The Art of Cupcakes

I might have to go Rirkrit Tiravanija on everyone and start making and serving food as my art. But, instead of the Thai curries that Tiravanija made for his “Free” and “Still” shows, my medium will be cupcakes. Baking has always been a relaxing, creative activity for me, and I’m still jazzed from my victories this past Monday night at the Brooklyn Kitchen’s 3rd Annual Cupcake Cookoff, a fundraiser for the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen. I had no idea that there would be so many entries– almost sixty, many of them beautifully and meticulously decorated. I was a bit embarrassed by the open, flimsy aluminum trays I showed up with carrying my decidely not uniform sweets. But, soon I was in a drunken sugar shock after tasting so many delicious confections. Two of my favorites were the Pineapple with Spicy Cilantro Icing Cupcakes and the Mini Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling.

After viewing (and tasting) the competition, I was floored when I heard Taylor Erkkinen announce my PB & J Cakes as the winner of the plain and simple flavor category. Minutes later, I was even more surprised to hear my name called again; this time my Bananas Foster Cakes had taken first prize in the exotic flavor category! I didn’t think to bring a camera, but, Not Eating Out in New York has an unidentified pic of me on her blog, along with a recipe for some delicious looking Green Tea Coconut Minicakes that I’ll have to try.

I had a great time; I have “Sugar High” ala Renee Zellweger in Empire Records playing in my head, big plans to learn how to decorate my mini-cakes, and am still pondering how I can incorporate all of this into my art.

Below is my recipe for PB and J Cakes:

1 c. of peanut butter

2 c. sugar
3 c. flour (I try to use cake/ pastry flour if I can find it)
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2 tablespoons of vanilla
1 cup milk (soy milk works just as well too)
berry preserves (purchased, or you can make your own as I did by
boiling raspberries, blackberries, etc with a couple of teaspoons of
sugar and a splash of water. let it cook down, and cool.)

Preheat oven to 350.
Cream peanut butter and gradually add sugar (process should take 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, sift flour and add baking powder and salt.
Add eggs one at a time to the peanut butter. Add flour mixture alternately with milk and vanilla.
Stir until smooth.
Fill cupcake liners halfway with cake batter. Put a spoonful of preserves in each cup.
Put the second half of the batter in each liner, on top of the preserves.
Bake in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. Ice with Peanut Butter Frosting and serve.
Peanut Butter Frosting

4oz of cream cheese (1/2 package) (still cold)
3/4 cup of peanut butter
2 tbsp butter, softened
3 cups of confectioners sugar, sifted
Splash of vanilla or rum
Milk to thin if necessary

Beat together peanut butter, cream cheese, and butter.
Slowly add the
confectioners sugar.
Add the vanilla or rum.
Add milk one tablespoon at a
time (or additional rum) to thin, as necessary.
Makes about 3 cups.

Makes about 24 cupcakes or 12-15 jumbo cupcakes.


Filed under Art

3 responses to “The Art of Cupcakes

  1. fivefingerfeast

    The Pineapple with Spicy Cilantro Icing Cupcake was my vote, too! I don’t remember the name of the girl that made them, but she was such a sweetie and it broke my heart when I heard that the judges did not get any of her cupcakes!

  2. Bill

    man, i’m sorry i missed the cupcake party. when’s the next one??

  3. Pingback: Cupcake Extravaganza « A Greenpoint Kitchen

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