Red Velvet Cake

 We are officially two days from the 88th Annual Academy Awards! Everybody else in the country may look forward to Super Bowl Sunday, but this is *my* big Sunday.

My best pal, Tad, and I spend months preparing for Oscar Night. We start making predictions in October, but by the night of the actual awards show, we’ve changed our answers about fourteen times! We have a pretty solid track record of predicting the winners 😊 Tad and I met sophomore year of college at a failed screening of Shrek 2. The projector broke mid-movie, and while the techs tried to fix it, we got to talking. We quickly discovered that we love the Oscars equally, meaning that it’s all we ever talked about even though nobody else on campus cared that the ingenue is always poised to win Best Supporting Actress. Over the ensuing months, we met multiple times a week with books of statistics, former winners, and a deep, abiding passion for “Hollywood’s Biggest Night.” Let’s just say that if there’s ever a job opening for Oscar Historian, I know two people who would love the job.

Tad lives in San Francisco now, but still gets up to watch the nominations announcement with me, even though it airs at 5:30am in California. He’s that kind of friend. And as if we couldn’t be more perfect for each other, he also shares my borderline-obsessive love of Martin Scorsese–he didn’t even bat an eyelash when I decorated my half of our senior year duplex in a Scorsese theme. And don’t even get us started on Leonardo DiCaprio–fingers crossed that this is his year! 

Among our Oscar traditions is a meal. Back when we were sharing one kitchen with an entire dorm, I’d go down to the basement before the pre-show to put together pesto-mozzarella grilled cheeses on good country bread, and a spinach salad with mandarin oranges, thinly-sliced red onion, and balsamic vinaigrette. The piΓ¨ce de rΓ©sistance was always a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. I wasn’t any sort of baker yet, so both were courtesy of Betty Crocker, but it didn’t matter. The memory of that cake has stuck with both of us, and even now, Oscar Night doesn’t feel like Oscar Night without it…and our constant stream of text messages. 

These days, I make my Red Velvet Cake from scratch, and it is waaaaay better than Betty Crocker could ever hope to be. It’s the perfect combination of chocolate and vanilla flavors, and kept super tender thanks to the additions of cornstarch, oil, and buttermilk. And of course, it’s red, just like the red carpet! 

 

The frosting is the dreamiest, creamiest cream cheese frosting I’ve ever had. Many cream cheese frosting recipes use twice as much cream cheese as butter, and not enough confectioner’s sugar. In my experience, this results in frosting that tastes divine, but is somewhat soupy, and therefore difficult with which to work. Cream cheese simply does not whip as well as butter. But this recipe uses equal weights of both ingredients, so we get all the tang of cream cheese and the stability of butter. A full pound of confectioner’s sugar is beaten in, along with a pinch of salt and two teaspoons of vanilla extract. Once all the ingredients are combined, the frosting is beaten on high for two additional minutes, so it gets extra light and fluffy. It’s what makes this cake the stuff of dreams! 

 Once the frosting is made, use a serrated knife to even out the cakes so they stack evenly. Crumble the cake scraps into a small bowl–you can use these to decorate the frosted cake! 

  As you can see, I added an Oscar to mine, too! To do this, I used a fork to stir gold and black gel food coloring into sparkling sugar (found near the sprinkles at most well-stocked grocery stores). I added some gold luster dust to the gold-dyed sugar, just for some extra sheen. I used a mummy cookie cutter (like this one) for Oscar’s body, and went freehand for the rest of it. I think it turned out pretty cute!

This Red Velvet Cake is perfect for Oscar Night, but it’s great for birthday parties (or just dessert), too! With a tender red crumb, wonderful chocolate and vanilla flavor, and fluffy cream cheese frosting, it’ll be a winner all around 😊 

 Red Velvet Cake
makes one two-layer 9″ round cake or 28 cupcakes

For Greasing:
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar*
2 cups buttermilk*
1/2-3 tablespoons liquid red food coloring*

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces full-fat brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 pound confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For Decorating (optional):
reserved cake scraps, from trimming the layers
4 tablespoons sparkling sugar*, divided
gold gel food coloring
gold luster dust
black gel food coloring

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a small bowl, whisk together greasing mixture ingredients. Using a pastry brush, paint the mixture onto the entire insides of two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

Make the cake. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, eggs and yolk, vanilla, white vinegar, buttermilk, and red food coloring. Add dry ingredients in three installments, combining completely after each addition.

Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Tap full pans lightly on the counter five times. Bake for 23-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for ten minutes. Run a small thin knife around the edges of the pans before inverting the layers onto racks to cool completely. Once layers are cool, use a serrated knife to even the tops. Reserve the cake scraps.

Make the frosting. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add confectioner’s sugar and salt in two installments, until completely combined. Beat in vanilla. Once combined, beat on high for two additional minutes, until light and fluffy.

Fill and frost cooled cakes. Crumble reserved cake scraps and use them to decorate the cake as desired.

If you want to decorate with sparkling sugar, place two tablespoons of the sugar into two small bowls. Add a small dab of gold gel food coloring to one bowl, and a small dab of black to the other. Use forks to stir the gel into the sugar until it’s completely dyed. Stir a touch of gold luster dust (less than 1/8 teaspoon) to the gold sugar. Decorate as desired.

Frosted cake will keep covered at room temperature for three days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Notes:

1. For cupcakes, divide prepared batter into 24 standard muffin cups, filling them 2/3 of the way full. Bake at 350F for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
2. Apple cider vinegar may be substituted.
3. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, place 2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice in the bottom of a liquid measuring cup. Pour milk up to the 2 cup mark. Stir. Let sit for five minutes before using. Do not use skim or fat free milk.
4. Add as much or as little red food coloring as needed to achieve your desired shade, keeping in mind that the color will darken as the cakes bake.
5. I use Wilton White Sparkling Sugar.

No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

 I know. I know! Who makes ice cream in February?!

But I have three very good reasons:

1. It’s been in the fifties and sixties multiple times since last weekend’s deep freeze. In NYC, that’s practically June.
2. Until last week, I hadn’t had a freezer bigger than a shoe box in three years. I had to have something to put in it!
3. I wanted ice cream. 

But what kind of ice cream? My two favorite flavors are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Mint Chocolate Chip. I hadn’t been able to keep either at home for so long, making that decision just seemed impossible. 

But what about a combination of the two? A rich vanilla-mint ice cream stuffed to the gills with bits of edible mint chocolate chip cookie dough? And no-churn (because I don’t have an ice cream machine)? That would do the trick. And so, I got to work.

This ice cream is so easy, it’s stupid. Anybody could make it. The most difficult part is being patient for six hours while it sets in the freezer. The base is made entirely of sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream, a combination that sounds like it shouldn’t work at all, but it totally does. The sweetened condensed milk (you guessed it!) sweetens the base, and since it’s condensed, it keeps ice crystals from forming while the ice cream is freezing. It also adds a little richness. The heavy cream is whipped and then folded into the sweetened condensed milk. This makes everything super creamy and light-textured, and ensures that the ice cream is scoopable. Add a little vanilla and freeze it, and you have some fantastic homemade vanilla ice cream.  But we’re not after vanilla ice cream today. No, this is first-ice-cream-in-three-years ice cream. This is exciting ice cream!

 Okay, maybe I’m being a little over-enthusiastic.

In this recipe, the sweetened condensed milk is flavored with vanilla and just a bit of peppermint extract. The whipped cream is folded in, followed by 1/2 cup of miniature chocolate chips. Then comes the best part: little pieces of eggless edible cookie dough flavored with a bit more peppermint and filled with more miniature chocolate chips. I dyed mine green to go with the mint chocolate chip theme (and because I think it’s cute), but food coloring is optional. Freeze it in a loaf pan, and scoop away!

So, who cares if it’s February? And who needs an ice cream machine? With this No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, the answer is “nobody.” 

 No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
makes about 8 cups

Edible Cookie Dough:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons milk of choice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract*
3-5 drops liquid green food coloring, optional
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour*
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

Ice Cream:
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (not fat free)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract*
2 cups heavy cream, cold
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

Put a 9×5″ loaf pan* in the freezer to chill.

