Kitchen & Pantry

Sweetened condensed milk cupcakes: lessons learned

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When Sam asked me to bake something for dessert last night, I begged off. Alex chimed in, they really wanted something sweet, but I spent a long time preparing lunch (two sets — vegetarian and non-vegetarian), and I was exhausted physically and mentally. I told them that I only had enough reserve energy to prepare dinner.

Their response surprised me. They said we could have sandwiches for dinner which Sam volunteered to make if I would relent and bake something. Not a bad deal — so long as it was a simple baking project.

Sam proceeded to her computer, went straight to Pinterest, asked me to go online and, over chat, she started sending me links of recipes I could bake. The options she gave me all looked delicious, we didn’t have the ingredients for many of them (we’re out of baking chocolate) and some required too much work. But there was one recipe that looked both simple and delicious — sweetened condensed milk cake. I chose that one but baked cupcakes instead.

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I know — they look scrumptious. For those who like heavy and firmly packed cakes, it’s a dream. But we prefer soft, fluffy and airy cakes. In fact, Alex only likes chiffon cakes. So, the sweetened condensed milk cupcakes weren’t exactly what we hoped they would be.

First lesson learned: no more sweetened condensed milk cakes. Or cupcakes.

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Second lesson learned: Okay, this is really the more important lesson. Because I wanted variety, I baked some cupcakes plain, some with toasted walnuts and the rest with toasted walnuts and toasted coconut flakes. The ones with walnuts and coconut flakes were the best. Next time, I will bake cupcakes using the tried-and-tested butter cake recipe that I have been using, and add toasted walnuts and coconut flakes. That should be a blast.

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