Feb 01, 2022

LET’S DISH! Let’s Talk About Cupcakes

By MaryAnn Miano

Imagine cakes that are so delicious, you wish you could carry them with ease everywhere you go. The idea behind tiny, portable cakes came to us courtesy of the innovation of an American by the name of Amelia Simmons during the 19th century in a cookbook called “American Cookery.” The “cupcake” was just a name for a measurement. It was considered a light cake to bake in a small cup.  

In 1828, the first cupcake recipe was published by Eliza Leslie in a cookbook called “Receipts,” published in her native Philadelphia. These earliest recipes for cupcakes did not resemble our modern-day cupcakes famous at children’s parties. That wouldn’t happen until closer to the 1920s, when someone got the idea to ice cupcakes with chocolate or vanilla frosting.  

In 1919, Hostess introduced its first snack cake: the Hostess cupcake. Their commercial success truly popularized the sweet cupcake sensation, making cupcakes a hit, especially with children.  

Cupcakes are both easy to bake and to serve. They may be baked in well-greased muffin tins filled two-thirds full, but a more attractive way to make them is to fill paper baking cups about one-third full and bake them on a sheet or in muffin pans in the oven. When the cakes are done, they will have risen to within a quarter of an inch of the frilled edge. Cupcakes may be sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar after baking, or they may be iced with buttercream icing and garnished with nuts, a cherry, raisins, chocolate chips, little candies, etc. 

We are so fortunate that cupcakes today come in a variety of flavors and styles and are used during many special occasions such as bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties and even weddings. Inside you can find sweet jams, puddings and creams that hide away and are exposed during the first bite. Artistic types get crafty and design cupcakes into wonderful edible confections and bouquets. For our recipe of the month, let’s bake tasty cupcakes.




• 1/2 cup baking cocoa

• 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

• 1/2 cup boiling water

• 1 cup butter, softened

• 1-1/2 cups sugar

• 4 large eggs, room temperature

• 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 cup dry red wine

Mascarpone icing:

• 2 cartons (8 ounces each) mascarpone cheese

• 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Place cocoa and chocolate in a small bowl; whisk in boiling water until chocolate is melted and mixture is blended.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with wine and chocolate mixture beating well after each addition. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.

3. Bake at 350° for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

4. In a small bowl, beat mascarpone cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Frost cupcakes. Store in the refrigerator.

Recipe from Taste of Home