I wanted to create a cupcake that represented two family members who have passed away. My grandmother was always an avid baker and I am fortunate to have many of her recipes including this chocolate cake recipe. Although I never got to meet her, my grandma’s memories live on through her recipes.
Her daughter, my aunt, was diagnosed with ALS at an early age but always found beauty in everything that was around her. The three of us have always shared a passion for baking and I will always feel a connection with them whenever I am in the kitchen. I dedicate the frosting of this cupcake to my aunt. When I would visit her in Florida, she would always have a box of cherry cordials. During the day, we would walk along the beach and collect seashells. We would then make picture frames out of the seashells we collected. Building these picture frames captured one of my favorite memories with my aunt. The frosting is piped on the cupcakes to look like seashells to reflect these cherished times.
Every part of this cupcake is dedicated to my grandmother and aunt. When I bake this cupcake, it feels like they are with me in the kitchen.
—By Shauna Defone