My sister Sandra Prosper, LA-based actress, has built a following as a caterer and baker of cupcakes! Using high-quality ingredients from local to organic, she expertly finds ways to offer dimensions in flavor rather than just adding more sugar.
Still actively working in film and television, cupcakes have offered Sandra a platform that not only enhances her acting career but also highlights her abilities as a budding chef. Currently working on a product line of frozen soups and sweets, I caught up with Sandra recently, managing to also snag her super tasty recipe for pumpkin spiced cupcakes, just in time for the holidays! For orders: visit SandraProsper.com or contact directly at Sandra@SandraProsper.com
1) How have cupcakes enriched your acting career?
Whether I'm auditioning for a movie, working on a tv show, or making cupcakes for Hollywood events around LA, it's all entertainment. I'm still an actress. Talking about myself, my career, my businesses, and showcasing my personality to producers, directors and casting directors and publicists. The difference is that when I am presenting cupcakes in event settings people tend to be a lot more disarmed. Consequently, If they already know my work as an actress, they want to know more. If they don't know me at all, a cupcake has made them an instant fan. The warm reception I receive makes me not have to work as hard selling myself. By default, baking cupcakes has turned into an innovative way to have "a meeting." And the result of the meetings has augmented opportunities.
2) What do you love about baking cupcakes?
I love the problem solving process of baking. It's all chemistry. You are putting things together hoping that you don't blow up the lab. When it works and things come together, it's like, eureka! I've solved it! Those are the best moments for me. That's where the true cupcake art lies.
3) Where do you see your cupcake venture going in 2013?
The sky is the limit. I just started my business in 2012. Already I bake for two popular [Los Angeles] chain restaurants and I have more private clients and events than I can handle. In 2013, I will build a support team that will help me take my cupcakes to new heights. A store of my own? Maybe. I will also be building on my product line of fresh frozen soups and sweets called "Sandra's Soups and Sweets", and selling them to high end specialty stores. There are plans for a mail order business for my frozen soups and sweets and for my special occasion baskets featuring all my goodies. And look for news about my cookbook and blog in the new year as well!
PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES WITH BROWN BUTTER FROSTING
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice, plus 1-2 tsp for garnish
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 rounded cup organic unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 rounded cup organic pumpkin puree
4 Large organic eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, salt and allspice in a bowl. In another bowl beak sugar, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and pumpkin until just combined. Add eggs one at a time on low speed until just combined. Then add the flour/spice mixture until incorporated.
Fill cupcake pans lined with cups 3/4 full. Bake 17 minutes on bottom rack or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack. Will yield 24 cupcakes
Brown Butter Frosting Recipe
1 1/2 cup organic unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons organic buttermilk
Brown 1 1/2 sticks of butter over low heat, until golden brown(about 9 minutes). Let cool 10-15 minutes. Beat the remaining 1 1/2 stick of butter until fluffy(about 1 minute). Add the cooled butter to the beaten butter and beat until incorporated. Slowly beat powdered sugar and vanilla until incorporated. Then beat on high until whipped. Slowly add buttermilk, one tablespoon at a time. Consistency should remain a little firm and not runny.
Sift pumpkin spice over frosted cupcakes as garnish.