The end of summer is full of big milestones for us: two birthdays and our anniversary, all squeezed in to two very short weeks. The past couple of years the girls’ birthdays have been a bit, um, neglected due to one of them being born and then a family emergency. This year my goal has been to celebrate the occasions with a bit more vigour, especially now that my eldest is getting big enough to anticipate and appreciate a party (of sorts). Baby steps: no big parties this year, but bespoke baked goods have made an appearance, including these delicious, moist Vanilla Zucchini Cupcakes.
The littlest leads these two weeks of celebration and I knew that we would be lakeside on her big day, so I thought cupcakes would be best. Of course, I had tonnes of zucchini kicking around, it being August and all, so I managed to grate some in to my little creation for her, yielding pretty green specks of emerald throughout these wonderful cupcakes.
We were too busy enjoying the chilly waters of Quarry Lake in Canmore, Alberta to take any pictures of the picnic – rest assured, it was lovely.
Since these are butter based cupcakes, they will not rise up to give you a big dome, just in case that is what you are looking for. But, they do provide an excellent flatter base for heading with whatever frosting you so desire!
We iced these beauties with a simple Italian-style meringue (that is, adding a hot sugar syrup to egg whites) of 3 egg whites beaten to soft peaks, then pouring in a melted sugar syrup comprised of 5/6 c sugar and 1/8 c water, and beating some more, until beautifully glossy, as directed in Thomas Keller’s Coconut Cake from Saveur. We didn’t have the whole batch of cupcakes to frost so I even baked the leftover meringue into cookies and they were delicious. So, don’t worry if you have too much frosting, just plop the extra onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 250F for about an hour.
I made them on Thursday, sampling them every day until Saturday and they kept very well. We iced them Saturday morning to eat at our picnic that day. These cupcakes will keep well for 2 days, to help with your party planning!
Vanilla Zucchini Cupcakes for the win, the birthday girl and her sister (and myself!) loved these light and fluffy cupcakes – we hope you do, too! They’ll even help to put a small dent in your zucchini harvest.