Make the edible cookie dough. In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Add milk, vanilla and peppermint extracts, and food coloring, and beat together until completely combined. Add in flour and salt. Mix until combined, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add mini chocolate chips and mix until well-dispersed. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Line a pan with wax paper. Remove dough from refrigerator. Scoop dough by the 1/2 teaspoon and roll into balls. Place rolled dough into wax paper-lined pan. Dough balls may touch–this is okay. Once all dough has been scooped and rolled, place full pan in freezer for an additional 15-30 minutes.

Prepare the no-churn ice cream. Pour sweetened condensed milk into the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Whisk in vanilla and peppermint extracts. Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, beat cream with an electric mixer until it holds billowy peaks, about three minutes. Slowly fold whipped cream into sweetened condensed milk, being careful not to deflate it too much or overmix. Fold in miniature chocolate chips.

Remove the frozen loaf pan and the dough balls from the freezer. Spread half the sweetened condensed milk mixture in the loaf pan. Top with half the dough balls. Spread the second half of the sweetened condensed milk mixture on top, followed by the remaining dough balls. Use a table knife to stir the cookie dough balls around. Cover the pan with two layers of plastic wrap, pressing it onto the surface of the ice cream. Wrap covered pan with aluminum foil. Chill six hours or overnight before scooping.

No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream keeps well covered in the freezer for about two weeks.

Notes:

1. Make sure you are using peppermint extract. Mint extract is not the same thing.
2. If you have concerns about eating raw flour, I suggest microwaving the flour for one minute, then letting it come back to room temperature before mixing.
3. Do not be tempted to use more than 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract in the ice cream base (or the cookie dough for that matter). Peppermint extract is very potent, and can easily make things taste like toothpaste if too much is added.
4. If you’d rather not use your loaf pan for this recipe, you may use another container with an 8 cup capacity. I recommend a glass Tupperware.

Everyday Cassoulet

 Living far away from home means that when I get a call from friends or family, I “play the hits,” if you will. I tell them all about the big things going on in my life–a new apartment, the awesome kid I take care of, the brown and white spotted schnauzer I saw yesterday (I really love a schnauzer). But in all the fuss of sharing my life and hearing about theirs, I can let amazing things go by the wayside because they might seem mundane if the person on the other end of the phone call is not directly involved.

Take for example this Everyday Cassoulet. It’s rich and delicious and one of my favorite meals to make at home, but at the end of the day it’s *just* dinner. Everybody eats dinner. It’s not really a “call your mom down in Texas to tell her about it” kind of thing. 

 We all have our go-to meals though. My best friend, Emily, asked me a few months ago what I had been making for dinner lately, and this was the first thing I told her about. Mind you, I’ve been making this for five years. When I found the original recipe, I still lived in Manhattan! I was still working office jobs! The only thing I had ever baked from scratch were Ina Garten’s brownies! And while all of those things have changed, my go-to dinner has not.

Some of you may be wondering: what is cassoulet? It’s a slow-cooked meat and white bean stew from the south of France. Cassoulet is traditionally baked in a dish called a cassole. The fanciest versions contain things like goose, lamb, and duck confit. But this is a weeknight version of the classic French dish, so it’s been pared down. Don’t worry though, it’s still every bit as good and comforting as the real deal!

  This Everyday Cassoulet is made with Italian sausages in place of any specialty meats. Traditional white beans are baked with grape or cherry tomatoes, pearl onions, crushed garlic, and fresh herbs. Nothing has to be sliced or diced–you only need a knife to crush the garlic! Everything is drizzled with a simple mixture of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and Dijon mustard, and baked for an hour in a regular casserole pan–no need for specialty dishes here! 

And oh my, is it delicious. The sausages get super crispy, and the tomatoes burst and create the most wonderful sauce with the balsamic mixture. The beans soak in all the flavors and get super tender. This is fantastic served with crusty bread. I forgot it when I took these photos, but trust me, you’ll need it.

Put this Everyday Cassoulet on your list of weeknight dinners! It’s easy as can be, but sure doesn’t taste like it! Your family and friends will definitely ask for the recipe 😊 

 Everyday Cassoulet
adapted from Quick Cassoulet by Julie van Rosendaal
makes four servings*

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, rinsed
1 cup peeled pearl onions (fresh or frozen)*
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lb. raw Italian Sausages*
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Preheat oven to 425F.

