This is an unsteady, unstable shaky breaky world in which we live.
We go from thirty degrees and hailing to sixty-five and sunny over the course of days.
We dance around our room in our underwear to embarrassingly cheesy showtunes and then look out our windows to see three construction men watching us. Unabashedly.
(They’re already robbing us of all of our natural light with the monstrosity they’re building…the least they could do is avert their eyes!)
One day we’re training for a marathon and the next, our orthopedists are telling us that we should really buy a bike. (Although in New York City, is that really the safer option? I have my doubts.)
We get broken up with via text message after a perfectly lovely make-out session outside the F train station a mere four days ago (!?!?).
Yup, that happens.
Yes, indeed. This world is full of truly inexplicable dizzying erratic unreliable precarious situations.
And that’s why we need cupcakes.
Because (and I don’t care what anyone says about how they were “so in” two years ago but now it’s really the year of the hand pie or homemade pop tart or some other trendy confection) they are timelessly delicious.
Because biting into that perfect ratio of lush and brightly strawberry-flavored cake to cream cheese frosting has the power to make your day.
And because, especially when they’re this pretty-in-pink, they are the perfect excuse to gather up all the lovely ladies in your life and celebrate the fact that even when everything else is spinning, there are some things that will stay still forever.
Best friends and good cupcakes. That’s really all you need sometimes.
Pink Lady Cupcakes
Makes 36-40 or one layer cake, adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 4 1/2 cups cake flour
- 3 cups sugar
- 5 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups pureed frozen strawberries
- 8 egg whites
- 2/3 cup almond milk or lowfat milk
- hint of pink food gel
- For the cake:
For the frosting:
- 3 (8 oz) packages 1/3 less fat Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups sifted confectioners sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line cupcake tins with liners.
- Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. The batter will resemble strawberry ice cream at this point.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk and food gel. Add the whites to the batter in two or three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing only to incorporate after each addition. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, filling until 3/4 full.
- Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Let sit in tin for five minutes, then move to wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Frost cupcakes.