The Purple Rain cupcakes are simple but delicious. For the chocolate cake I used a box of Duncan Hines’ Devil’s Food cake mix, a small box of instant pudding mix, 1/3 of a cup oil, a cup of whipping cream, 4 eggs, and a generous tablespoon of vanilla. The frosting is buttercream, which includes a large sack of powdered sugar, a stick of butter, a stick of butter flavored Crisco, 1/3 of a cup of whipping cream, and another generous tablespoon of vanilla.
I went to Spun Sugar and got the shiny purple cupcake papers, purple food coloring (there were at least 5 purple choices and I don’t remember which one I chose. I don’t think it matters), and the purple sprinkles. There was much hemming and hawing over what to decorate with.
There were just a few issues. My friend and co party planner D brought champagne with her and I drank a lot of it. I’m pretty sure this enhanced my baking abilities, but I never tried one. My Williams-Sonoma frosting tip was nowhere to be found. I think my friend S might have hid it so as to avoid me leaving sticky spots all over his kitchen. I had to use the star tip. The sprinkles did not want to stick to the frosting. I should have picked lighter ones I think. Sprinkling was D’s job. She made an admirable effort.
This is what happens when you have healthy ish friends who plan a running pub crawl birthday party. You’ll use a gift card from Christmas to buy cuter athletic wear (you actually own no real athletic wear) from Nordstrom Rack, tie a big bow in your ponytail, and wear eye makeup. You will feel nervous about running the whole BART ride from downtown Berkeley to downtown Oakland and accidentally go to Telegraph instead of Lost & Found.
Only six people will actually run including yourself even though you usually only do yoga and use the elliptical as an excuse to watch Friday Night Lights, because you’re a good sport. You’ll feel slightly annoyed at those who don’t run but show up to drink along the way. You will find yourself running past The Avenue in Temescal being cheered on by bearded tattooed revelers. You will feel sorry about whining after the first 2 mile leg necessitating you’re friend D tell you to, “suck it up!”
At Kingfish, you will miss the end of the Warriors’ game and run into the guy you went on one date with who confessed to having cheating on his wife two weeks prior your meeting. You’ll be all sweaty and for some reason he’ll give you dagger eyes, so you will loudly repeat to all your friends the text messages he read (why did he keep these messages?) to you on the date through which his wife found out about his cheating.
Mistress: I think I need Plan B.
Cheater Guy: Why, I didn’t cum inside you!?
You’ll be so slow that your friend N will have to walk next to you the whole time you’re running. You will eat delicious Sriracha popcorn at the Graduate in Rockridge. People will be waiting for the birthday girl at the last stop so you’ll skip one leg of the route (sorry Starry Plough) and end up running 3 miles at once. You will only drink 2.5 light beers but scarf down an entire Andromeda (fontina, aged asiago, sharp cheddar and mozzarella) pizza at Jupiter.
You will sing Happy Birthday and the entire courtyard will join in. You’ll eat chai flavored vegan cake and like it. You will be complimented profusely on the chocolate Whiskey Mac cupcakes with Oban buttercream that you baked for the occasion and really like it. Your thighs will scream, “fuck you!” You will have a good time and be happy you came to celebrate. You’ll feel pretty darn good about your athletic capability and consider running again. You will believe it when you see it.
Tonight is my friend M’s running pub-crawl 29th birthday in Oakland and Berkeley. Five pubs, 5 miles, is it a recipe for projectile vomiting? She loves a cocktail at Make Westing with whiskey, ginger, and other stuff. I decided to make chocolate Whiskey Mac cupcakes. I bake at my ex boyfriend’s (the good one) house because my mixer lives there and my own kitchen has no counter space. I asked him for 4 tablespoons of whiskey and he left some Oban out for me. Holy shit, Oban! M is worth it.
For the cake I added a package of Jello pudding mix, almost a cup of buttermilk, whiskey, half a cup of oil, 4 eggs, and a teaspoon of ground ginger to a box of devil’s food cake mix. I used a cookie dough scooper to try and make the cupcakes even but I always fail miserably at this.
The frosting is the standard cup of butter and 3 cups of powdered sugar with vanilla, whiskey, and a splash of whole milk. I use a little butter flavored Crisco to make the frosting hardier (buttercream melts and doesn’t look so pretty). I like baking with butter flavored Crisco. In fact, my chocolate chip cookie recipe comes from the package. I used to tell my chef friend who loves those cookies that there was a secret ingredient and he would try to guess. Hahaha, he never guessed it was lard.
I decorated the cupcakes with real French chocolate sprinkles instead of that chocolate flavored wax stuff. I got those along with the back foil liners and the plastic carriers at Spun Sugar in Berkeley. The secret to making the frosting look professional is to buy a set of decorating tips from Williams and Sonoma. Use the biggest one and just squeeze the frosting from a pastry bag on top of the cupcake without moving it around.
Check back tomorrow for a post about M’s birthday. I hope nobody pukes up my Oban cupcakes.