in the freezer but nothing comforts her than baked goodies. She has a bad cough but she still has to return to the condo to go back to school later today. The least I could do was offer a placebo in the form of cupcakes.
At 9.00 p.m. last night, I finally relented. I baked something she would find irresistible — cupcakes with multi-colored specks inside that make them look like confetti had been thrown in with total abandon.
The “confetti” consists of nonpareils, more popularly known as “sprinkles”, which can be bought in baking supply stores. I buy mine at Living Well, I have several kinds, all bought at Sam’s prodding because she can’t resist them. The sprinkles, made with sugar and starch, come in many shapes and colors.
Most confetti cupcake or cake recipes use only egg whites to achieve an almost white color that best sets off the bright hues of the sprinkles. I used a whole egg instead as I didn’t want to bother thinking what I would do with the egg yolks.
- Line a 12-hole muffin / cupcake pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350F (325F if using dark-colored pan — see tip).
- Sift together the flour and salt.
- Beat the oil and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and beat until incorporated.
- Add the a third of the flour and mix. Add half of the buttermilk and mix. Add another third of the flour, then the remaining half of the buttermilk and, finally, the last third of the flour, mixing after each addition. If using vanilla extract, stir it in.
- Mix together the baking soda and vinegar (it will fizzle). Add to the cake batter and mix in.
- Time for the sprinkles. Add them to the cake batter.
- Stir to distribute well.
- Divide the batter among the 12 holes of the pan. This is a thin batter so use a measuring cup (see a related tip).
- Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Place the pan on a rack and cool the cupcakes completely before removing them.
- You may frost the cupcakes if you wish and sprinkle more “confetti” on the frosting. I didn’t bother because Sam would be bringing them and the frosting would have made packing problematic.