Where There's a Whisk... | Bonus recipe: M&M cupcakes
The thing I love the most about my city is that there's always something literary going on — from poetry readings to book festivals to book signings! Just last weekend, Penny Candy Books, a children's book publisher, hosted a kid-friend reading at one of our local bookstores. Penny Candy Books is awesome not only because they're local and I'm friends with one of the co-founders, but also because the books they strive to publish reflect a more inclusive and honest version of the world. I don't know about you, but I could've used a lot more relate-able books when I was kid.
Penny Candy Books Mission Statement:
To publish children's literature that reflects the diverse realities of the world we live in, both at home and abroad. This means seeking out books by & about people & subjects that speak to a broad range of human experience, raising up each other's voices so that we can rise up together.
For their big event, I decided to make cupcakes honoring the cover of their catalog. These cupcakes look cute from the outside, sure—but the real surprise is on the inside! I stuffed each vanilla cupcake with a handful of regular M&Ms. They served the cupcakes at their event along with juice boxes and there were a lot of happy (and blue-stained!) faces.
Note: If you're pressed for time, you can make the actual cake from a box, but you know how I love homemade cake. I tried separating the eggs (yolk from whites) in this recipe and it really made a difference in how moist and fluffy the cake was!
Penny Candy Cupcakes
2 large eggs, room temperature and separated
2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
Vanilla frosting (I dyed mine blue to match the catalog cover above)
1. Separate egg yolks from white. Set the yolks aside until step 5.
2. Beat the 2 egg whites on high speed in a medium bowl until soft, fluffy peaks form (about 2–3 minutes). Set aside until step 7.
3. In a different bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then set aside until step 6.
4. In yet another bowl, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add in the sugar and beat until well combined.
5. Add two egg yolks and the vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until combined.
6. Add the sifted together dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the whole milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until the ingredients are JUST combined.
7. Fold whipped egg whites into cupcake batter. Your batter should be smooth, velvety, and slightly thick.
8. Spoon batter into cupcake liners and bake for 18–21 minutes at 350 degrees.
9. After the cupcakes have completely cooled, core out the middle of each one, and add a handful of M&Ms. (Optional: When coring the cupcakes, you can save the tops and add them back on before frosting. I find this helps keeps crumbs out of my frosting.)
10. Frost and decorate as you wish!