Meet Stef, author of the ever popular cupcake blog Cupcake Project. Stef’s cupcake project began when she volunteered to bake cupcakes for a friend’s wedding. Since then, she has developed almost 200 different cupcake recipes, ranging from sweet to savory flavors. Stef’s work has been featured on Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart, and she has regularly contributed her recipes to Paula Deen. Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Stef. We talked about the wildest cupcake flavor she’s ever come up with, her favorite ingredients, flavors, and places to find cupcake liners.
You have developed so many recipes including both sweet and savory cupcakes. Which do you prefer?
I get excited about unexpected cupcakes. I don’t necessarily have a preference between sweet or savory. I like to focus on trying new recipes, using ingredients that I haven’t paired before.
Tell me about the craziest cupcake idea you’ve come up with…that actually worked?
I would have to say the Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes. People were jazzed about them, probably because of the chicken wing on the top. The flavor of the cupcake was really good. It wasn’t a rich dessert, it was more of a balanced sweet cupcake, like a corn bread. Another one of my Superbowl cupcakes, my Beer Cheese Cupcake with Bacon Cheddar Cream Cheese Frosting, was pretty popular as well. It had a sweetness, but with a savory edge.
When it comes to cupcake liners, who has the best?
I get cupcake liners everywhere. Pretty much anytime I’m out, I end up buying them. I buy them at Michael’s a lot, just because I happen to be there, but I have also been known to pick them up at TJ Maxx, Sur La Table, etc. I also buy them from Fancy Flours pretty often.
Under your ‘Stef’s answers’ section, you briefly go over the difference between cupcakes and muffins. Let us in on your true feelings about the saying “Muffins are just ugly cupcakes.”
I think that, technically, there is a difference. It has to do with the ratio of ingredients in the batter. But I tend to say that anything in a cupcake liner with frosting is a cupcake. I don’t get wrapped up in the technicalities.
You add so many incredible flavors to your cupcakes. If you could narrow it down, what’s your favorite combination?
I really love fall flavors. I’m drawn to things like pumpkin and spiced apples.
Cupcakes are obviously your baked good of choice. But what about other baked goods? Do you have a secret love for pie or muffins as well?
I’m a big fan of pie, but that goes back to my liking for fall flavors. I love apple pie, pumpkin pie, and pies with a crumb topping. I also really like super simple cookies, like a simple butter cookie or oatmeal raisin cookies.
What’s your favorite dessert to decorate?
I’m not really into decorating. If you are looking for the site that will teach you how to make something cute like cookie monster cupcakes, or beautifully decorated fondant cupcakes, it’s not me. I’m all about how the cupcake tastes, rather than the decorating. That’s my style.
Is there anything else you would like to add to let our readers know?
One thing I always like to mention is that the goal of my blog is to help people feel comfortable baking cupcakes from scratch. I don’t want anyone to look at my blog and think they can’t do it. I don’t want them to say, “this is amazing, but it’s way too difficult for me.” With every cupcake I make, I want people to know that they can do it too and that they can bake it from scratch.
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Twitter @CupcakeProject: https://twitter.com/cupcakeproject