Someone famous once said, “To thine own self be true.” I think it was Nicki Minaj.
I hold many truths deeply and others right beneath the surface where everyone can see them. One is that you should always wave “thank you” when someone lets you merge in front of them on the highway (or throw them a shaka if you’re around these parts); another is that swallowing gum does not mean it will stay in your stomach for seven years. It will pass, as all things do. Perhaps the most important truth—at least insofar as food blogs are concerned—is that, when in doubt of what to bring, bring cupcakes. And lots.
When I’m invited to a bridal or baby shower, places I’m not 100% comfortable, I bring cupcakes to shield my nerves. Who am I to discuss feeding patterns or color schemes? I’m the lady with the best-damn-cupcake-you-ever-had, that’s who. When you stuff a delectable cake with even more delectable lilikoi curd, then top it with a fluffy but not overly sweet and visually impressive frosting, you’ll be the hit of the party. And who doesn’t love to upstage a bride?
You can also make these for birthday parties, retirement celebrations, Wednesdays, or can’t-get-out-of-bed days. They’re so good, they’ll transport you from whatever social obligation you’re facing to a land of cupcakes, possibly my second favorite fictional land after Hogwarts. We’ve used a cake recipe from one of our favorite new cookbooks, The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion. The lilikois are a little trickier, but we have friends with lilikoi vines and generous spirits. Real passionfruit juice from a specialty store would also work, or you can substitute lemon or raspberry curd instead. And don’t skimp on the meringue frosting—it’s simple to make, so light in flavor, and the whorls and dips make it look as though you spent more time decorating the cupcakes than you actually did.
So find your truth—ours is in the kitchen next to the flour—and get baking.
-b & k
- ¾ cup butter
- 1¾ cups sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
- 2¾ cups flour
- 1½ cups cream
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each. Add vanilla.
- Slowly blend in ⅓ of the dry ingredients, then half the cream, then another ⅓ of the dry ingredients, the rest of the cream, and finally the remaining dry ingredients. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of bowl after each addition.
- Pour batter into muffin tin lined with cupcake liners. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool before filling and icing.
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅓ cup lilikoi juice
- ½ cup butter, diced and cold
- In a a medium-sized metal or glass bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar.
- Add lemon and lilikoi juice and whisk until smooth.
- Using a medium-sized saucepan filled with an inch of water, create a double boiler on the stovetop.
- Once the double boiler is simmering, reduce heat to low and place bowl with curd mixture on top.
- Whisk until thickened, anywhere from 10-15 minutes, or until mixture coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat and whisk in butter a piece at a time.
- Wrap surface of curd in plastic wrap to prevent it from forming a skin.
- Chill at least two hours before using in cupcakes.
- 4 egg whites
- 1⅓ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¾ easpoon vanilla extract
- In the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together egg whites, sugar, water, and cream of tartar. Place over simmering water in a large saucepan (double boiler) over medium heat. Heat mixture, whisking constantly, 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Add vanilla.
- Using the whisk attachment, beat mixture on high speed in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form, about 7-8 minutes. Use immediately.
To assemble — using a small paring knife, remove a 1/2 inch cone from the top of each cupcake. Fill with lilikoi curd, trim the cupcake lid, and place back on cupcake. Frost as desired. Cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator, and will keep up to 3 days. Yahtzee!