In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

In a small casserole dish, combine garlic cloves, tomatoes, and pearl onions. Top with rosemary and thyme sprigs, followed by sausages. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar mixture. Bake for 40 minutes.

Remove sausages to a plate. Stir cannellini beans into tomato mixture. Place sausages back on top of vegetables. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove dish from oven. Let cool a few minutes before serving in shallow bowls.

Leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Notes:

1. This recipe doubles easily in a 9×13″ pan. The bake time is the same.
2. If you don’t care for onions or simply don’t want to use them, they may be omitted.
3. I used pork sausages, but I think chicken or turkey would work well here.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins

 I love a good deal.

On Monday, my friend, Liz*, and I went to the local close-out store in search of small plastic bins to organize my cookie add-ins. (Yes, I have so many cookie add-ins that I need special equipment to organize them.) I grabbed four bins and headed for the checkout when I saw it: a huge Ghirardelli chocolate chip display. Three pounds for $3.99! Less than 1/3 the normal price! Needless to say, I am now the proud owner of 15 pounds of chocolate chips. Best. Deal. Ever.

*Yes, I have a friend named Liz who is awesome enough to come organize my cabinets. We like to get together to make pie, and occasionally refer to ourselves as “Liz Squared” because we’re nerds.

As you may have guessed, I have gone on a bit of a chocolate chip jag. I’ve experimented with my chocolate chip cookie recipe, going so far as to have another taste-off during my Wednesday night cookie commitment. My original plan had been to post whichever recipe won, but they tied! This has literally never happened. I am a bit obsessive about what I choose to post on here, so a tie meant I was at a loss. I got very close to just flipping a coin, but then I came to my senses, and made breakfast instead.

And that is the very long story about how these Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins got posted. 😁 

  As I’ve mentioned previously, working with whole wheat flour is very different from working with all-purpose. Whole wheat is just that–whole. It hasn’t been stripped of its bran and germ like all-purpose flour, so it has a much greater nutritional profile than other wheat flours. But all this whole grain goodness weighs the flour down and, if mixed into baked goods without making adjustments, can lead to dense, dry results. No, thank you! Here, we mitigate that with cornstarch, which supplies lightness like it does in cake flour. We also add tons of moisture in the forms of dark brown sugar, buttermilk, a bit of oil, and an egg. The final precaution against dense muffins is in the mixing: whisk the wet and dry ingredients separately, and then fold them together just until they become a thick batter, about 20-25 strokes. This helps keep the gluten in the whole wheat flour from becoming overdeveloped, and guarantees that the muffins have moist, tender insides.

We liven up the grainy flavor of whole wheat with a touch of cinnamon. It’s not a major flavor here–it just gives the muffins a little depth. There’s also a touch of vanilla, for balance.

And then there’s the main event: the chocolate chips! These muffins may have all the goodness of whole grain, but let’s be real. These are mostly just an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast. There are one and a half cups of chocolate chips in these muffins, which means they are positively bursting with melty chocolate! Breakfast doesn’t get much better than that! 

These Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins rise high thanks to a 400F blast of heat at the start of the baking time. This activates the leaveners and makes these muffins dome beautifully. After five minutes, the heat is reduced to 350F for 13-15 minutes, which allows the insides to cook through while the edges of the muffin tops get just a little bit crunchy. Biting through the crunchy exterior into the soft, chocolatey interior is…well, it’s divine.

Make these muffins for a treat this weekend, or for grab-and-go breakfasts and snacks throughout the week. With a soft and fluffy texture, plenty of whole grain, and–hello!–chocolate, what’s not to love?!😊 

 Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins
makes 12 standard muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup neutral-flavored oil*
1 large egg, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 12-cup standard muffin tin, or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, dark brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, and egg. Add dry ingredients to wet, and use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to combine into a thick batter. Do not overmix. Fold in 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Dot the tops with additional chocolate chips, if desired.

