I love baseball. I love the Cincinnati Reds. I love Joey Votto. The MLB 2014 All-Star Game is coming up. All of these facts mean that it’s time to eat a baseball cupcake.
My favorite baseball memory, and I have a few, goes back to September 23, 2012 when the Cincinnati Reds clinched the National League Central Division. It was a 6-0 victory against the Dodgers. I was sitting in the Frontgate suite, arguably one of the best places to watch a baseball game in Cincinnati. It was all-you-can-eat-and-drink. So, uh…. heaven, basically. I even got to meet Gapper, one of the mascots! But man, being in the stadium when they clinched was awesome. Everyone was jumping up and down, strangers were hugging, the players were piled on top of each other – it was just a great moment. If that was an amazing feeling, I can’t imagine how a World Series win would feel. I get weepy even thinking about the possibility.
::Wake up, Daniele::
Oh yes. Where were we? Baseball. Cupcakes. The Reds winning the World Series again in my lifetime, and I’m at the game watching, cheering, weeping…
Okay. I’m back. I’m back. Sorry you lost me again for a minute.
The All-Star Game. Five…count ‘em, FIVE…Cincinnati Reds players (Devin Mesoraco, Todd Frazier, Johnny Cueto, Alfredo Simon and Aroldis Chapman) are on this year’s roster, and the National League is predicted to win. This is the first time since 1991 that Cincinnati has had five players on the roster.
So, in honor of everything baseball, here is a baseball cupcake recipe. Enjoy.
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Grand-Slam Cupcakes recipe
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
White frosting (recipe below)
Red licorice laces*
*Tip: Substitute red cake decorating gel for the licorice pieces, if desired.
- Adjust oven rack to center of oven, and pre-heat to 325 degrees.
- Line muffin pans with baking cups, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda, then set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. With mixer running, add eggs and vanilla extract, and beat until combined.
- Reduce mixer speed to low, add 1 cup flour mixture, and mix until combined.
- Add 1/2 cup buttermilk, and mix until combined.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk until fully incorporated.
- Divide batter evenly between baking cups, about 2/3 full.
- Bake until light brown and a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Rotate pans halfway through baking.
- Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool.
- Frost cupcakes.
- Set a long strand of licorice on a cutting board. Cut a bunch of approximately 3/8″ pieces from another strand. Place the small pieces perpendicular down the length of the long piece, and gently push to attach.
- Using your fingers to measure, account for a small arch on each side of the cupcake, then cut the long strand to size–two strands per cupcake. Gently set the strands on top of the cupcake.
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup water and corn syrup, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
- Raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil. Stop stirring and cook until sugar mixture registers 230 degrees on a thermometer, 4-8 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- In a stand mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, 2-3 minutes.
- With mixer still running, slowly and steadily add remaining 1/4 cup sugar.
- Reduce speed to medium-low, and carefully pour hot syrup down the side of bowl.
- Beat on medium until frosting is thick, shiny and cooled, about 7 minutes.
- Mix in the vanilla, and use immediately.