I’m a big lug. Like, really. I have no stamina whatsoever. One time I decided I would be a runner since so many people seem to love it. And after a month of abject misery (a.k.a. training), I worked my way up to .8 miles. Another time I went to spin class and halfway through I literally started passing out.


After months of being a sedentary couch potato, I decided to be good and try again. I went to a TRX class - and made it through! Huzzah! My legs are jello and I had to take a break in every set, but I made it through!


To reward myself for a job well done, I baked myself a batch of perfectly fluffy and sweet snickerdoodle cupcakes. I am not joking when I say these might be my favorite things I’ve ever baked. Not only do I have no stamina, but I also clearly appreciate a good hyperbole. But, for real. I literally ate half the cupcakes before I got to frosting them. These babies would be perfect without any frosting, but since I had just discovered a new recipe for a less-sweet frosting, I just had to try it out. And, as a sucker for juicy history, this “heritage” cooked flour frosting has an interesting backstory to boot; in World War II when butter and sugar were rationed and therefore precious, housewives relied on a cooked flour and milk mixture to thicken frosting. And it turns out it’s a pretty genius move in any day and age.


Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Cupcake recipe from

Martha Stewart

and frosting recipe adapted from

Joe Pastry

Makes 28 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups milk

Cupcake Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  4. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low.
  5. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
  6. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full.
  7. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Heritage Frosting Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) of butter, softened
  • ½ - 1 cup powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)

Heritage Frosting Directions

  1. Put flour into a small saucepan and slowly add milk, whisking.
  2. Cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches the boil. After about 30 seconds of full boil, the mixture is as thick as it’s going to get. Allow it to cool about ten minutes.
  3. Apply plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the mixture and put the saucepan in the refrigerator. Let it cool down for about an hour.
  4. Combine butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the beater attachment. Beat about 4 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  5. With the mixer running, beat in the milk mixture. Beat for about another minute until you have a sweet and silky faux buttercream (if it looks curdled or broken, follow the golden rule of buttercream and just keep beating until it’s where you want it).
  6. Beat in two teaspoons of vanilla extract, or the flavoring of your choice.
  7. Take a good dollop (trust me, you’ll want that much) and smear it on each cupcake (or if you’re fancy, pipe it on top). Top with a tasty snickerdoodle cookie if you like (you can use my tried and true cardamom snickerdoodle cookie recipe and swap out the ½ teaspoon cardamom for 1 tablespoon cinnamon for a more traditional take). Enjoy!