These cute little vanilla cupcakes are pure pleasure to enjoy both for kids and us grown-ups!
I often used to wonder what passion is all about. What does it really mean to be passionate? I never had any passion for any non-living thing or any activity. So I never really understood how people feel for what they were passionate about.
I was never very passionate about my studies; I studied only because I had to but somehow did well to manage a university degree and land myself at a decent job. I wasn’t even into any extra-curricular activities like sports or music or painting. The only thing I loved to do during my school days was watching TV, but I still can’t say that I was too passionate about that.
I liked to read books also, but that bond between me and books got lost somewhere unknowingly as I don’t even get a minute to sit with a book. Well.. I mean books other than cookbooks. The only book I read these days whenever I have time after office and household work is the cookery book. Yes, finally I have found my passion and now my mind travels only through that single track. I read and think only about cooking these days!
Passion was totally an unknown emotion to me until I discovered mine a couple of years back and that is cooking and feeding people and bring a touch of happiness into their face. Now when I think of it I wonder how I was surviving without a passion!
A typical nine to nine job, same codes days after days, same statements repeated in endless numbers of meetings, same appraisal letters, same frustrations and the process goes on and on. All the months used to feel like same unlike childhood when each month had its own activities and fun.
Honestly, I hate monotonous and boring life. I feel that I am trapped somewhere without any exit. One instant way to break the monotony is to become a frequent traveler and we are. But that too has a very short-lived effect and you soon reenter that old cycle of routine jobs once you come back.
The best way to incorporate excitement into your day-to-day life is to involve yourself into something that you really love to do… that you are really passionate about. It’s actually little more than love… it is like going that extra mile even though you are awfully tired or sick but still you want to put that extra effort only because of the happiness it would bring at the end.
And that is exactly what being passionate is all about! You will be ready to bear some extra pain for what you love doing. It also serves as a therapy sometimes to soothe your professional frustrations; at least it does for me. Whisking the cake batter or grilling the chicken for an aromatic kebab makes me forget about all the unprofessionalism and unfairness in the corporate world. This cake also materialized in the same way.
I was very upset with few things and wasn’t able to concentrate on my work fully. So I decided to take a break and do something to uplift my mood. And what’s best than baking therapy to rejuvenate you mind? Nothing… I swear! The aroma of a freshly baked cake is so mesmerizing that you can’t help but smile every time you take it out from the oven. And to make life easy, these cupcakes are simple like a breeze!
Vanilla Cup Cake
Serves: 4 servings
- Unsalted butter – ½ cup (113 grams) at room temperature
- Granulated white sugar – ⅔ cup (130 grams)
- Large eggs – 3
- Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
- Zest of 1 large lemon (outer yellow skin)
- All-purpose flour (Maida) – 1 & ½ cups (195 grams)
- Baking powder – 1 & ½ teaspoons
- Salt – ¼ teaspoon
- Milk – ¼ cup (60 ml)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and grease a 12 cup muffin tray with butter or oil. I don’t have a muffin tray; I have 6 silicon cupcake molds, so I baked mine in two batches.
- Take the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat them until light and fluffy with a hand mixer.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the lemon zest, flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Now it’s time to mix the dry and wet ingredients together. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Ensure the batter is thoroughly mixed and homogeneous.
- Take an ice-cream scoop (or a tablespoon) and put one scoop of the batter in each muffin cup. Try to put equal quantity of batter in each cup so that they bake evenly. Smooth out the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Bake in the middle rack of your oven for about 20 to 22 minutes or just until set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Refer the tip below.
- Cool on the wire rack and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
- Tip: I always prefer to check after every 10 minutes to ensure the cake is not being over-baked. The actual baking time depends heavily on the oven used and not only the temperature. So I suggest you to keep the toothpicks handy and bake your cake until a clean one comes out.