September 24, 2010

Pretty Pink Eggless Birthday Cupcakes

This year the September equinox happened yesterday, on the 23rd September. While it is the vernal equinox (in March) that is celebrated traditionally by communities across the world, the September equinox signifies the arrival of autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern hemisphere.

This year, after 19 years, there was a full moon in the early hours of the 23rd and the next time this happens will be in 2029. Many countries traditionally celebrate harvest festivals during the period of the September equinox.

We don't really celebrate the September equinox, but the 23rd day of September is special in our home because that’s the day I was born many, many years ago. This year, we had double celebrations as my mother’s birthday is on the 22nd.

I had baked an eggless zebra cake for her birthday and also made a traditional broken wheat payasam (with jaggery and coconut milk), which is a favourite of hers. So I wasn’t planning on baking anything for my birthday. My husband couldn’t be with us to celebrate and it was in the middle of Akshaya’s school week, so I was planning on enjoying myself thoroughly by taking it easy.

That’s when family and friends started calling or leaving birthday messages and one question I kept getting asked repeatedly was what I was going to bake for my birthday. My uncle even sent me a message saying that though they were too far away to taste it, he would love to know what I was baking and enjoy it with me in the spirit of celebration!

How then, could I get through my birthday without baking something? I had nothing planned and knew I didn’t want to spend half the day in the kitchen. I also wanted to make something didn’t involve heavy stuff like cream, chocolate (yes, indeed!) or buttercream.

These simple yet very pretty pink cupcakes caught my eye. Funnily enough, I’m not a pink colour sort of person, but I was excited with the idea of pink cupcakes for my birthday. I also love the idea of cupcakes over cakes laden with frosting, especially as these were covered with glace icing.

I changed things a bit by cutting down on the butter and leaving out the eggs. I also added a bit of lemon juice to the icing as I find the tang takes the edge off the sweetness of icing sugar.
These cupcakes are absolutely soft, not too sweet and perfect for celebrating. They are a lot like chocolate chip covered cupcakes of mine, but the ratio of butter is a bit higher in this recipe.

Before I share my recipe, I would like to thank all of you who called, mailed me or sent me messages wishing me a wonderful day. Your wishes truly made my day even more special and I dedicate these cupcakes to you all. I only wish I could send them across for real.

Pretty Pink Eggless Birthday Cupcakes
(Adapted from Taste)


For the cupcakes:

100gm butter, soft at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup milk (plus 1 to 2 tbsp more)

1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

For the pink glace icing:

2 cups icing sugar

1 tsp lemon juice

1 to 2 tsp milk (or water)

2-3 drops red liquid food colouring

Silver cachous (silver coated sugar balls) to decorate


Beat the soft butter and sugar, with a hand held electric beater, till pale and creamy.
Sieve together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder and flour. Add this, the extract (if using), and the milk and beat into the creamed mixture, on lowest speed, till just combined.

Spoon the batter evenly between 12 cupcake/ muffin tins (for largish cupcakes) or 20 cupcake/ muffin tins (for smaller cupcakes) lined with paper cases.

Bake at 180C (350F) for about 20 minutes, till done. Completely cool the cupcakes on a rack.

When ready to ice the cupcakes, mix the icing sugar, lemon juice and food colouring in a bowl. Slowly add the milk (or water) a little at a time, and mix into a thick and smooth paste. The icing should be thick enough to spread without running down the sides. If the icing is a little runny, add a little icing sugar to adjust consistency.

Pour about 1/2 a teaspoon or so of the icing on top of esch cupcake and allow to spread. Decorate with the silver decorations. Allow the icing about 15 to 20 minutes to set.

These cupcakes are also joining Sugar High Fridays, being hosted here this month, as they are small enough to be eaten in 2 to 3 bites.


Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Happy Birthday A!! I don't know how I missed it! The cupcakes look wonderful, I love pink, I'm totally going to make these :)

Sharmilee! :) said...

Pretty looking cupcakes....looks so tempting to have a bite

Foodie Ann said...

Happy B'day Aparna....Those pink glaced cupcakes looks so cute....:). Loved the first picture...


Char said...

happy belated birthday to one of my most favourite food bloggers:) hope you have a wonderful super year ahead aparna

best wishes

Torviewtoronto said...

Happy birthday beautiful cakes

Soma said...

Happy Birthday Aparna! Wishing you a great year ahead.

Priya said...

Happy Birthday Aparna, cute looking cupcakes..

lata raja said...

Excellent cup cakes and I am in love with the pink icing.The cakes are egless and so sure on my bookmarked list.

lata raja said...

And yes, please convey my belated wishes to your mother too!

Shabs.. said...

Hi dear,
belated birthday wishes to u and ur mom from my side too aparna!....u have really made beautiful cake for the event....Loved loved loved first pic alot....BTW, i loved that muffin liner.....Wheer did u get it from?....beautiful pics as always!!

Aparna said...

Thanks for the wishes.

Shabs, my cupcakes were baked in regular white cupcake liners. I then cut out another set of liners from handmade paper and wrapped it around my cupcakes so they look pretty. :)

suma said...

Pretty pink cakes Aparna!! I did wonder if u would have baked ur birthday cake yourself, I normally bake for everybody else in the family, but give it a miss for my birthday. I have to bake myself a bday cake this year:-)

Where do u get your baking supplies from? Goa must be a good place?

anu said...

good job chitti...thats what i got myself for my b'day as well...but chocolate cupcakes...but that seems like a better choice rather than a big cake


Veena said...

Really pretty - love it! Question on the food coloring- you mention it in the directions for the cupcakes, but didn't see it in the ingredients. Did you put any food color in the cakes, themselves?

TBC said...

It's been awhile since I visited. Belated birthday wishes, Aparna! Hope you had a good one. :)

BIg bOys Oven said...

wow this is awesome, eggless and pink pretty I just love it !;)

Geetha said...

Belated Happy Birthday wishes. Hope you enjoyed yourself.

Aparna said...

Suma, thank you. It is not easy to get baking supplies here. When I can find them, they're usually quite expensive.
I tend to stock up on my baking supplies whenever I (or my husband) travel out of Goa. :)

So good to see your comment here, Anu. Yes, I do prefer cupcakes to cakes, too.
So did you eat some chocolate for me? :)

Veena, I'm sorry. That was a mistake and I have corrected it. No, I did not add colour to my cupcakes (only to the icing) though you could add it to the cupcakes too if you wanted truly pink cupcakes.

Junglefrog said...

Happy (belated) birthday!! I hope you had a wonderful day but with these lovely cupcakes, I am sure that was all taken care off!

jaya said...

Happy Birthday Aparna and to ur mom .

maybelle's mom said...

happy happy. we are very much pink people here and these would be a great success.

Sanjeeta kk said...

Lovely treat for a perfect B'day.

Happy Cook said...

Belated b'day wishes Aparna. Love cupcakes for b'days and these looks so so cute and b'day wishes o your mom too.