Botanical Cupcakes

A dash a mint, two sprigs of parsley, and a bouquet of buttercream. #114: Botanical Cupcakes

I know, parsley cupcakes don’t sound particularly delicious. But hear me out: add a little mint, top with lemon buttercream, and voila! The result is quirky and quite yummy.

This baking experiment was another example of me blindly trusting a recipe, but this time it worked out! The recipe is from Roberta’s in Brooklyn, via the Food52 Genius Desserts cookbook. I was on a quest to use my new floral piping tips, but wasn’t in the mood for a plain cupcake. These also lend a fun color element, acting as the grass of my frosting flower bed.

There’s a lovely farmers’ market in the Oakland Claremont DMV parking lot on Sundays. It’s perfect for when you realize late on Saturday afternoon that you’ve missed the markets but still want your weekend to include tamale samples and endless free orange slices.

I have to admit, parsley is not normally what I go for when I enter a market. It’s leafy and fresh, but I feel like it’s typically only used as a garnish. Who could use an entire bunch of parsley?! My horizons expanded this weekend and I marched right up and bought four bunches of parsley. Go big or go home, right?

Introducing my new orange kitchen scale!! I was lucky enough to snag one of the second place prizes in the Instructables 2018 Baking Contest and it showed up last week. It’s shiny and digital and I love it. It also matches my car (who knew I had a thing for orange?) Favorite color will always be teal, but I’m really enjoying adding more of this happy color to my life.

It honestly looked like I was making pasta.

The recipe called for a “fine mulch.” Mmm, mulch.

This concoction is just eggs and sugar, whipped to a frenzy. Along with the addition of cornstarch, this promised a light cake texture with a delicate crumb.

The longer the batter sits in the fridge, the darker green it becomes. I’m assuming this is oxidation at work. But I am impatient and actually liked the lighter green color, so I only waited an hour and a half instead of the 6 hours recommended.

Another fun addition to my kitchen: tiny silicone spatulas! Bendy (yet sturdy), colorful and adorable. What more could you ask of a spatula?

While the batter napped in the fridge, I whipped up some buttercream. Just butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and cream. No fancy flavors here to compete with the herbalicious cupcakes.

Looks like spring in here! If it wasn’t 50 degrees in my kitchen I’d believe it.

Off they go!

These flower tips are so fun – they pipe pre-formed flowers of all shapes and sizes. Of course, I still do need to practice piping flowers petal by petal, a la Thida Bevington. But these are magical and I’ll be using them for years to come, no matter how good I get at hand-piping petals.

See? Straight-up magic.

Does this count as eating veggies? They turned out just as light and fluffy as I hoped.

Botanical, herbalicious, floral and odd: these are worth a try.

Happy munching!

Recipe from: Katy Peetz at Roberta’s in Brooklyn, NY, found atFood52

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