Cupcakes on Steroids

I never understood America's obsession with cupcakes.
I remember them being strictly for birthday parties as a kid.
But is seems on every corner in Manhattan a new cupcake store opens up!

My girlfriend had a wedding in nyc and to save some money on a fancy, $$$$ wedding cake, she opted for pretty cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery with silver dragee. They were lovely and festive (& affordable!).

I saw Martha Stewart's show a few weeks ago and she featured another rat race survivor, Marlo Scott, who decided to find some happiness away from Wall Street & open up her own cupcake bakery and lounge that serves wine and beer pairings to go with the cupcakes.

The place is called Sweet Revenge and is located in the chic West Village neighborhood on Carmine St.
I love that she bakes her cupcakes in cut squares made from parchment paper, instead of cupcake tins. They look special and very artistic in these brown paper packages.

So, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.
I don't have any kids' birthday parties or any festive occasion to bake cupcakes for, but figured everyday is a happy occasion, so why not go for it!

I decided to bake a vanilla cupcake and on half of them I sprinkled flaked coconut, and on the other 3 cupcakes, I swirled melted Hershey bars inside the batter.

I cut the parchment paper into 4" squares, as per Marlo, and used a drinking glass to wedge the paper into the muffin tins. Didn't work as well as the demonstration on Martha's show, but I made do.

They really puffed up and were HUGE!!!! As if we injected them with sugar steroids!

Some of the batter spilled over the sides, I probably should've used an oversized muffin or popover tin.

Here is what Marlo's cupcakes look like in the paper wrappers, mine were close. These cupcakes were TERRIFIC!

Here is the recipe for basic vanilla cupcakes with coconut topping:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup whole milk

sweetened flaked coconut

Mix all ingredients and fill muffin liners in muffin tin. Sprinkle with flaked, sweetened coconut. Bake for about 15 minutes in a 350 oven.

I guess these are really MUFFINS, not CUPCAKES, because they have no icing!


brandin + kari said…
I LOVE this idea. Wonderful, and artistic (as you said), yet slightly "rustic"?! YUM! Bookmarking these. Also, I think it is great that she at least serves alcohol at her cupcake shop, rather than coffee:)
Ice them and they Will look the same. Welcome to the cupcake world!
Explain the drinking glass thing to me again, I'm trying to visualize. It might be slightly to early for me to grasp, I've only had a half a cup of coffee so far this morning. I love the square look!
LaDue & Crew said…
I love cupcakes... you don't have to worry about a bi slice or little slice. They are just enough. Love the idea of the paper instead of the liners, too. I think I'll give it a try. It has to be cheaper than the liners anyway!
I saw this chic on Martha as well and was wondering how the whole parchment thing would turn out. I like that cupcakes are individual sized, but I'm especially fond of mini cupcakes because you can just pop them in your mouth without getting a face full of icing. Heresy bar idea is awesome!
kat said…
Cool idea with the parchment paper & they do look huge! I like to make cupcakes because they are a great way to mess with flavors in baking without committing to a huge cake, especially when you only make 4 or 6 cupcakes like I do
Mila said…
Wow that's amazing! Those are so pretty!
Linda said…
Wow you really have started to love baking!! Welcome to that which destroys waistlines everywhere!! they look yummy!!
Love ya
StaceyEsq said…
Thank you for the perfect weekend activity for my daughter! We will be making your cupcakes!!! Sydney (3) loves the book "Pinkalicious" (about a girl who eats so many pink cupcakes she turns pink), so we may have to add a little food coloring to the icing!

Have a lovely weekend!

XOXO -- Stacey
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the lovely comment on my blog - I have to tell you busy or not I always find time to cook. It relaxes and centers me amid the chaos of my life. BTW - I adore your blog and am constantly lurking and "borrowing" recipes. I can't wait to try the crostini you posted yesterday.
Foodiewife said…
Me thinks you might become a Daring Baker. :)

Lovely. Great post, with great humor.

I'm trying to sugar detox, but these look mighty tempting.

these look excellent...I wish the parchment was my original idea...
The Food Hunter said…
It doesn't matter what you call them; they look delicious. I love the parchment paper idea.
Patsyk said…
I LOVE the idea of using parchment instead of the usual cupcake liners! Your picture of the muscle-bound guy really cracked me up!
Bob said…
Those look so good! I never would have thought to use parchment paper for cupcakes. Which sucks because I have been wanting to make cupcakes, but haven't had the liners but have had parchment! Now I need to go make some.
Pam said…
Now those are my kind of muffins. I love putting coconut on top for extra texture and flavor.
Karen said…
I missed this on Martha... unique idea for cupcakes (which have been done to death IMHO)... will check it out !
Anonymous said…
Muffins, cupcakes, who gives a crap, just GIVE THEM TO ME NOW
OK, that's the fever speaking, not me.
Anonymous said…
Wow, what an interesting idea to use the parchment paper. I agree, I never understood the obsession with cupcakes. I almost wonder how all these cupcake shops make any money.
pigpigscorner said…
Lovely presentation! I love how cupcake looks but not actually eating them cause I find them too sweet. said…
i like the parchment paper idea too, and i will ice mine so i can have my cake and eat it too!! lol! thanks for the tips and love the other recipes too. jo
Justine said…
wow those look amazing!
Justine said…
wow those look amazing!
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Meg Cooksey said…
These look great. I love the coconut! I've never thought to put it on a cupcake. I look forward to trying these!
AlessioFangano said…
This is indeed an artistic way to present cupcakes/muffins. Will surely use it next time I bake (it also save you some money and let you use all the scraps of baking paper) :D