Light As Air Cupcakes & A Trader Joe’s Favorite

Whenever it’s sunny in Portland I feel especially inclined to utilize as many light and fluffy ingredients as possible. I feel like macarons fall squarely into that category and I’d been wanting to create a batch of cupcakes in their honor for a while. I wish I could say I made these bad boys from scratch but I instead relied upon one of my neighborhood favorites- Elephant’s Delicatessen. Elephant’s has been one of my favorites since high school, when we’d swing by after class for a pizza or plate of their decadent mac n’ cheese. These days my palate has expended (slightly), and I’m enjoying their whole array of offerings.

This cupcake was all about texture, so I used Angel Food Cake as the base and spent extra time whipping the buttercream into a frenzy. The result was just as anticipated, a very sugary bite of what I imagine clouds would taste like. Score.

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Recipe (makes 12)-

Cupcakes:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cake flour (make sure that it’s sifted)
  • 12 egg whites (try and keep these at room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp extract of your choice (I chose lemon)

Frosting:

  • 12 oz confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tsp heavy whipping cream
  • Macarons for garnish

Pre-heat the oven to 350 and line cupcake tin. If you’re separating your egg whites, take care of those first. Rap the egg slightly on a counter, turn it over so that the crack is facing you and pull the halves apart gently so that you can see the egg and the yolk inside. Now tilt the egg back and forth, pulling the yolk out so that only the white remains. You can also do the inverse, pulling the white out, just make sure that they’re separated. Once they are, combine all cupcake ingredients and beat significantly until the mixture is light and frothy. It should look like foam. Divide the batter into your cupcake liners and cook for 20 minutes.

While your cupcakes are baking, whip your frosting ingredients together and load into piping bag. Keep your macarons cool or at room temperature, otherwise their frosting centers may start to melt. Once the timer on the oven goes off, remove the cupcake right away. As soon as they’re cool to touch, turn upside down and remove liners. Then frost, garnish and enjoy!

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My sparkling this week comes from another one of my favorite neighborhood haunts– Trader Joe’s. They never do me wrong, and I’ve found countless favorite food options and beverage options here. This week’s is the RSVP Brut from California. It’s nice and citrus-y, without too many bubbles. It pairs particularly well with this cupcake because of its light flavor profile. You almost feel as if you’re about to float away. This sparkling would also pair well with fruit and creamy cheeses.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Cheers,
Jenna

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