When the weather outside has been more like late winter than late spring, nothing says sunshine more to me than a batch of freshly baked frosted cupcakes.  We in Southern California are familiar with this phenomenon known as “June gloom” where mornings are gray, cool, and slightly gloomy.  If we’re lucky,  by the time the afternoon hits, the sun may peer through reminding us that summer is near. 

I got this recipe, called a 1-2-3-4 cake, from the back of my Swan Downs cake flour box.  I was all out of regular all purpose flour but wanted to do some baking this morning, so I reached for the cake flour.  I’m quite happy with the results of this fairly quick and easy recipe which I halved and made into cupcakes instead of a cake.  The texture of the cupcake is light and airy, resembling a sponge cake.  I made a cream cheese frosting by throwing together cream cheese, a tablespoon of butter,  powdered sugar and mixed until smooth.  The sprinkles are optional of course but I encourage them highly!

Swan Downs’ 1-2-3-4 Cupcakes: (when halved, makes 12 regular sized cupcakes)


1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

3 cups sifted cake flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract


Cream butter. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Add eggs one at a time to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with milk and flavorings, beating after each addition until smooth. Baking: Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch layer pans, using about 2-1/3 cups batter in each pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans and finish cooling on racks