“What’s the easiest way to quiet a cranky kid? Give the child a cupcake.

‘My mom used to make me cupcakes all the time,’ says Chef Christina Tosi. ‘They’re easier to hand to a hungry kid who wants cake.’

That frosting-happy kid flitting around the kitchen grew up to be the owner and pastry chef of New York’s beloved Momofuku Milk Bar where her zesty strawberry lemon cake is now a best seller. Tosi shared her recipe (versatile enough to adapt to any pan shape—including cupcakes) with InStyle. We especially love how Tosi uses pickled jam in lieu of strawberry preserves to up the tartness of these sweet cakes.

What’s the secret to the pretty perfection of her cupcakes? Tosi says it’s all about the butter. She swears by superb unsalted butter, like the ultra indulgent Plugrá brand that her Momofuku team prefers.” (read more)

(Romulo Yanes / InStyle / May 7, 2014)