It was a rainy day, too wet to go outside.
Mommy said, "Let's make
cupcakes! What color do you want?"
"Pink!" I said. "Pink, pink, pink!"
If you have a 4- or 5-year-old girl, you know this comes from Pinkalicious, by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann--it's one of our favorite books. (One of my favorite quotes from this book, which I use on my kids constantly: "You get what you get, and you don't get upset.")
We were having one of those days. Gray, blah, boring. How many days of rain can one have before they go crazy with kids bouncing off the walls? So, I picked myself up off the floor, where I was imitating a blob, still in my pajamas at 11:00 in the morning, and said to Katie, "I'm going to take a shower and then we're going to do a project, art or game or puzzle or cooking, your pick."
It should not have surprised me that she would want to cook. After all, she is my daughter. "Can we make cupcakes?" she asked. I said yes, knowing full well there were no cake mixes in either my pantry or my food storage room. There were about a bajillion cookie mixes we've picked up for a few cents with coupons when they were on sale. But no cake mixes. Oh, well. We weren't going anywhere, right?
So, I pulled out the one from-scratch cake recipe that I have in my recipe box. And we added pink. Lots of pink.
Happy Birthday Cake (aka Pinkalicious Cupcakes)
(This is the full recipe, which makes a 9x13 cake or a triple-layer round. We made half the recipe and got just over a dozen cupcakes, about 14 or 15, I think.)
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour
1 cup milk
1 pinch salt
(20-30 drops neon pink food coloring, if desired)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour pan(s), or line muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract.
3. Separate the eggs and set the egg whites aside. Add the egg yolks one at a time to the creamed mixture, beating after each one.
4. Measure the baking powder into the flour. Sift a little of the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Continue adding the flour and the milk alternately, while continually beating the mixture. (Add food coloring if desired.) Beat the cake batter until a few air bubbles show.
5. Beat the 4 egg whites with a dash of salt until stiff. Gently fold egg whites into the batter. Pour batter into prepared pan(s).
6. Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 25-35 minutes for cakes, approx. 15 minutes for cupcakes.
We frosted them with a canister of Betty Crocker white frosting with confetti, with 10 drops of neon pink food coloring stirred in, of course.
Every time I make cupcakes I am reminded how messy they are (pouring into the cups, frosting, eating) and how much I dislike cake in general. It's just not my favorite thing. Oh, well. Katie loved it. She even wrote a book about it afterward, entitled "Katie's Pinkalicious Book." In it, she ended up pink. Of course.