Saturday, October 31, 2009

MSCC Bonus Round


Create a Halloween Cupcake was the assigned task. Perfect timing, our church was having a fall carnival, I volunteered to bake 2 dozen cupcakes for the cakewalk. Time was short (isn't it always) so I decided to make Marthas One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes on page 152. I had all the necessary ingredients and the batter came together quickly. The sweet scent of homemade goodness soon filled my kitchen.....things went south from there! Do I blame it on my altitude (I'm baking at 4300 feet), a bad recipe?  I'm sure it's not me; I've been cooking for almost half a century. The cupcakes had 'sinkholes and soft spots', a coarse texture and didn't taste good. I will have to give that recipe a very generous one star.

My deadline was fast approaching so I went to my Hello, Cupcake! cookbook. "Our cupcakes made from doctored store-bought mix stand up to homemade versions in taste test after taste test", was their claim. I had nothing to lose. Simply add 1 cup buttermilk, 4 large eggs and the amount of oil called for on the box to a box of vanilla cakemix (one without added pudding) and beat for 3 minutes. The cupcakes looked great had no sink holes or soft spots, they had a great texture and were easy to frost, and they tasted good.
What's the verdict? I really think my altitude plays a big role in cupcakes but there are so many 'fixes', more flour, less sugar and butter, alter baking times. What is an amateur baker to do other than move to sea level? I will keep trying, maybe find a cookbook from bakers in Denver, any ideas from high-altitude bakers?

But I will keep a couple of cake mixes on hand! Thanks MSCC for another fun challenge.

9 comments:

jill said...

mom, they look darling!! I love that orange sugar on top...so fun!

Tracey said...

How funny - I used the same pumpkin idea from the Hello, Cupcake! book for the pumpkin patch cupcakes earlier this month :) Your pumpkins look wonderful! Isn't that book full of great ideas?

Sorry about the altitude issues. No advice here but hope you find some solutions :)

Liz said...

Your cupcakes look delish! I have checked out a book from the library called "High Altitude Baking" written by Colorado University Extension Services. I had to return it before I tried out the recipes, so I can't say if they worked or not. I hope this helps a little. I love all your recipes and have even peeked at Amber's blog for a recipe or two. Good luck with the high altitude quest!

Liz Reynolds (Brandon's wife)

Kayte said...

Your cupcakes are really lovely, I like the look of them very much. Creativity flows there. I made the one bowl chocolate cc and they turned out fine...or so I hear tell as my guys are the only ones who eat chocolate in this house. They loved them. I had a good time with this, despite the angst that went into trying to figure out how to decorate.

Janine said...

Love that sugar decorating.

Also, I loved your other ghoul food from the previous post - very creative!

Monica said...

These turned out sooo cute! Sorry about your cupcakes not working out! I made the same recipe and they turned out fine. Who know though. Like you said, there are so many aspects that can make a difference. Great job!

marthaandme said...

These are fabulous. I never would have thought to make them into a pumpkin in that way!

SUGAR B said...

Love the cupcake liners and the pumpkin decorations! Too cool for school!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Oh, yeah, altitude really messes with a cake recipe. Sorry you had such a bad experience with the cupcakes! It's a sad day when a doctored mix beats made from scratch.