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Cupcake Therapy



I see so many beautiful cakes and cupcakes I decided I want to start honing my piping skills, I have never been very good at this and want to do better. I will experiment using different tips and techniques. These cupcakes are pretty basic, I used my recipe for white cake and Hershey’s cooked frosting (because it was easy). I love making swiss meringue buttercream frosting but the egg whites and all that butter on a practice run are not really practical. I have a long way to go before my piping skills look effortless. I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and had surgery 2 years ago, my right hand is still weak and I still have nerve damage so this is difficult but good therapy.

Makes 24 regular size cupcakes or 12 jumbo
  • 4 large egg whites at room temperature (1/2 cup egg whites)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar divided
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/3 cup  + 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole milk at room temperature + 1 tbs heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in the cupcake tins

In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment beat egg whites until frothy, add  1/2 cup sugar, 1 tbs at a time beating after each addition. Continue beating until egg whites are thick and glossy. They should be stiff enough that when the beater or whisk is lifted they stay on the beater and don’t drop off.

In large mixing bowl sift flour, remaining 1 cup sugar and salt. Add the vegetable oil, milk,cream,and vanilla, beat with hand mixer on medium high speed for 2 minutes. Gently fold in the egg whites.

Pour into prepared pans and bake for 15=20 minutes or until lightly browned and cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and invert onto cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.


Recipe from Hershey’s

1 stick (4 oz) butter (I used salted)

2/3 cup natural cocoa (I used Hershey’s)

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup milk (divided)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp orange zest (optional)

Melt butter in saucepan, add the cocoa and powdered sugar and optional orange zest, mix with hand held mixer, add half the milk and vanilla and continue mixing until the frosting is smooth add the rest of the milk if you feel the frosting is too thick. If you are going to pipe the frosting you will need to cool the frosting first, I put in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

38 Comments Post a comment
  1. There is no other therapy than cupcakes is there?! Cupcakes are probably in my top 3 desserts…I could eat them daily. Even though I post chocolate recipes all the time, believe it or not I prefer vanilla cupcakes. My favorite are maple vanilla. That’s so awesome that you want to practice…it is so much fun! I’m hosting a shower event this Saturday for 35 guests (yikes) and bsking all the desserts, including a 12×18 cake to decorate. This should be fun to decorate..,especially since it will be my first time doing a cake like this! Anyways, personally I think your piping looks beautiful! Have fun experimenting with all the different tips. I have too many to count! I love how easy this recipe is too…it looks delicious.

    February 22, 2013
    • Oh best of luck with the shower, sounds like you have a lot on your hands. I hope you post pics of everything you make along with the recipes. You are too kind, my piping lacks finesse for sure. I have to work on it. The piping is not consistent but I will keep trying. Thank you!

      February 22, 2013
  2. dev #

    thought the therapy was for a serious condition that i have called gluttony. they look fantastic!!!

    February 22, 2013
    • LOL!! You are too kind, they are not beautiful by any stretch but I am trying.

      February 22, 2013
  3. They are perfect. Right height of icing, so there isn’t to much trouble eating them, Your picture just says ‘eat me’.

    February 22, 2013
  4. Now, this is my kind of therapy! I’m sorry to hear about your carpal tunnel and do hope you feel better soon. In the meantime, piping really does sound like good therapy and these cupcakes sound delicious too! Piping is something I’ve never been very good at and would love to get better at too. Good luck! This is a fine start 🙂

    February 22, 2013
  5. Do they offer “cupcake therapy” as a field of study in college? Because I may be persuaded to major in one. Good luck with your sweet therapy! Looks like you’ve had a very promising start.

    February 22, 2013
    • Ha! Seriously I would love to take a course in cake decorating! It would be fun and eating your works of art would be even better.

      February 22, 2013
  6. Yes! My kind of therapy too – good for my chocolate-spectrum disorder!!! Wonderful post!

    February 22, 2013
  7. Your cupcakes are absolutely gorgeous! I’ve never had the patience to ice cakes, let alone piping ice them. Yours look so,professional 🙂

    February 22, 2013
    • You are too kind, thank you. Mistake number one is the type of icing, it’s hard to pipe, it’s thick and not very light, It’s all a learning process and by jove one day I will get it right!

      February 22, 2013
  8. You are brilliant, Suzanne! This is marvelous therapy, and I admire you practicing your piping skills and exercising your hand together, although I think you’re already doing a beautiful job. Have fun!

    February 22, 2013
    • Thanks Hannah, you and everyone is so kind. The piping job isn’t very good but I will improve. It is excellent therapy for my hand though and hopefully I will get full use of my hand soon. You’re so nice, thank you.

      February 22, 2013
  9. I absolutely love the idea of piping frosting for physical therapy. Sign me up for that pronto!! Seriously, I know carpal tunnel can be so painful. Luckily it hasn’t affected your amazing baking skills 🙂

    February 22, 2013
    • Thanks Susan, up until just recently it was too painful to pipe frosting, I think there is significant scar tissue at the incision, it still hurts but not as badly, so I am working on it. I don’t have the dexterity that I used to have but hope it comes back soon, squeezing the pastry bag is actually good therapy. LOL!

