What's a holiday without a baked good? Nothing. At least, that's the truth according to my children. And probably yours. For all my care in hand crafting organic baby food and keeping sweets to an absolute minimum that I put in place for Esme's early years, I've rebounded by doing a terrible job with Julian. Okay, maybe not terrible but it's telling that he greets me at the pick up time at daycare with a hug and the statement, "Want a treat." The boy is seriously addicted to sweets.
I was happy to come up with a compromise cupcake for Valentine's Day but obviously it would work for any time you wanted a lighter version of the classic. Theses are quite light and spongey, they go easy on sugar and have no butter at all. They're also a snap to make. You could make them in the traditional size but I like keeping them small as one cupcake still feels like a treat to my kids even if it's mini. How long will that last, do you figure?
We hope you're doing something sweet today, SPC readers, happy Valentine's Day!
photos by Maya Visnyei
makes about 2 dozen
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup yogurt
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, whisked
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 or 2 Tbsp of milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cocoa powder has a tendency to ball up, so you may need to break those up with the back of a spoon as you're blending.
In a second bowl, blend yogurt, milk, vanilla and a whisked egg. Give that a good whip. Combine the dry and wet ingredients until well blended. But don't over mix or you'll get hole-y cupcakes.
Use a spoon to drop the batter into a prepared muffin tin or you could use muffin papers. My mini muffin pan is silicone so I don't have to prepare it. But it does mean I have to put the whole thing on a cookie sheet. Pop them into a hot oven for 20 minutes. They're done when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for a few minutes before turning them out of their pan. Then place them on a rack to cool completely before icing.
Meanwhile… Cream the softened butter with an electric mixer until its light and fluffy. Slowly add the sugar and cocoa until it creates a smooth texture. Add the vanilla and enough milk to thin out the icing a bit and make it easier to spread. Give every cupcake a good swirl of icing and you're done!