Soul Food in a Tiny Kitchen

When someone experiences a tragedy in life, whether it be the loss of a job or a loved one, the first way I respond is to cook something.

I’m not sure if this is a family trait or simply the result of living in the South, but food seems to be a language for the soul that very few things can match. And when someone is hurting, desserts and casseroles often become the only words I know how to speak.

One of those tragedies happened this week, so I got to work in my tiny kitchen to create a humble offering of my sympathy.

And what better way to sympathize than to make Chocolatey-Chip Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting?

First, I assembled my ingredients. It’s important to do, although most of the time I usually grab things as I come to them in the mixing process.

I used a normal box of chocolate cake mix, but I added a kick by throwing in a handful of chocolate chips.

Another trick I learned from a friend is to use a little less water and replace that with a little extra oil. It makes the cake more moist.

While the cupcakes were baking, I whipped up the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing. I ran into several problems, however, that you may want to avoid if you make your own icing.

For one, I didn’t have time to let the butter and cream cheese soften. So, I microwaved them – which isn’t a big deal, except the icing turned out to be a bit runny.

I was also trying to avoid the chunky cream cheese effect that happens when you don’t let it soften, but I ended with a different chunky effect because I don’t own a mixer. While I feel all hipster-like mixing things by hand and saving electricity, it’s probably best if you use a mixer when working with cream cheese. The icing eventually smoothed out better than I thought, but there is only so much your poor little spoon can do.

The next few steps were a powered-sugar mess and a scramble to make sure the cupcakes were taken out of the oven in time. The final product was quite delicious, though, if I may say so.


Until next time,


Image courtesy of Beth Byrd|Cardinal & Cream
About Beth Byrd 27 Articles
Beth is the editor-in-chief of the Cardinal & Cream. She is a senior journalism major.