Monday, May 4, 2009


Well this is certainly a different sort of post! These cupcakes that I made today are SOMEWHAT healthy. Notice I say "somewhat". They include lots of butter and eggs & some sugar but what they contain that is different is - honey, pumpkin & apple/pear sauce. There is 4 jars of baby food in these cupcakes! That's why they are called "Baby Cakes". The recipe called for 1 jar of pumpkin/pear combination baby food. I could not find that combo so I simply used some canned Libby's pumpkin & a jar of pear baby food to equal the same amount. It calls for 2 jars of applesauce/apricot combination which was available and I bought 2 jars of organic Safeway brand. I'm certain that you could substitute other flavors of baby food in these cupcakes. There is a lot of possibilities. I found this recipe in my Family Circle magazine. It was marked as a "winner" in the dessert category. They are wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. The cake is dense & very moist with tremendous flavor but not at all greasy. Many heavy & dense cakes tend to be greasy but these are definitely not. There is a somewhat long list of ingredients but they are very easy to put together. Of course I made a couple of changes to the recipe so I'm going to type this recipe with my changes since I was very happy with the results. I highly recommend these.

Ready to go in the oven! Notice how full these cups are - about 3/4 full.

A wonderful vanilla cream cheese icing tops these. I always use a clear vanilla in my icings so that the icings stays very white. Pure vanilla or regular vanilla extract discolors white icings and makes them a funny off white color. I purchase Wilton clear vanilla at Micheals Craft store for about $5.00 a bottle. Another thing about vanilla extract in general: I used to be a strictly "PURE" vanilla extract snob until I read an article in Cooks Illustrated that when pure vanilla was tested in recipes, taste testers could not distinquish pure vanilla over imitation vanilla extract in the recipes. I started purchasing imitation vanilla by the gallon at Sam's Club for 1/8 of the price of the pure. I do not go lightly with the vanilla in recipes! I usually always pour more in than called for - especially now that it costs so much less for me.

This cupcake is an example of what my father & husband prefer over the photos below. Just a very light touch of icing on top. I prefer a huge blob of icing!

Baby Cakes

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 jars (4 oz each) of applesauce & apricots baby food
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
chopped walnuts or pecans are optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line cupcakes tray with paper liners (maybe 15 cupcakes? just remember 3/4 full of batter)

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice & nutmeg. Set aside. (I sifted these together).

Beat eggs, butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla & honey in a large bowl on medium speed until well combined. Add the baby food, pumpkin & beat until smooth. Slowly add the flour mixture. Mix slowly until just well combined.

Divide batter between prepared muffin cups - filling them 3/4 full. Bake at 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from oven to a wire rack and let them cool completely.

You can enjoy these cupcakes without icing or with a delicious cream cheese or buttercream icing.

No comments: