A reader, Cynthia, advised I do a column on decreasing baking recipes. It was a good suggestion, as a result of many people have been baking through the pandemic and a few, these feeding one or two, could wish to know methods to a make a recipe that, for instance, yields 12 cupcakes, or three dozen cookies, yield a smaller quantity. Listed here are some suggestions.

• When decreasing recipes, choose these that may be simply divided. In different phrases, decide if something on the ingredient record can’t be simply lowered in quantity.

• When decreasing a recipe, know that 1 cup equals 16 tablespoons, half cup equals eight tablespoons, third cup equals 5 tablespoons plus one teaspoon, and quarter cup equals 4 tablespoons. One tablespoon equals three teaspoons.

• It’s at all times necessary to precisely measure utilizing customary measuring cups and spoons. And that’s even more true when decreasing baking recipes, as a result of a bit extra, or rather less, of a key ingredient might trigger issues to go very improper.

• If decreasing a recipe that initially referred to as for one giant egg, know that one giant egg, when overwhelmed (not till frothy), is about three tablespoons. One giant egg white equals two tablespoons and one giant egg yolk, one tablespoon.

• If decreasing a recipe that initially referred to as for one, eight-gram packet of yeast, know that it accommodates two and quarter teaspoons of yeast.

• Whenever you cut back a recipe, for a loaf or muffin, for instance, you’ll have much less batter within the bowl. It’s essential to scrape the bowl and utensils used to make sure you get each little bit of that batter into the baking pan.

• Lowering recipes means you’ll be utilizing smaller implements to make them. A hand-held mixer, slightly than giant a stand mixer, works nicely for elements that want vigorous beating, though many smaller batch recipes could be combined by hand. You additionally want smaller mixing bowls, baking pans, equivalent to mini loaf pans, six-cup muffin pan and, if utilizing a toaster oven, pans that match it.

• What measurement of pan to make use of, and baking time, will rely upon how a lot you’ve lowered the recipe by, and what kind of recipe it’s. Sadly, I don’t have room to increase on that right here, however in the event you do an Web search of “small batch baking” recipes and “baking pan” sizes you’ll discover a mountain of knowledge to information you.

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe yields 4 moist, properly spiced cupcakes. Apple sauce replaces the oil typically added to such a recipe.

Preparation time: half-hour

Cooking time: 23 to 25 minutes

Makes: 4 cupcakes

8 walnut halves (divided)

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1 giant egg

1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp every baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp floor cinnamon

1/8 tsp floor nutmeg

1 cup grated carrot

2 Tbsp currants

2 Tbsp medium unsweetened coconut flakes

• vegetable oil spray

1/4 cup agency cream cheese, at room temperature (see Notice)

2 Tbsp (1/8 cup) butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp icing sugar

Coarsely chop 4 walnuts halves; set the opposite 4 apart till wanted beneath.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat and mix the granulated sugar, apple sauce, egg and 1/2 tsp vanilla in a medium bowl.

Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a second bowl and whisk to mix. Combine within the carrot, chopped walnuts, currants and coconut. Add the dry elements to the moist and blend till simply mixed.

Frivolously coat 4 of the cups in a non-stick muffin pan with oil spray. Divide and spoon the cupcake batter into these 4 cups. Bake 23 to 25 minutes, or till cupcakes spring again when gently touched within the centre. Cool cupcakes within the pan quarter-hour. Now rigorously take away from the pan and funky to room temperature.

To make frosting, beat cream cheese, butter and 1/8 tsp vanilla in a bowl with an electrical mixer till clean and nicely mixed. Now regularly beat within the icing sugar till all is integrated.

Pipe or unfold frosting on the cupcakes and prime every one with a walnut half. Refrigerate cupcakes, an hour or so, to set the frosting, after which tent with plastic wrap till able to get pleasure from. Cupcakes could be made as much as a day earlier than wanted.

Notice: 1 / 4 of a 250-gram brick of cream cheese will yield the 1/4 cup wanted right here.

These cupcakes freeze nicely, on the able to thaw and revel in at one other time. With out the frosting, the cupcakes change into carrot muffins you might get pleasure from for breakfast or brunch.


Eric Akis is the creator of eight cookbooks. His columns seem within the Life part Wednesday and Sunday.


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