I need to take a moment to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to enjoy my food pictures and blog posts, and for the kind messages I’ve received over the past couple of weeks. I’m doing exactly what I set out to do, which was to take some ownership of an idea I’ve had for a while, accept some accountability for my life and well being, and to connect with friends and family on a different level… and I think it’s working!
An old friend of mine recently reached out to thank me for sharing my story. I think we all need to do more of this… When you share a slice of what’s happening in our lives, we have the ability to profoundly impact someone else’s. We forget that our struggles are (most likely) not very unique to us… as much as we think they are. Many of us struggle with the same issues… Relationships. Careers. Vulnerability. (I’m plugging Brene Brown again… if you haven’t picked up Daring Greatly. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?) Hearing someone else (someone you might know personally) experiencing these same issues can be a game changer… It could be the difference between stagnation and a life-changing event.
So, as I like to preach… Be kind on yourself. Life’s hard. Eat a piece of cake. Maybe if we all shared a little more about our personal struggles we’d all treat each other with a little more empathy. It’s like therapy but a lot less expensive.
Okay, Cake. I also need to mention that I realize many of the cakes I’ve posted are perhaps a little complicated… They take practice… There are often lots of steps… They take some time to create… This shouldn’t scare you away from the kitchen! My new hope is to also share paired down versions of my cakes in cupcake form. Maybe a little more approachable… Maybe an opportunity to learn a new baking technique with less pressure… Here’s the deal – YOU DO YOU!
When I bake, I pretty much only bake by weight. This gives some flexibility around quantity but also the results I get out of my product tend to be more consistent. I don’t include weights here because it’s maybe a bit more info than you want? Anyway… I decided to kick this idea off using last weeks Root Beer Float Cake re-imagined as a cupcake. Again, moist root beer cake filled with silky root beer caramel, covered in vanilla buttercream, caramel, and a root beer meringue. A little less stress… A few less steps… Same delicious result…
Root Beer Float Cupcakes
2 cups, cake flour
¾ cup, sugar
12 tbsps, unsalted butter
2 eggs & 1 egg yolk
½ cup, root beer
1 and ½ tsps, root beer extract
1 and ½ tsps, baking powder
¼ tsp, salt
Preheat oven to 350F and line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Place to the side.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy using the paddle attachment.
Add one egg and a time until combined. Then add root beer extract.
Next, add sifted dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until combined.
Lastly, add your root beer and finish combining.
Distribute batter between the cupcake liners and bake for approx. 20-25 minutes.
Let cool completely before frosting! (or taking out of cupcake liners)
For Buttercream (adapted from @CakebyCourtney)
2 sticks, unsalted butter
3 cups, powdered sugar
1 tsp, vanilla
1 tbsp, heavy cream
Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, beat your butter until light and fluffy.
Turn your mixer to low, and slowly add the powdered sugar.
Finally, add the heavy cream and vanilla extract.
Continue beating until your frosting is light and airy.
Root Beer Caramel:
½ cup, sugar
2 tbsps, water
1/3 cup, heavy cream
3 tbsps, butter (cut into small cubes)
1 tbsp, root beer extract
Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once you turn the heat on, do not touch!
Once the sugar starts boiling, Slowly swirl the pan to keep the heat distributed evenly. BE CAREFUL! YOU DO NOT WANT TO GET SPLASHED!
When the sugar reaches about 320+ degrees it’ll begin to caramelize. Slowly continue swirling the pan until it evenly turns a light amber color.
Remove the pan from heat and carefully pour in the heavy cream. Watch out! It’s going to bubble frivolously! Let it do its thing…
Return the pan to heat and add the butter. Whisk until the sauce has come together!
Let cool before using.