Cupcake Aroma Therapy, Anyone?

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All-Purpose Cupcakes

Once these dreamy fresh-baked cupcakes come out of the oven, they create a warm, welcoming aroma throughout your home, which immediately puts a twinkle in the eye of anyone in range.

Think of it as aroma therapy. Funny how the right cupcake recipe can do that for us, bring out the child within. That’s certainly the case with these All-Purpose Cupcakes. They promise to make summer all the sweeter for everyone. It’s time to do the happy dance.

All-Purpose Cupcakes Recipe:

(Makes 1 dozen cupcakes)

  • 2 cups (9 ounces/255 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces/227 grams) full-fat coconut, soy, or almond milk
  • ¾ cup (8⅞ ounces/252 grams) honey, pure maple syrup, or agave nectar
  • ⅓ cup (2⅝ ounces/75 grams) grapeseed, vegetable, or coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, honey, oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Beat with a handheld electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth and slightly aerated, about 2 minutes.
  4. Divide the batter among the wells of the muffin tin, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake until lightly golden, a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, and the tops spring back when lightly touched, 18 to 20 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees halfway through the baking time. Let the cakes cool in the pan set on a wire rack for 3 minutes before removing them from the pan to cool completely.
  5. Frost them with your own favorite icing, or use the following frosting recipe.

Frosting Recipe:

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Icing

  • 3 cups (12 ounces/340 grams) organic confectioner’s sugar, sifted twice
  • 3 tablespoons (1. ounces/42 grams) milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1½ cups (3 sticks/12 ounces/340 grams) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  1. Place the confectioner’s sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  2. Add the milk, vanilla bean paste, and salt.
  3. On low speed, mix until the confectioner’s sugar is evenly moistened (it will still look quite dry).
  4. Add the butter pieces and gradually increase the speed from low to medium-high.
  5. Beat until fluffy and lightened in texture, with a whipped appearance, 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Adjust the texture of the frosting as needed with just an extra teaspoon of milk or cream at a time.

“Real Sweet” book page: https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062346018/real-sweet

Entertainment Tip:

Tip from “Real Sweet” by Shauna Sever: Substitute sweeteners and nondairy milks within a recipe for a healthier baked good that is just as sweet. Mix-and-match depending on your tastes, the preferences of your guests, or what you have stocked in your kitchen.