Three recipes and over a dozen cupcakes later I still have not found the perfect small-batch cupcake recipe. It all started yesterday when I was at a coffee shop with a friend, oogling at the cupcakes in the case. I couldn’t help but think, I can make cupcakes that taste better than those. The problem, I began to realize, is that all cupcake recipes make a dozen or more cupcakes, and I only want one–otherwise I might actually eat a dozen cupcakes, and that wouldn’t be good. So I set out to find a recipe that would only make four or so cupcakes.
I didn’t realize it would be so hard. I thought I’d just find a good looking recipe and divide it by half or a third and wind up with a smaller batch, but that has not been the case. I didn’t want to wind up with measurements like a ‘half an egg’, or non-standard measurements like ‘1/3 teaspoon,’ which has complicated things.
The first batch I made was bad for two reasons. First, it made too many cupcakes, and second, and more importantly, they tasted more like soda biscuits than cupcakes. So I tried again, decreasing the baking soda by 1/2 teaspoon and using two egg yolks instead of 1 whole egg, but the results were only so-so. The other recipe I tried was decent, and has promise, but can stand to be tweaked a little. And so, the battle continues.
The good news is that the cupcakes I made, though not the sumptuous little treats I had hoped for, are still awfully cute, and neither my kids nor my husband care whether there’s too much baking soda in their frosted dessert.
If you have a favorite yellow cake or white cake recipe that you think might divide nicely, please let me know. I’ll be back in the kitchen trying again today.