Lunatic Baker


This past weekend we celebrated my daughter’s 2nd birthday. In contrast to last year’s giant, lunatic three-tiered birthday cake (some of which, it occurs to me, is still in our freezer), I decided to go simple. Just cupcakes. But then of course the day before the party I started to obsess about Laurel not having her own cake. I called my mama pal Paige and the “awww!” elicited by the mere mention of a cute little mini cake rendered me powerless in the pantry.

After comparing recipes from a few of my baking references (for this particular project, The Cake Bible and Williams-Sonoma Mastering: Cakes, Fillings & Frostings) I realized that the cupcake recipe I posted earlier is pretty much equivalent to standard 9-inch two-layer butter cake recipes. After some fuzzy volume estimation, I decided to double the cupcake recipe (i.e., to render 48 cupcakes), but only make 3 trays of cupcakes (36), splitting the remaining batter between two 6-inch cake pans. This worked perfectly and easily; the result was a beautiful mini cake flanked by a fleet of super cute cupcakes. Never mind that the babe was so busy munching on edamame that she barely acknowledged the cake, candles, and song! It’s the thought that counts, right?

Click here for an updated version of the cupcake recipe with instructions on how to make, assemble, and frost 36 cupcakes + one 6-inch layer cake. You, too, can be a lunatic baker.