I’ve just gotten home from the most delightful weekend bop over to Chicago for the wedding of one of my oldest homies, Stefani! We used to play a lot of marimba together and then at one point we overlapped in New York where we’d pull all nighters and party like crazy ladies. And by all nighters, I mean one time we stayed out all night long until the Lower East Side Doughnut Plant opened at 6:30am and then got one of each doughnut and it was the best and I’m never gonna forget that. (omg i just realized i blogged about it eight years ago, i'm so embarrassed.)
Now she is all wifed up and I had the honor of making* the wedding cake!! The bottom tier was pumpkin with vanilla buttercream and the top tier was the hazelnut horse cake from motr. I did a test run of the birch cake decor a few weeks ago and I'm very glad I did because it turns out that there is a very fine line between birch cake and poop stain cake.
*baking, freezing, sticking in a cooler, checking on a plane, and decorating at mum’s house. It was my second time doing that this year and it was way less stressful than flying with a wedding cake sounds!
Also this weekend I got to see my family, eat some blinchiki at Russian Tea Time, and noodle around up near the Wisconsin border since mum just moved there and that area is so great! Especially with all of the fall leaves. We went to the Mars Cheese Castle. If you don’t know what that is, just imagine the type of place that *would* be called the Mars Cheese Castle and there you have it. I got a bunch of smoked cheese and fancy string cheese that is going to be my dinner because Eggboy is still harvesting up a storm.
Now I’m back with no travel plans until Thanksgiving and I could not be more excited to hibernate to the tune of Hallmark movies and UND hockey games. Winter, get @ me!!!! Also!! I start Hebrew lessons this week!!!!!! A Rabbi has moved to town and I jumped at the opportunity to take Hebrew. Right now I know: ken, lo, boker tov, bamba, and… gal gadot. I’m so excited.
These cupcakes are the recipe for another wedding cake that I made for this weekend (it was a two-cake weekend)! Asha, the co-founder of Cake in a Crate, and Andy, the other founder and one of my former college classmates, got hitched in Vermont and I mailed them a very Vermonty cake that was filled with maple and tahini and covered with marzipan! I loved making this cake for them because it obviously had my two greatest food loves in life and also because I got to develop this new recipe for it. I don’t think I’ve ever put maple with tahini before but it turns out it’s a wonderful cozy warm combination. For Asha and Andy’s cake, we brightened up the warmth with a layer of raspberry jam before layering on the marzipan, but for this cupcake version I’ve added labneh. It makes for a topping that’s lighter than cream cheese frosting but heavier and tangier than whipped cream. There’s not much to it at all, it almost feels silly to call it a frosting since it’s literally just sweetened labneh. But with a zest of a lemon and a luxurious swoop, you’ve got yourself a lovely little cake. And the poppy seeds are like a minimalist sprinkle as well as a nod to the buckwheat labneh cake at tandem coffee, which inspired me to get hip to labneh frosting!
maple tahini cupcakes with labneh frosting
makes 16 cupcakes
1 c + 2 tb (142g) flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg
6 tb (120g) maple syrup
1/2 c (100g) sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp maple extract
1/2 c (120g) buttermilk
1/4 c (50g) flavorless oil
1/4 c (60g) water
1/2 c (100g) tahini
1 2/3 c (400g) labneh
1/4 c (30g) powdered sugar
a pinch of kosher salt
zest of 1/2 a lemon
poppy seeds and lemon zest, for decorating
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350ºf and distribute 16 muffin liners evenly between two muffin tins. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the egg, maple syrup, sugar, vanilla, maple extract, buttermilk, oil, water, and tahini. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Fill the muffin liners equally and then bake until as toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean; begin checking for doneness at 15 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, mix together the labneh, powdered sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Taste and adjust as desired.
Spread the frosting onto the cupcakes, sprinkle with poppy seeds and lemon zest and enjoy! These are best the day of.