Italians don’t know of cupcakes. They are simply not among the menu of desserts that Italian mammas whip up in their kitchen. But who doesn’t like a cupcake, right? So, on the 4th of July I introduced my Italian relatives to the wonders of biting into an icing-laden, moist funfetti cupcake. And last weekend – oops – I did it again. Only this time around, I made some with vanilla icing, some with chocolate icing, and all with way more decoration. I used rainbow sprinkles, Oreos for Mickey Mouse ears, and white chocolate shavings (those are not in the photo). Since this was my third attempt at making cupcakes and icing from scratch, I had gotten significantly better at it. No one in the house seemed able to resist ’em, least of all me. (I used the same confetti cupcake recipe as last time, the same chocolate frosting recipe, and this super easy vanilla frosting recipe.)
Cupcakes are every American moms go-to treat. It is what you make for your kids’ birthdays and holidays. And there’s something about cupcakes – tiny individual cakes – that makes you feel special and cozy and loved. Well, I was happy to share this bit of Americana with my Italian family. I owe them; after all, they provide me with authentic Neapolitan pizza, homemade tomato sauce, and all the home-grown fruits and veggies I can eat. Indeed, my favorite cultural exchanges are the kind I can bite into. And boy, I could go for a cultural exchange right now. How ’bout you?