      February 22, 2013
  10. petit4chocolatier #

    I am loving your cupcake therapy! I love the white and yellow cupcakes; especially with chocolate icing. Your piping is gorgeous! And I love the orange zest in the icing. I bet these are absolutely delicious! Love these cupcakes 🙂

    February 22, 2013
    • Thank you and coming from the Queen of beautiful and delicious cupcakes, its quite a compliment.

      February 22, 2013
  11. Well those cupcakes are amazing and look so tasty ! I wanna try this Hershey’s Frosting for my next cupcakes !
    I’ve been visiting your blog for a while but I’ve never posted… Because I started mine few weeks ago I’m now able to follow yours and post regulary ! (thanks WordPress reader haha).
    Hope to read more sweet cupcakes posts 🙂
    Love from France !

    February 23, 2013
    • Thank you so much, I just started following and subscribed to your blog. Oh my is it beautiful, your photo’s are amazing, that chocolate layer cake is beyond beautiful. I can’t wait to sit down and go through each post. Congratulations on starting a beautiful blog.

      February 23, 2013
      • Ohhh thank you so much ! I am 17 years old and starting my blog was kinda big deal, I was like : let’s go for a blog or no ?
        I am so envious to see your beautiful blog and your faithful lectors : hope someday my blog will be like yours !
        Please, feel free to come and make suggestions about my articles, and also, if a recipe interests you, just ask for translation ! I’ll do it with pleasure, to see how you’ll do it 🙂
        Thank you again for all your sweet compliments !

        February 23, 2013
      • 17, now I am even more impressed. You put together a beautifully photographed and written blog. I am in awe!! I think I am the one who will be coming to you for advise.

        February 23, 2013
      • I am so touched !! That’s these kind of discussions and compliments that make me wanna do my best to continue my blog ! I hope we’ll keep in touch ! You are a huge inspiration for me and I am so blessed by all your praise !

        February 23, 2013
      • I know I have seen your beautiful blog before, I pinned your chocolate layer cake and clicked on the picture and saw it, I also could swear I saw it on Food52 (I could be wrong though) Anyway, I am thrilled to follow you and look forward to your recipes and I envy your skills with the camera. I follow several blogs from France and they are esthetically beautiful and the recipes are amazing, yours follows suite wonderfully,

        February 23, 2013
      • Well that’s so funny ! I didn’t know I was pinned on pinterest. What’s your pseudo ? I am mrsdeyarmond on pinterest and will be pleased to follow you.
        I’d never heard about food52. What is it ? Had to go and have a look 🙂
        I have a tiny obsession with photography for a while and I try to do my best each time for every picture I take.
        I am not kidding but I know more English/American blogs that French one (it develops my deep obsession with layer cake haha)

        Thank you so much again : you made my day 🙂

        February 23, 2013
      • I thought I had pinned your cake It’s so strange I know I saw your blog somewhere just recently, I am following you on pinterest though, I am sdebrango on pinterest. You will see a lot of pug stuff,LOL. Anyway, very glad to meet you and follow your beautiful blog. Please keep blogging and taking those great photo’s.

        February 23, 2013
      • I am in love with pugs so your pinterest will interests me haha !
        Well it was so nice to meet you and to hear about all your best wishes ! I red you are living in Brooklyn. Well ! Can I give you my email if one day you have time to give me some good adresses ? I travel to NYC every year and first discovered Brooklyn last year with the amazing Smorgasburg ! Brooklyn is now my favourite and I will be so happy to learn much more good places to be !

        February 24, 2013
      • Oh yes, absolutely. I too love Brooklyn, I have lived here for a long time. It’s home!! If you ever come to NYC/Brooklyn I would love to give you some places to visit and eat,

        February 24, 2013
      • Well here’s my email :
        I only know few places in Brooklyn so it will be so cool to have new one to visit !

        February 24, 2013
      • I had just emailed you so you have my email address. Thank you and hope to one day meet if you come to NY.

        February 24, 2013
  12. Suzanne, I will follow your cupcake adventure with great enthusiasm since I have never baked a cupcake in my whole life and I kept be asking to do that by my family members a lot. Let me tell you that your “beginners” look great.

    February 23, 2013
    • Thanks Francesca, I just love cupcakes, they are so easy to make and the decorating well, it’s still a work in progress but I do thank you for being so kind.

      February 23, 2013
  13. These look delicious! Will definitely have to give these a try – lovely post!

    February 25, 2013
  14. I have MAJOR piping issues and don’t have carpal tunnel. Piping icing as therapy sounds like the best kind of therapy to me!
    Your cupcakes DO look great!

    February 26, 2013
    • Thank you so much, piping I find is trickier than it looks. You are too kind!

      February 26, 2013
  15. Cupcake therapy is right up there with retail therapy! YUM!

    March 22, 2013

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