Original post can be found here.
I started off this project in the naive hope that my cupcakes would look at least somewhat presentable, and that I would be successful in learning how to make my own frosting and bake my own cupcakes, from scratch, and that I would end the endeavor feeling awesome and accomplished, with tasty treats to boot.
What I got instead was a huge, huge pain in the ass.
Four sticks of unsalted butter
A bag of flour
Food coloring (in ~NEON~ colors!)
A purchase that cost me around $20, after my 10% discount. I realize later that I had forgotten the confectioner’s sugar and decorating bags, but I didn’t feel like going all the way back there, so I waited until the following day to start making the frosting.
Wednesday comes, and I go and get the sugar, but surprise surprise! My store does not have any decorating bags. I decide to just go ahead and make the frosting anyway, and worry about the bags later.
I fumble with the electric hand mixer for a bit, but finally manage to assemble it. I’d never used an electric mixer before, but how hard could it be, right? Just stick it in there and —
WHIRRRRR — PHHHWWWPOHHHH!
Milk, butter, and sugar go flying everywhere. Confused, I continue to try to mix anyway, hoping it would stop after a while… but it doesn’t. Ten very wet and milky minutes later (that sounds dirtier than intended), I give up and dump the mixture down the sink. Disheartened, I text my mother and whine, and she promises to take me to Michael’s to get the decorating bags, and that she’ll help me after work the next day.
We get the decorating bags and tips from the craft store, and I giddily look at all of the pastry devices. Cupcake holder things, cake levels, decorating machines, little contraptions that pop out cookies — I forget about my failure with the electric mixer and look forward to making delicious icing.
Fast-forward to today, and I walk home after a sort of miserable day at work. I spent the entire day feeling incompetent because they’re training me to work at the courtesy desk, which involves things like returns, money orders, lottery tickets, etc, and I felt slow and moronic. But I still had my awesome cupcakes to look forward to! I bought more confectioner’s sugar after my shift because I had run out with my botched batch yesterday. When my mom got home I immediately began making the frosting. She started the electric mixer and somehow managed to avoid batter flying all over the place, then she handed it to me and eventually I got the hang of it.
But, for some reason, the icing was thin and lumpy. It tasted fine, but no matter how long I mixed it for, it would not get any thicker or smoother. We tried adding Crisco later (because that’s what seemed to make the cupcake batter thick), but no go. We put it in the fridge and decided we’d worry about it later.
I made the batter for the actual cupcakes, and it was DELICIOUS OMG. I kind of wanted to just eat the batter, haha. But nope, in the oven it went. The first time I poured way too much batter in the tin so the batter overflowed so much it almost looked like a loaf cake. I wound up having to throw those out because they were all sunken in and kept falling apart. The second and third batches came out better, but not great. I almost always either poured too much or too little.
After the cupcakes cooled, we tried the icing, but it was still too thin and lumpy and unattractive looking. By this point I was practically tearing out my hair. We were gonna have to go to the store to get ready-made icing, and that meant FAIL. My parents don’t understand why I wanted to learn how to do this stuff from scratch instead of just using mixes, so they didn’t see the big deal, but I bought the Duncan Hines chocolate frosting begrudgingly. They’re still chilling in the fridge so I haven’t eaten them yet, but the cupcakes tasted kind of strange too, even though the batter was amazing, so idek.
UGH. I won’t be baking cupcakes for another week or two, at least. There’s no way I’m never making them again; I spent almost $40 trying to make these fucking things and BY GOD I WILL DO IT.