Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's Martha, Bitch! Vol. 12

Macarthur Parkcakes: Success at LAST!

Richard Harris' iconic recording of Jimmy Webb's "Macarthur Park" is the clear inspiration for these lovelies. Oh, what's that? You've never head the song? Yeah...I bet you've never heard the Donna Summer disco version either. ... Wait, what?

Jimmy Webb wrote this intense song a while back, and Richard Harris (yes, the first Dumbly-dore) recorded it for an album in 1968. Donna Summer recorded it in '78, and the rest is history! It also became part of the smash musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and was recently covered by yours truly. In cupcake form.

I set out to do these cakes a while back...this song is just TOO MUCH. I HAD to. I wanted to wait for a rainy sunday, and I finally got one this past weekend. It's Martha's buttermilk vanilla cupcakes recipe, which I may have tried once before...I cannot remember. This time, I really got everything measured out and added in perfectly. I did flub up and add a whole cup of water instead of a half--I was able to get the right about back out of the mix. Either way, whatever I did worked because THESE cupcakes felt AND tasted like the should have months ago. They were (are!) fluffy and soft, and moist, and light. I was so excited. It's no secret that I've had some density issues cooking on this stove.

If that wasn't enough, I tried another recipe for a buttercream frosting. I wanted to try something that didn't have butter - I can't get it the right consistency without adding pound after pound of powdered sugar, which just KILLS my teeth to think about. I want to try again, but in the mean time, I tried a recipe I found online. The difference? It called for Crisco instead of butter.

I know, gross right? Not to me. I don't really see Crisco as any worse than butter, and according to the baking sticks I bought, it actually is better. No saturated fats and it's mostly made with soybean and palm oil. I had seen recipes around that called for shortening before, but I dove right into this one. After getting the consistency just right, and adding a hint of coconut and lime flavor, I had made the prefect buttercream icing (green of course).

I added some tacky pink pearls to the tops because...I mean...it's the late '60s. I wanted something that felt as over the top as the song does...They actually don't look nearly as tacky as they could have (hence the pearls in the first pic. This is serious cake!) Either way, I am SOooo happy these came out delicious! I feel all proud and whatnot.

I've got to whip up some Halloween cakes this week, so I will probably post those on Sunday. Ideas for the week after? Send them my way! Maybe some cornbread muffin cakes with cranberry sauce? And a turkey leg? We will see!

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