Tap full pan on the counter five times. Bake for five minutes at 400F. Do not open the oven door. Reduce baking temperature to 350F, and bake an additional 13-15 minutes, until muffins spring back when pressed with a clean finger.

Let muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Notes:

1. Light brown sugar may be substituted.
2. I use canola oil, but vegetable or melted coconut oils would work here.

Vanilla Layer Cake

 This blog hit fifty posts last week which, considering that I only started blogging in October, is pretty crazy. Looking through my Recipe Index, I have a ton of cookie recipes, three pies, a bunch of different breakfast items and savory things, but only one measly cake recipe. Granted, it’s a Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcake recipe that is really delicious, but how is it possibly the only one?!

See, I make a lot of cake. Like, a minimum of five every month for the various birthdays and celebrations that all my friends (and their friends) have. I’ve made everything from chocolate biscuit cake to chocolate peanut butter cake to the vegan carrot cupcakes I baked last night. But the one that everyone really loves? The one that people get excited about when I walk in the room with a white cardboard cake box? It’s this Vanilla Layer Cake. 

This cake has been through many iterations over the last two years as I learned more about baking chemistry and made adjustments. All of them were delicious, but this is the best by far. It’s moist and buttery, a little bit dense (but not pound cake-dense), and has a prominent vanilla flavor. 

The cake is made with room temperature butter and eggs so that it stays extra rich. Buttermilk keeps everything moist. The dry ingredients involve a combination of all-purpose flour and cornstarch to mimic cake flour’s lightness and tenderness. Light brown sugar is used in addition to granulated sugar for a little extra moisture and complexity of flavor. And there is plenty of pure vanilla extract so that this cake is undoubtably vanilla. The batter is simple to put together, and will be thick and beautiful (or at least, I think it is). It’s divided into two pans and baked until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
      The frosting is made while the cake layers are cooling. It’s a simple vanilla buttercream, and will come together in just a few minutes. Beat room temperature butter and confectioner’s sugar together until combined. Add in vanilla and salt, followed by a few tablespoons of heavy cream. You may use whole milk or half-and-half in place of the heavy cream, but the frosting won’t be nearly as rich and creamy. You see, the cream whips within the buttercream and makes it so light and fluffy, it’s ridiculous. Don’t skip it! Fill and frost the layers to your preference, and sit back while your friends and family ooh and ahh!

This Vanilla Layer Cake is anything but plain vanilla! Between the buttery, rich cake, and the fluffy, gorgeous frosting (not to mention the vanilla flavor!), it’s a total showstopper! 

 
Vanilla Layer Cake
makes 1 two-layer 9″ round cake*

To Grease the Pans:
2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour*
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups buttermilk*, room temperature

Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 pound confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3-5 tablespoons heavy cream
sprinkles or decorative sugar, if desired

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together greasing mixture ingredients. Use a pastry brush to paint mixture onto the entire insides of two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

Make the cake batter. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating completely after each addition. Beat in vanilla and buttermilk. Add dry ingredients in three installments, beating just until combined. Scrape down the bowl as necessary.

Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Tap each full pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake cakes 32-37 minutes, rotating top to bottom and back to front at the halfway point. Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for fifteen minutes. Run a small thin knife around the edges of the pans and invert the cakes onto cooling racks to cool completely.

Make the frosting. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in confectioner’s sugar in three installments, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Beat in salt, followed by vanilla. Add in heavy cream until desired consistency is reached.

Transfer one layer of the cake to a cake stand or plate. Frost and layer cooled cakes. Top with sprinkles or decorative sugar immediately after frosting, if desired.

Layer cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Notes:

1. This recipe can also be made into 24 cupcakes. Skip the greasing, and instead line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners. Fill each muffin cup 2/3-3/4 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
2. Cake flour may be substituted for the all-purpose flour and cornstarch. Just use 3 1/3 cup cake flour in place of the all-purpose flour and cornstarch.
3. If you don’t have buttermilk, put one tablespoon of white vinegar in the bottom of a liquid measuring cup, then pour milk up to the 2 cup mark. Stir and let sit for five minutes, until curdled. Use as instructed in the recipe. Do not use skim or fat free milk.