Glossless Baking For Your Red Carpet Events

If you're like me, the only red carpet events you ever really attend are through the magic of your television set. But don't despair, you can still celebrate in a small but significant way. Bake cupcakes!

These cupcakes are about as polished as Helena Bonham Carter

Tonight I've got my money on The Silver Lining Playbooks, and although my cupcakes turned out looking more like red carpet stains than glamorous gems fit to feed to Daniel Day-Lewis himself, they're still quite tasty.

Now before I let you in on a not-so secret recipe, here are some essential rules for glossless baking:

1-Screw the apron, your attire should be the pj's you've been wearing since yesterday afternoon.
2-Any excess batter on the side of the bowl gets scooped up by your fingers for lickin'.
3-Any excess icing on the side of the cupcakes gets scooped up by your fingers for lickin'.
4-Baking experts will tell you not to open up the oven and pull the cupcakes out to poke at them. Ignore that. Poke away. Poke until you can poke no longer.
5-When in doubt, use your family members shamelessly as guinea pig testers until cupcakes are coming out their ears and they are at risk of developing diabetes.
The secret is in the strawberries
A picture of Tuesday the Cat mesmerized by the process of cupcaking

These babies are just as good plain as they are iced. Kind of like Bradley Cooper.

Glossless Vanilla-Strawberry Cupcakes with Coconut Icing:
adapted from George Geary's Simple Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients for the cake:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup ripe strawberries, cut into small pieces
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Ingredients for the icing:

1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed and softened
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions (Oven should be set a 350F unless your oven is hotter than Hades like mine which I set at 325F):

1-Combine all the dry stuff together (flour, baking powder, salt) then toss in all your cut strawberries and set aside.
 2- In a separate bowl, mix together brown sugar with butter you've melted on medium heat and cooled. Stir in your eggs, one by one, until everything looks smooth. Add in your vanilla extract.
3-Add your flour mixture to your wet stuff, alternating with milk, making three flour additions and two milk additions in total. Stir like it's going out of style.
4-Pour mixture into two 12 cup cupcake tins and bake for about 20 minutes. When you insert a toothpick in their tops, it should come out goop-less. Let them cool while you make your icing.

For icing, mix together softened and cubed butter with all that icing sugar. Pour in milk and vanilla extract. Add in your coconut. Everything should look smooth. My icing was kind of droopy but a little refrigeration fixed the problem.

Lastly, decorate your cupcakes with bits of strawberry and some icing. If you're a pro you've probably got fancy tools to help you. If you're glossless, all you need is your hand and a butter knife.