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go team cupcakes

Makes about 18 cupcakes

Nothing says “fun” like cupcakes. Their popularity has skyrocketed in New York City, where numerous bakeries inspire block-long lines of eager cupcake connoisseurs. My recipe is adapted from my favorite cookbook of all time, The Joy of Cooking, which I’ve been using since I was a kid. It’s a white-cake recipe that uses egg white instead of whole eggs—and just the right amount of butter. I’m proud to say I grew up on store-bought pudding and canned icing, so that’s what I like best (not to mention the fact that they’re quicker), but of course you can make your own, if you prefer.

  • 1 box store-bought instant vanilla pudding
  • 2½ cups cake flour, sifted before measuring
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 egg whites
  • 16-ounce can store-bought vanilla icing (or your favorite flavor)
  • Decorative sugar in your team’s colors

Prepare the vanilla pudding according to package instructions and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375°F and make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.

Resift the cake flour with the baking powder and salt and set aside in a large mixing bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then ¹⁄³ cup milk, alternating until completely incorporated. Add the vanilla, stir, and remove the bowl from the mixer. In another bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff but still fluffy. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

Line a cupcake pan with paper or foil cupcake holders and fill each holder ¾ full with batter. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.

To fill the cupcakes, cut a cone-shaped piece of cake out of the top of each cupcake and reserve the cones. Fill a pastry bag (or a plastic bag with a corner cut off) with the prepared pudding and squeeze a small amount into each cupcake. Replace the cones, ice the cupcakes, and finish them with your favorite team- or party-inspired garnish.

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