March was *the* birthday month and I had a birthday party to go to (including my own!) almost every weekend. The lovely (headless) girl in the photo here is my birthday twin Rachele and we decided to have a joint birthday party at the end of the month.
And birthday party means birthday baking which meant a baking date to get some treats together. If there is one thing I love it's baking dates with hilarious ladies and adorable aprons.
The two batters were layered with alternating colours in their papers..
..Which made them bake up with swirls inside!
..But after the icing was made we had to taste it to see if it was any good (so important to taste your baking!). And that led to more tasting. Which led to..more tasting. After we piped the cupcakes there was still a lot left over and there was a good possibility that we were going to eat the entire bowl of leftovers. Plus we had gone from productive to ridiculous.
The fact that if you pipe chocolate icing the wrong way it looks like cartoon poop really didn't help. Eating a lot of sugar makes everything just that much more hilarious. First we debated just playing up the whole look with some cartoon eyes on each cupcake. Instead, we decided that we should probably go for lunch and eat something that didn't consistent of just chocolate, butter, and sugar.
Then we assembled the mini tarts.
Each shell got a spoonful of lime curd and was topped with slices of strawberries and a sprinkle of lemon sanding sugar. Right before we served them we added a dollop of whipped cream. They were amazing!
The birthday party that evening was a lot of fun but I think that if I had to choose what part of the day was the best it would be the baking date. Baking is my weekend activity of choice but it gets a lot more entertaining when you add some other ladies and a whole lot of sugar.
½ cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups all purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup milk
coco powder (to tint half the batter with)
Preheat oven to 350
Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Next beat in the eggs one at a time letting each egg mix in completely before adding the next one. Scrape down the bowl, add vanilla and beat until fully incorporated
In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Either by hand or with the mixer on low, stir in ⅓ of the flour mixture into the egg and butter mixture followed by half of the milk. Repeat with another ⅓ of the flour mixture and the rest of the milk. Then add the final ⅓ of flour and stir until just combined.
Scoop half of the batter into a different bowl and fold in coco powder until the batter is chocolate coloured.
Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers. Using a regular teaspoon, put a small spoonful of the plain batter in each cupcake paper. Then put a small spoonful of the coloured batter right in the centre of the plain batter. The cupcakes look best with 4 to 5 layers of alternating colours. Don’t worry about making the batter lay flat, it will even out in the oven.
Bake for 17-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before decorating.