I was shocked to learn recently that the Crabapple Bakery, which I have mentioned previously on this blog, is no longer with us, at least for now. The Crabapple Bakery is very well known in Melbourne, and the cookbook, written by founder Jennifer Graham, can be purchased on Amazon. If a well known institution like the Crabapple Bakery can disapear virtually overnight, it highlights just how difficult it can be to keep your own business afloat.
Some colleagues and I were recently discussing what happened to the Crabapple Bakery, and how much we enjoyed their vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream. Coincidentally, I had promised the same group of colleagues many moons ago at a Christmas party that I would make them cupcakes with pink icing - 'cause pink icing tastes the best ;). These colleagues do not work for the same company or in the same place as me, hence the long delay in actioning this promise. However, now that I work in the same building two days a week, and spurred on by our discussions about the Crabapple Bakery, I finally made them cupcakes - the Crabapple Bakery cookbook vanilla daisy cupcakes, which I have posted the recipe for here.
This time, I used the buttercream frosting recipe in the Crabapple Bakery cookbook to frost the cakes, and tried my hand at their signature swirl decoration, for authenticity. Sadly, as one of my colleagues remarked, each swirl was unique - making them the "Cabbage Patch Kids" of cupcakes :(. Oh well, they tasted delicious, and I topped each one with a Brimfields chocolate coated cranberry, which I received a box of from the fab White on Rice Couple, Diane and Todd.
I haven't been lucky enough to try Magnolia Bakery or Billys cupcakes, as it is nearly ten years since I visited NYC. Accordingly, I cannot even pretend to be able to rate the taste of their cupcakes against the Crabapple Bakery recipe - although I have noticed that they also have cookbooks out with their recipes. However, you could do much worse than giving this recipe a go - IMHO, it produces really good cupcakes, and you can easily make the large batch of 24 in the recipe to feed a crowd, or halve it like I did to feed a few.