Saturday night, Shawn built a nice campfire in the backyard for us and our neighbors came over for a simple dinner of hot dogs and fire-roasted corn. Our friends never visit empty-handed, often showering us with gifts. This time, I asked my beautiful British import of a girlfriend to not spoil us, but she showed up with a big box from Martino’s Bakery, anyway. When I peeked in and saw the signature square TEACAKES inside, I was so so glad my friend didn’t listen to me.
Bakeries are among my favorite travel destinations and where we live, there’s an abundance of freshly baked goods, but I often talk myself out of making the trip to that repository of heavenly confections by convincing my little Daisy that “we will bake that at home.”
These little teacakes are a local treasure, perhaps even a local legend and I had never tasted one before. Now I had an excuse. Delightfully spongy with a vanilla-scented glaze that cracks under the tooth, these cupcakes are a must-try, but since I vowed to stay away from bakeries (Hah!), I did my homework and cracked the secret code. I did it for YOU, because you may not live anywhere near California and shouldn’t be deprived of such deliciousness. So, now, you can bake your own right at home, wherever that is.
All Shapes & Sizes
Everyone knows shape and size don’t matter; it’s taste that counts. The original goodies that inspired this lovely recipe are baked into cubes which you can easily replicate with a brownie bar pan stuffed with cupcake liners, but the shape isn’t really important. We’re looking for flavor and texture, folks. So, if you’re short on storage space in your kitchen, just use a regular 12-well cupcake tin. Who cares what they look like, as long as they taste good, right?
You know I sometimes (often) lack patience and am prone to burning things, which brought me to consider ditching the step of toasting milk powder in this recipe. After giving it some thought (and tasting the marvelous results of my hard work), I decided it was well worth the effort on two counts: Firstly, milk powder imparts a delightfully bouncy crumb as evident in Gulab Jamuns and, secondly, the toasting on stovetop really doesn’t take long and is so important to that butterscotch, caramel flavor and color of these habit-forming Teacakes. But, if you’re exhausted and really need a treat FAST, skip the toasting step, but do not exclude the dry milk powder.
Teacakes with Maple Glaze
Makes: 1 dozen
Prep: 10 mins
Bake: 18-20 mins
1/4 cup milk powder, toasted
6 Tb butter, melted
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 brown sugar
1 large free-range egg, @ room temp
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup hot water
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 stick butter, melted
Toast milk powder in a dry frying pan on medium-high heat, moving it around with a wooden spoon as it will burn quickly. This will take about 5-10 mins. Be patient.
Line cupcake pan with paper cups.
Preheat oven to 350*F.
Melt butter and set aside.
Cream both sugars with egg, vanilla, milk.
Add toasted dry milk and melted butter.
Place a sieve over the mixing bowl and sift flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl.
Mix just until the dry ingredients disappear into the batter.
Fill the cupcake wells and transfer pan to hot oven.
Bake 15-18 mins, till you can smell the teacakes.
Remove from the oven and let the sweethearts cool completely.
Now, make the icing.
Melt 4 Tb butter (1/2 stick).
Mix powdered sugar, hot water and vanilla.
Add melted butter and mix til smooth.
Dip tops of cooled cakes into warm icing, then let them cool and set.
Serve with tea (or coffee).