March 04, 2011

Reasons to Bake Cake

I like birthdays but only because they’re an excuse to bake cake, other than that, they’re not much fun.  So I started looking for other reasons to bake cake.  Office jobs are great for that, you can bring in cake for any reason and people will devour it.  Perfectly valid reasons for bringing cake into an office:

-It’s snowing
-It’s Tuesday
-The Leafs won a game
-It’s Friday
-The Raptors won a game
-It’s Thursday
-It’s raining
-It’s Monday
-It’s almost Spring
-It’s Wednesday


See, there are an infinite number of perfectly good reasons to bake a cake, or cupcakes, or cookies or bars and to bring them into an office.  The only downfall to all is this is the toll it takes on my bank account.  I would happily bake and bring treats into the office everyday of the week, but my bank account tells me repeatedly that’s not permissible.  I randomly consider putting a tip jar beside my free baked goods, but I don’t have the nerve to do it.  I should make piggy bank cupcakes one day and see if that inspires any goodwill in my direction.  It’s not that I do this expecting something in return, but reception work just doesn’t pay enough for me to bake at a high frequency for free.  I want to, I really do, but I can’t.  So I try to impose restrictions on myself, like I’ll only bake for a birthday.  But I very quickly break those restrictions and end up baking for reasons like, it’s Thursday. I can’t help myself.

Two of the treats pictured today actually were made for birthdays.  The first was a chocolate banana cake with strawberry jam filling and whipped cream topping.  The second was a chocolate salted caramel cake, (which I’d previously made here) and was re-requested for a birthday.  Usually I refuse requests to make the same thing twice, but the birthday boy was over the age of 90, so he can have whatever he wants.  The third was made because my friend Ruby likes bright colours and has been insisting on a rainbow cake for ages so I finally fulfilled her request with vanilla rainbow cupcakes with cream cheese icing and more rainbow sprinkles.

What’s your best excuse for baking? I can always use another one..

Amy Sedaris Vanilla Cupcakes, (My favourite vanilla cupcake recipe, which can by dyed any colour you like)

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups milk
Turn oven on to 375 degrees F.
Put butter in mixer and beat at medium speed until somewhat smooth. Pour in sugar and beat well. Add 2 eggs. I like to crack the eggs on the side of the bowl while it is moving, which can be really stupid. I like to take chances. Yes, I have had to throw away my batter because I lost eggshells in the mix. Yes, it was a waste of food and yes, I know how expensive butter is, but what can I say? I'm a daredevil. Mix well. Add: vanilla, baking powder, salt, flour, and milk. Beat until it looks like it is supposed to and pour into individual baking cups, until they are about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Should produce 24 cupcakes; I get 18 because I'm doing something wrong, although my cupcakes were voted second best in the city by New York Magazine.
Frost with Amy Sedaris's Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.


Peabody said...

Anyday is a reason to bake cake!

Johanna GGG said...

I think that going to someone else's house is an excuse to bake a cake - I get to have a slice and then give the rest to someone else!

re the expense of taking cakes in to work - I agree! One thing I find at work is that I am happy to bake cake but many people bring in cakes from bakeries for their birthday and I feel shortchanged that I never get given money for ingredients when I bake but work is happy to buy a bakery cake - and I feel petty to point it out!

K and S said...

psychedelic! wow! I agree with Peabody's comment :)

Farida said...

Wonderful and nice big cake for my child Birthday, thanks


Ms. Lollipop said...

hey there! I was thinking of dying some vanilla cupcakes mardi gras colors. I totally understand what you're going though about baking all the time. It's hard because I LOVE to bake for others but I'm breaking the bank doing so. This week on Fat Tuesday, the office is compensating me for my baking ingredients (labor is free) for the mardi gras party. That's an improvement! I hope people at your workplace realize and truly appreciate what you are doing :)

Catharine @

Jenn said...

I know exactly what you mean. I would honestly bake a treat every single day if I could. The cost of butter alone adds up fast! I love your colorful cupcakes. I have been searching for the perfect vanilla cake recipe forever. Do these cupcakes turn out light and fluffy or dense?

Peggy said...

I usually only bake cake when Andy wants one - which is 24/7, so I have to limit myself hehe.

ruby said...


Followeet said...

Oh this looks so fantastic. I would love to try this on my sister's birthday.

Bakergirl said...

These are the happiest cupcakes ever.

Emily said...

You're such a talented baker and decorator! These cakes look glorious!

Samantha said...

A great addition to my collection. Thanks for sharing. I can't wait ti try this especially for my family.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering how you made the different colors in the cupcakes. I know that you used food coloring but how did you get them to not turn into a brown color with them all mixed together?