Monday, April 4, 2011

King Arthur Comes Home: Back to Boston for Cupcakes

As many of you know, CupcakeCamp Boston has partnered with King Arthur Flour this year to put on a show-stopping event. Enjoy today's guest post from King Arthur Flour editor and recipe developer Susan Reid. Be sure to check out Susan's baking and cupcake-decorating demo next Wednesday at CupcakeCamp.
You may or may not know that King Arthur Flour is the oldest flour company in America. The company started on Boston’s Long Wharf in 1790. That’s when a guy named George Washington was the country’s president. It’s also before there were such things as cameras.

At that time, it wasn’t uncommon for the flour available (all of it was imported; the Midwest wasn’t quite settled yet) to be “stretched” by additions of things like ground bone and chalk. Yuk.

Horse-drawn wagon with barrels for flour being loaded on the wharf in Boston.

Flour was sold in 196 pound barrels, or in fractions thereof.

In case you’re wondering, at these prices, a 5 pound bag of flour would cost you $.17.

The company was founded on the principle that people would be willing to pay a few pennies more for quality and purity they could trust; we still live by that principle every day, 221 years later. The company is 100% employee-owned now, so everyone you deal with at King Arthur has a stake in making sure you’re happy with our product and with us.

Allow me to introduce myself: I’m Susan Reid, and my job at King Arthur Flour is to edit, write, and manage the circulation for our paid baking newsletter: it’s called The Baking Sheet.

I work in our test kitchen, where my efforts range from the sublime

to the humbling.

I do demonstrations and television and video appearances from time to time.

On April 13th, I’ll be throwin’ down about cupcakes at CupcakeCamp Boston. I’ll show you some groovy decorating ideas, we can talk about flavors, frostings, flours, technique, and any other baking problem or question you have on your mind. I did some cupcake calisthenics today to warm up. I started with my favorite coconut cake recipe, which uses our coconut milk powder. I baked some of the batter in our zebra cupcake papers, and some “commando.”

I was planning to make a top that echoed the pattern of the paper when the cupcake was done. So, black and white, coconut and chocolate, here we go. Once the cupcakes were cooled, I used some of our Super Simple Chocolate Frosting to stick a naked mini cupcake upside down on top of one of the big bases.

I took another mini cupcake and used a pastry tip to cut it into a tapered top.

Time for a frosting swirl.

And some more….

Now for the crowing glory: I believe decorations should be tightly linked to the flavors involved; since the cupcake is coconut, I reached for some of our large flake coconut to make zebra stripes above as well as below.

There she is. A towering, tasty treat. There will be more where this came from at the Armory next week. For King Arthur, it’s back to the beginning, near the place where it all began for us more than two centuries ago. Hope to see you there.


  1. We're so excited about CupcakeCamp Boston! Can't wait to share some tips and indulge in some yummy treats! -Allison@KingArthurFlour

  2. Love that cupcake decorating technique and can't wait to learn more at CupcakeCamp!

  3. Oh wow! I was excited about Cupcake Camp before, but now I'm really really excited!!! I can't wait til next week!

  4. Can't wait for Cupcake Camp.... So learn new baking tips.