Someone went and super-sized the cupcake.
How did they do it? I flipped to Page 154 in the magazine for details and found that there's a giant cupcake pan now on the market. It has two sides. One side is the "bottom" of the cupcake, complete with cute little ridges that look as if they were imparted by a cupcake liner. The other side is the swirly "top." You bake batter in both sides, pop 'em out, put them together and –- voila! -- giant cupcake.
My immediate reaction was, I'm sure, the same as yours: Launch a campaign to nominate this person for culinary sainthood, and have his or her visage carved into Mt. Rushmore.
But as I began fantasizing about a cupcake the size of my head, I began to fret: Doesn't this contraption cut down on the frosting?
To me, cupcakes are simply a delivery system for frosting. And the perfect frosting-to-cupcake ratio is roughly 55% frosting and 45% cupcake. (You think I'm making this up? No. I've really put some thought into this.)
So if the swirly part of the giant cupcake is actually cake ... that means less frosting, no? Has anyone tried one of these? Maybe I am missing something.
I do think the giant cupcake would be a hit at a kid's birthday party. I did a little scouting around on the Internet. It appears there are at least two manufacturers of these pans, and they all sell for about $30. They're at a variety of places, including at Target, Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma. Family Circle also has instructions for a special deal for $25.99.
In the meantime, here's a link to a recipe for Auntie Em's coconut cupcakes, courtesy of Times Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter. This one has been a hit with readers, and has been requested again and again. I know it's only June but I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say it has a shot at our our annual Top 10 list. Just remember, you read it here first!
-- Rene Lynch
Photo credit: Cover courtesy of Family Circle magazine.