Let Him Eat Cupcakes

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If Josh would ever come visit us in the Washington bureau, we’d give him the grand Swampland send-off he deserves, complete with the baked goods we’re always snarfing down here. It’s a measure of the impact he has had on all aspects of the magazine and Time.com that I don’t think any of us can imagine how one person could replace him. On a personal note, as far as I can deduce, Josh is single-handedly responsible for bringing me to TIME and keeping me here, so let that color your assessment of him as you will. I’ll just say: thank you.

For now, we’ll have to make do with virtual cupcakes, Swampland-style:

(And let it never be said that we don’t respond to reader requests. Recipe after the jump…)

Spiced Mini Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting 

(adapted from Bon Appetit)

  • 1 c. cake flour
  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. ground ginger
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 T. grated orange peel
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift first 8 ingredients into medium bowl. Beat sugar, butter and orange peel in large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with sour cream and milk. Spoon into mini-cupcake pan filled with mini-cupcake liners, filling each about two-thirds full.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until springy to touch. Remove to wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 12 oz. cream cheese, slightly softened
  • 4 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 t. grated orange peel
  • 1 t. vanilla bean paste
  • 1/3 c. chilled sour cream

Beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer until blended. Beat in sugar, then add orange peel and vanilla. Stir in sour cream. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until frosting is slightly firm. Spread or pipe on cupcakes.