Good magic: Sprinkles Cupcake ATM, New York

Sprinkles Cupcake ATM
780 Lexington Ave, New York
https://www.sprinkles.com/cupcake-atm

When I first heard about this (and goodness only knows how I came across it, I can’t for the life of me remember!), I thought it was a joke. Maybe a temporary 1 month pop up deal. I didn’t think it’d last long enough for me to actually try it. But it wasn’t temporary or a cruel joke. It was magic. Good magic. From the good cupcake fairies of the world. How else can you explain an ATM that dispatches cupcakes?!

So, dinner had been eaten. It was freezing cold that night, as most nights were in New York over the past winter. We were on our way to Alice’s Tea Cup for some hot tea and scones, when we realised we were walking straight past the Sprinkles Cupcake store. The store with the ATM out the front of it. Cue hysterical laughing and then the realisation that this thing was legit.

How does it work? Pretty simple.
1. Put your credit card in the credit card hole.
2. Make your sweet selection from the touch screen.
3. Confirm your wish to spend money on magical cupcake happiness.
4. The screen door closes.
5. Stare in amazement as the screen door then opens to reveal a perfect little cupcake box sitting there, waiting to be taken home.

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Seriously, that’s it. It’s a real thing, and it’s the best! How much happier can you get than a cupcake at 3am if you desperately need one?! I wasn’t sacrificing my hot tea though, so I put it in my handbag and went on to Alice’s. But then I felt like a cupcake when we got back to the hotel – walking through the cold New York streets is hungry work, after all.  I went with red velvet, and it more than lived up to all the hype. Moist and crumbly, loved the frosting, it was delicious and totally cancelled out my fear that cupcakes from ATMs wouldn’t be as good. It really was. So stop reading this and go get yourself an ATM cupcake! And for those of us not in New York with access to a cupcake ATM, make your way to your nearest cupcake dispensary for a happier Monday!

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Cook this: Best ever red velvet chocolate button cupcakes

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I’ve recently started a new job, and one of the biggest perks is that I once again get to work with one of my best friends. Monday mornings are now SO much more bearable knowing that I’m walking into an office where I know I’m getting a quick weekend gossip re-hash and a hug from a familiar face 🙂

Anyway, this particularly fabulous lady just celebrated her birthday, and red velvet cupcakes are a favourite of hers. So, red velvet cupcakes were exactly what I made her! I based my recipe from Brown Eyed Baker’s, and I’m not sure where she got hers from – she said she did her research and I’m glad she did, because this recipe is truly spectacular! As usual, I played around with it, going mostly by feel and instinct than precision and instruction, and I could not have been happier with how they turned out! Honestly, if these aren’t some of the best cupcake I’ve ever made, then I just don’t know. I reallllyyy hate this word, but they are so moist and fluffy and amazing. Fair warning, I’ve tried to re-write the recipe as best as I remember doing it, measurements may be a few grams off here and there, though!

Ingredients to make a 24 cupcake mega batch (because when it’s a birthday cupcake batch, you just have to go crazy and over cater!):

Cupcakes
– 8 tbsp butter, softened (this was the original measurement, so I just diced my butter into little bits and measured tightly packed tablespoons. Forgot to weigh them though. Oops.)
– 1½ cups caster sugar
– 2 egg, at room temperature
– 3 tbsp cocoa powder
– 3 – 6 tbsp red food coloring (This was kinda hard to measure. I had industrial strength food colouring, the stuff that’ll almost permanently stain your bench top, so I only used about 2 tbsp. Regular food colouring will require a lot more. It’s a bit of a trial and error thing.)
– 1 tbsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup buttermilk
– 2 cup + 4 tablespoons plain flour (again, as per original recipe!)
– 1½ tsp baking soda
– 2 tsp white vinegar
– 1 cup dark chocolate buttons

Frosting
(I made this up as I went along… not terribly precise, sorry!)
– 1 package (250g) Philadelphia cream cheese, roughly diced and softened slightly
– 60g butter, diced and softened slightly
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– roughly 4 cups icing sugar. I didn’t actually precisely measure this, so it’s a guesstimate more than anything. Taste as you go!

 

Method:

To make the cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 170°C and line two cupcake tins with cupcake cases.

2. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for a few minutes, until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer to high and add the eggs, one at a time, and mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

3. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined – you might need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl occasionally to make sure it mixes through evenly.

4. Add half of the buttermilk and mix on slow speed to combine. Add half of the flour and mix again until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour, then beat on high for a few minutes, until smooth.

5. Add the baking soda and vinegar, beat on low speed until just combined, then turn to high and beat for another couple of minutes until completely combined and smooth.

6. Fill the cupcake cases to around a third full, add a few chocolate buttons and add some more batter to top the cases to around three quarters full. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

7. Cool for 5 minutes and then remove cupcakes from the tins and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

 

To make the frosting
1. Beat the butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low/medium speed until combined, then add the vanilla and beat for another few minutes on high, until smooth and creamy.

2. Add the icing sugar, half a cup at a time, beating on medium/high speed until completely combined – scrape down the sides as you go to ensure it’s all mixed in evenly.

3. Taste the frosting as you go; when it’s sweet enough, you’re happy with the consistency and thickness, then stop adding icing sugar. Simple!

4. Smother your cupcakes with frosting and decorate as you wish. Enjoy!

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