Did you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness month?  I didn’t until very recently.  While cancer isn’t something that I personally have had to deal with (thank goodness), there are some very near and dear to me who have been affected by it.  A very good friend of mine’s sister was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, which is incredibly scary, but I know her sister is amazingly positive and strong, and it was caught at a fairly early stage.  Her experience is just one reason to always get checked out, you never know when you’ll get a lump, or when that benign lump will turn cancerous.

My husband’s mother passed away from breast cancer when he was in elementary school, and I can’t imagine what he and his family had to go through, especially at such a young age.  I hope that they find a cure, so that other families won’t have to go through the same thing.  Breast cancer isn’t just something that affects the person who has it, it affects mothers, children, wives, and daughters.

Did you know that Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States?  According to the American Cancer Society, it’s estimated that about 178,480 women in the United States will be found to have invasive breast cancer in 2007. About 40,460 women will die from the disease this year. Right now there are slightly over 2 million women living in the United States who have been treated for breast cancer.

So this month I decided to participate in cilantro and lime‘s Baking for Breast Cancer Awareness event.  I am just under the wire, as October is almost over!  We were charged with baking something to raise awareness, and I decided to make my FAVORITE cupcakes.

When I was younger, I was never really into cake (as an adult I still prefer cupcakes), and for my birthday my mom would bake these no icing cupcakes for me, and then a cake for the adults.  She would also make them for halloween, valentine’s day, and color the center appropriately.  I figured these were perfect, as I could make them pink for breast cancer.  I have seen these referred to as black and white cupcakes, but the recipe my mom sent me is for no icing cupcakes.

I don’t have photos of the making of these, I just took a lot of cupcake glamour shots.

Filling

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
food coloring, if desired

In a food processor, mix together cream cheese, egg, and sugar (I tried a whisk once, and it was lumpy, even after setting cream cheese out for a while).  If using food coloring, add in now.  Stir in chocolate chips, and set aside.

Cupcakes

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups water
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cups oil

Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of a standing mixer.  Add in water, vanilla, and oil, and beat until smooth.

Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers.  Fill about 2/3 full with chocolate mixture, and then, using a teaspoon, drop in filling mixture.  Do not overfill, as they can rise a lot (found this out the hard way once).  Bake at 350 for 15-25 minutes (my oven took longer, others can take less time).  Cool on a rack, and then enjoy!