It’s Friday. . so I wanted to share cupcakes!
During our last trip to Los Angeles, my brother, Jimmy, and I took the kids and explored Manhattan Beach, our old hood. When my brother and I first moved out to Los Angeles together back in October 2001, we got a place in Manhattan Beach. Walking distance to the beach. It was awesome. So beautiful. It was my brother’s dream to live close to the beach and yes, you guessed it: learn how to surf.
Well, he did both.
I, on the other hand, would go running. I developed my love for running when I was living in San Francisco (circa 1999-2001). I lived in the Marina and would run from my place, across the Golden Gate Bridge and back. I loved it. Man, back then, I could run 8 miles like it was nothing. Now, I’m lucky if I can run a mile without stopping.
So, Jimmy and I are back in Manhattan Beach. We actually were headed to West Hollywood so I could visit some friends at the best ad agency ever but traffic SUCKED and the kids were hungry so we stopped. And hit up MB Post (Manhattan Beach Post). This restaurant is phenomenal. If you are ever in Manhattan Beach, you must eat there. Must.
I’ve been wanting to eat at this place ever since I heard about them in an episode of Unique Eats. Chef and co–owner David LeFevre is “bringing a playful, artisan menu of small shared plates, hand–crafted cocktails, and small production wines to the South Bay.” They featured David’s Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts with Saba and Emmenthal. They seriously had me at brown butter. Brown butter + my beloved brussels sprouts? Are you kidding me?! Anyway, I think we ordered like seriously 15 different things. . all, of course, documented on Instagram.
Does anyone just eat now? I can’t. If it looks good, I must take a photo. Everything there was absolutely fabulous. After MB Post, we wandered down to the beach, walked around and found Manhattan Beach Creamery. OH. MY. GAWD. This place.
This place was fabulous. Not only did they have cupcakes and ice cream, but they also had frozen bananas, homemade cookies, ice cream sandwiches, French macarons, chocolate dipped treats, candy apples, cotton candy and CANDY. Candy was everywhere. I’m talking those huge swirly lollipops (that I’m convinced no kid on earth could ever finish), gummy candy, jelly beans, M&M’s and the list goes on.
The kids were totally excited and wanted everything. We tried to convince them to only get ice cream and managed to leave only purchasing 4 ice cream cones, one bag of gum drops (which I didn’t even let them have that day) and some cotton candy. This was seriously the ultimate candy shop. The ultimate sweet shop. My head is still spinning with everything they had there. It was great.
That experience inspired these cupcakes today. These are obviously not over-the-top like that shop was (in a good way) but decorated with just a hint of candy and sprinkles. I’ll be honest, I was thinking of going crazy and bedazzling these cupcakes with candy galore . . but then I came to my senses. The best part of these cupcakes are the inside: funfetti. Nothing new at all. But these are my kids’ fave so this is a cupcake mix I make all the time now.
I hope you enjoy! And get out to Manhattan Beach, CA!
Candy Shop Cupcakes
FOR THE CUPCAKES:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- ¼ cup Sprinkles any kind
FOR THE FROSTING:
- 2⅓ cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
- 6½ tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
FOR THE DECORATIONS/TOPPINGS:
- gummy candy of any kind
- pink sugar crystals or sprinkles
FOR THE CAKE:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line your cupcake tin with cupcakes holders and set aside.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the softened butter and vanilla, mix until the batter resembles course sand. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well with each new addition. Add the milk, and mix well. Lastly, pour in the sprinkles and mix by hand, gently.
- Spoon the cake batter into the cupcake liners (filling about ½ way each) and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely, and then frost.
FOR THE FROSTING:
- Beat the confectioners’ sugar, butter, and cocoa powder together in your mixer on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together. Turn the mixer down to a slower speed, and add in the milk, a couple of teaspoons at a time.
- Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed and continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy (for about 5 minutes).
- Frost your cooled cupcakes when ready to serve.
FOR THE DECORATIONS:
- Place gummy candy on top and sprinkle on the sugar crystals or sprinkles. Just have fun and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.