pink cupcake

Originally uploaded by Bake & Destroy!

I am adrift in a sea of homework, barely able to reach the surface long enough to breathe, eat a real meal or gasp-blog. I graduated almost a month ago, but I’m finishing my last few credits over the summer semester and it’s the craziest school has ever been in my entire student career. I’m taking nutrition, which is really fun, but it’s a five-week course with 15-weeks worth of information and work packed in. I had my first quiz Monday and my midterm Wednesday, to give you an idea. I also have a research paper to do on the nutrition of another culture and a final project for which I decided to make a video about the nutritional ups and downs of cupcakes. I thought that would be fun and somewhat easy, but quickly learned that it’s actually the hardest thing on earth. Sorry cancer doctors, trying to make cupcakes nutritious is actually way, way harder than your job.

I am also taking a photography class, which so far hasn’t done much more than prove to me that 1) I am obsessed with food and 2) I never leave my house. All of my pictures are of things I ate and/or things in my house. I like the class, I just don’t so much like realizing I have some kind of eating disorder and an incredibly boring life.

My final class is PR Writing, which I love and hate almost as much as I love and hate green tea. I love PR, you basically get to make stuff up and act like every thing’s way better than it really is. I always wanted to take a creative non-fiction class and this is as close as I’m getting until I go for my Master’s. And yet, it is also a five-week course with months and months worth of homework, tests and lessons packed in, none of which I can do until after 8 pm when Teno is asleep. Oh, and my internship on Time Out Chicago’s Eating and Drinking guide starts next week. I’m super excited and completely nervous. Oh, if you could see the things this internship is doing to my digestive system already… (That one is for Tony who is totally unphased by my poop talk at this point in our marriage. Aww.)

So my hair is falling out in clumps. I wish that were part of my new career in lying (PR) but it’s sadly, disgustingly true. My student loan has yet to come through, I need to get a job- in journalism- and I don’t think I’ll ever be done with homework, even after I’m dead.

Oh, and I’m also baking and baking and baking and barely, just barely enjoying it at all. Last week end I baked close to 300 cupcakes for a bat mitzvah and somehow got it all done in about three hours. What? I don’t know, dude. I just did it. The menu was lemon yogurt with ginger cream cheese, cookies and cream with chocolate frosting, banana with chocolate buttercream, Earl grey with lemon buttercream and pinacolada with coconut cream cheese.

I wasn’t going to post the Earl grey recipe because I haven’t had time to mess around with it and get it exactly the way I like it, but I got a lot of requests after posting the pictures so use it at your own risk. I also got a lot of requests to share the recipe for the pink cupcake at the top of this entry, a vegan lemon cupcake with lemon buttercream filled with raspberry preserve so quickly, I’m going to give you that one a well.

Earl Grey Cupcakes from Julie Hasson’s 125 Best Cupcake Recipes

These are for grown ups, I’d say, unless your kids are super, super weird or English. Actually, I don’t even know if most grown ups would be into these. Let’s say these are for chicks. Chicks will eat almost anything in cupcake form.

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Earl Grey tea bas or 1 Tbs loose tea
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbs unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tsp rated orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp orange oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Then you:

Preheat your oven to 350 and line a pan with paper liners. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using whatever method works for you- spice grinder, primitive smashing and grinding action, etc.- grind the contents of the tea bags and add to flour mixture.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined. Add egg whites one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add zest and oil, beating until smooth. Alternately beat in the flour mixture and buttermilk, beat until smooth. Pour batter into pan and bake 20-25 minutes or until tops spring back with lightly touched. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then cool completely on wire rack.

I frosted mine with lemon buttercream, but next time I’d take Julie Hasson’s advice and do an orange cream cheese.

Ok, next!

To make the big pink, raspberry-filled cupcakes I just used this recipe for lemon cake and used this tip to squeeze in some raspberry preserves. Then I ate one, gave Teno one, gave Jo five, packed some up for Teno and Bishop for the next day, watched about a million episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine, made dinner, gave Teno a bath, did homework, went to bed and went to school. Oh, and I also went to the stupid, boring Field Museum of Natural Stupid Boring History and looked at old corn and stuff for my research paper.

My friend Hillary made me cupcakes, did I tell you that? No one ever makes me cupcakes. Thanks, Hillary!