After my disappointing Hot Milk Cake experience, I did a bunch of research on cake basics and recipes that give bakers consistently good results. I added several to my list and decided I’d start with one of the very simple cakes from Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cook Book. I find the recipes from this book so charmingly practical. I’d also like to bake one of the sponge cakes — the Cheap Sponge Cake in particular intrigues me.
In addition to adapting the recipe for freshly-milled whole wheat flour, I added cinnamon to give them a Snickerdoodle twist.
This batter mixed up rather foamy from all of the baking powder, and was a bit on the thick side. I filled the liners almost to the top and was really pressing my luck. Most of them domed nicely though, and none spilled over the liners.
A couple of the cupcakes fell a bit in the center. So next time I’d decrease the baking powder by 1/2 teaspoon (in case they were over-leavened and fell under the weight of the whole grain flour) and avoid opening the oven to rotate the pans until after 10 minutes.
These were tasty, but this recipe using whole wheat flour made them more like a decadent muffin than a true cakey cupcake. They’re dense and earthy, and the sweet richness of the buttercream is a nice complement. This is not an overly sweet cupcake.
Whole Wheat Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Cupcake recipe adapted from One Egg Cake from the Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Fannie Farmer
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 195 grams freshly-milled hard white wheat flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder*
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- followed the instructions for King Arthur Flour’s Fluffy White Buttercream Frosting, using half butter and half Spectrum All Vegetable Shortening
- sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top of frosting for a snickerdoodle effect
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake pan with 7 or 8 paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a stand mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add egg, mix well, then mix in vanilla.
- On low speed, add dry mixture and milk alternately in several additions until thoroughly combined.
- Scoop into prepared pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the pan after 10 to 12 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool on a rack before frosting.
*I followed the recipe, but this was a lot of baking powder. I’d use 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons next time.
**This buttercream was silky smooth, but a bit thinner than I like. Next time I might try chilling the finished frosting for a few minutes to see if it firms up at all.