This week’s recipe: Olive Oil Cupcakes
First, some exciting personal news: I am engaged! A man has declared me worthy and therefore validated my existence in society. It feels great! But no joke, Mark and I are supa-psyched. Our wedding isn’t going to be for a long time so we have plenty of time to celebrate and enjoy before the planning gets serious, but one of the things that I’m looking forward to most is registering. I remember getting to use the registry gun when I went shopping for college stuff at Bed Bath & Beyond. It was awesome, and I can’t wait to do it again. But the thing is, Mark and I already have pretty much every household implement one could possibly want, and we don’t have a ton of storage space in our Manhattan apartment kitchen, so we have to be judicious about what we register for. While this is my only chance to get a factory-new Vitamix and, let’s face it, I’ll probably succumb to the temptations a Le Creuset casserole or Dutch oven, I pray that once I have a registry gun in my hand, I am not suddenly convinced that I need a $1500 crystal vase just because somebody else is going to pay for it.
Let me explain. I went to private school with a lot of obscenely wealthy people. They are now getting married to other obscenely wealthy people (sometimes to each other!) and making wedding registries. Looking at, and mocking, their registries is one of my all-time favorite activities. I know it’s petty and pathetic but I don’t care. They’re going to have a lifetime of Baccarat and Waterford and Tiffany, can’t I just have this? Sometimes, I hope that some of these gifts are just elaborate troll jobs, that the couple is going to return them and use the money for, say, a down payment on an apartment. Because otherwise I can’t fathom the level of privilege and entitlement necessary to assume that 12 people will want to spend over $600 to buy you a single set of silverware. At least silverware might get some use. Below, with commentary by yours truly, are some of the most ridiculous gifts I’ve seen on people’s registries:
Baccarat Oenology Young Red Wine Decanter, $800
The one that started it all. When I saw this gift, I had so many questions. Do you need a separate $800 decanter for old red wines? And what about white wines? Do the white wines also need their own age-specific containers?
Baccarat Harmonie Ice Bucket, $770 AND Christofle Oh Isothermic Ice Pail, $400 AND Vertigo Ice Pail, $710 (all from the same registry)
Ice is free but that doesn’t mean that you should just take it from the freezer and put directly it in your drink like a peasant. No truly classy home is complete without at least $2000 worth of ice receptacles. And of course you must also use the Vertigo Ice Tongs, $215.
Elsa Peretti® Frame in Sterling Silver, $730
“The couple in the photo was perfect—barefoot, clad all in white, laughing on the beach. It was the sort of photo that came already in the frame when you bought it. No one would ever believe that such a beautiful, elegant couple, captured in such a beautiful, elegant photo, tucked inside such a beautiful, elegant picture frame could fall out of love six months into their marriage. And, Christine thought as she furiously polished the already-gleaming silver frame, nobody would ever find out.”
Tumi Alpha 2 Garment Cover, $295
For when you really want to spend $295 for what is essentially a trash bag on a hanger.
Oxo Mandoline Chef’s Sliver, $166.99
Sure, you don’t know how to boil water now, but everyone knows the day you get married, you are transformed into a domestic goddess who regularly makes her own potato chips. When that day comes, you will need this mandoline.
French Kitchen Marble Lazy Susan, $99.95
If I ever ask someone to spend $100 on a French marble Lazy Susan, please bash me over the head with said French marble Lazy Susan.
Clear Quartz Grande Votive, $840
This is literally a rock into which you place a candle. I really don’t have anything else to say about it. Words fail me.
So thanks, privileged couples with publicly view-able registries, for the hours of entertainment. I can’t wait until your kids start to crawl and break all your overpriced shit and spill young red wine on your white carpets.
So anyway, here are some cupcakes. For once, these are actually semi-related to today’s post, since I made them for our engagement party last night. They have a lovely mix of flavors – lemon, lavender, olive oil – and are perfect for spring. The only issue I found was that I had to add a lot more powdered sugar to the frosting to get it stiff enough to pipe (hence the wonky-looking frosting on the cupcakes in the header image), but my kitchen was also very hot so your mileage may vary. Between what I baked, what my dad baked, and what various friends bought, we had literally ten desserts, but I think it’s a testament to these cupcake’s deliciousness that almost every one got eaten!
Olive Oil Cupcakes
Adapted from The Almond Eater
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1½ cups cane sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup plain yogurt
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lavender
- Zest of 1 lemon
- For the icing:
- ¼ cup ricotta
- ¼ cup mascarpone
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, yogurt, olive oil, and vanilla together.
- Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Last, stir in the lavender and lemon zest by hand.
- Prepare a cupcake pan and pour batter evenly into each cup.
- Bake cakes for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- For the icing: use an electric mixer to mix the ricotta and mascarpone together; add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and stir until everything is combined.
- Once cupcakes are cool, spread icing evenly among them.