Where Local and Global Appetites Collide


I LOVE baking! Who doesn’t? I find it fun to spend an afternoon with my friends and family making cupcakes or a cake to decorate and enjoy. But there are so many ways to make cupcakes and so many ways to decorate them. So what do you pick?

Since I said I love baking, I took a cake decorating class with my mom last summer. We started out learning the proper way to frost a cake, and then moved onto simple writing and designs on the cake. We finished the course with more complex decorations such as figures on cupcakes, flowers, and balloons. Each decoration required a different decorating tip, a different style of holding the frosting and a different touch to it. Basically, I am trying to say that there are a million and one ways to decorate cakes and cupcakes to make them look cute. But bottom line, it’s fun to decorate so come up with something fun to do.

My favorite thing to decorate are cupcakes because you can try something different on each one so get creative!

Also, if you want to try a new recipe for your cupcakes, here is a good pineapple one.

Individual upside-down cakes are a cute twist on an old favorite. Don’t use paper cupcake liners for these, or the pineapple will be hidden. The inverted cupcakes will attract some attention. To grab even more attention, package them individually in small Chinese take-out containers with a colorful napkin.For the fruit topping:

1 can (20 ounce) pineapple chunks
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the cupcake batter:

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice or milk
1 egg


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or grease a nonstick muffin pan.

2. Drain the pineapple chunks, reserving 1/2 cup just for the batter, if desired. Place the pineapple on a double layer of paper towels to drain completely.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and melted butter. Divide evenly among the muffin pan cups. Arrange the pineapple chunks decoratively on top of the sugar mixture. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking powder. With an electric mixer, mix in the butter and pineapple juice, beating for 2 minutes to make a smooth batter. Beat in the egg.

5. Spoon the batter over the fruit in the muffin pan, filling each cup three-quarters full. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

6. Cool the cupcakes in the pain for 5 minutes, then place a wire rack on top of the muffin pain and invert the cupcakes onto the rack to the pineapple is on top. Let cool completely.

Recipe courtesy of The Best Bake Sale, Ever
By Barbara Grunes
Photography by Susie Cushner
Copyright 2006 Chronicle Books, LLC

Torie Nicholas

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