As a follow up to my cakes post, I thought I’d share with you some of my recent cupcake adventures. I’m again sharing my top 5 creations, all of which are already featured in my “previously baked” gallery.
#1 – S’mores Cupcakes (Gluten-, Dairy-, Egg-, Soy-, and Nut-Free!)
These were inspired by Cupcake Jemma’s s’mores cupcakes (which look delicious, and I do plan to make the original recipe sometime!). But I had a problem, which is of course that my research group is Allergy Central (gluten, dairy, egg, soy, and nuts are off the table). So I decided to rework this to make something that everyone could eat.
For the “buttery”cookie base, I took the Enjoy Life brand graham crackers and crushed 150g into small crumbs. To that, I added 5g of coconut oil and 1tsp of corn syrup. Basically as close as I could get to Cupcake Jemma’s recipe, but without the gluten and dairy.
The chocolate cupcake recipe is from Sarah Bakes Gluten Free – these are probably the best chocolate cupcake I’ve found that fit all my allergy requirements. If you are gluten-free and/or vegan, I highly recommend trying this out. Because of the cookie base, this cupcake recipe gave me a dozen of my s’mores cupcakes, plus four extra chocolate cupcakes (I also make my cupcakes a bit on the small side and fill just to 2/3 full – no huge muffin top on these).
Once the cupcakes were cooled, I hollowed these out and filled them with a coconut chocolate ganache. This is made with dairy-free chocolate chips and coconut cream in place of regular chocolate and whipping cream.
To top, I used a marshmallowy frosting, made with Ener-G egg replacer, powdered sugar, and a little coconut oil. To finish these off, I drizzled them in melted dairy-free chocolate and placed a slice of chocolate and graham cracker in each cupcake.
#2 – Rose Cupcakes
I made these cupcakes this year as a present for some of my dance students. We have a choreography competition every year in February, and I like to bring food for my dancers as a treat after all of the hard work that goes into this competition. This year, it fell on Valentine’s Day, so these rose cupcakes seemed appropriate.
These are a rich chocolate cupcake, each filled with a fresh raspberry (see below) and a white chocolate ganache.
These cupcakes are finished off with a pink buttercream rose. The combination of raspberry, ganache, and buttercream gives a mix of red, pink, and white that is perfect for a Valentine’s Day treat.
#3 – Berries and Cream Cupcakes
These were made for the same competition as the rose cupcakes (I did a lot of baking that weekend). Like the s’mores cupcakes, these were inspired by a Cupcake Jemma video. I made a slight alteration to this recipe in that I swapped the vanilla cupcake for a lemon cupcake as the base. The cupcake then has a strawberry and raspberry “goo” (as Cupcake Jemma calls it) swirled into the batter. The frosting is a mix of vanilla buttercream and more of the strawberry and raspberry goo, topped with a buttercream flower. At the center of the flowers is a pinch of candied lemon zest, to finish off the subtle lemon flavour of these cupcakes.
#4 – Princess Skittle Cupcakes
When my friends heard me say the word “skittle cupcakes”, I got a few raised eyebrows. I think some people thought I was going to put full skittles in the cupcake batter, which certainly would have made for an interesting texture! These are a regular yellow cake, and the skittle flavour comes from a “skittle syrup”, made by heating together skittles and water.
These are essentially a poke cake, but in cupcake form. For a poke cake, you poke holes in the cake once it has filled, then pour in syrup, pudding, jello, or some other liquid filling. This gives the cake a striped appearance when cut. For the poke cupcakes, the process is the same, except the add-ins are 5 different skittle syrups, one for each colour of skittle:
This gives these cupcakes a great rainbow effect. They are topped off with some skittle buttercream (made by adding food-processed skittles to the buttercream), and fondant in the shape of princess skirts and bodices. In the top picture, you can see Belle from Beauty & the Beast, Snow White, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty (in both pink and blue, since I recall there was a fight over dress colour in the movie), and Tinkerbell, who arguably is not a princess, but she is my friend’s favourite so I couldn’t leave her out.
I’ve also made these in a gluten- and dairy-free variety, with a skittle filling (see below) and skittle frosting.
Whether you go for the regular cupcakes, or gluten-free, these have a great punch of skittle flavour that really makes them stand out from all the other vanilla cupcakes.
#5 – Mini Champagne Cupcakes
The title for these is a bit misleading, as they were made with ginger ale instead of champagne (the ginger ale came with pizza a few days before, so I worked with what I had on hand. I don’t often have champagne just lying around the house), but the end result is quite similar.
I love a good mini cupcake, because they are so cute and tiny you feel like you can get away with eating 3 or 4 and they still don’t feel as filling as a full-sized cupcake. They were a perfect little treat to bring into work and share at the end of lunch.
I made these just after I got my set of Americolour gel colours, so I decided to go with a rainbow buttercream to use up as many of the gel colours as possible. The recipe was a regular vanilla buttercream, and I painted stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple up the sides of my piping bag to produce the colourful stripes you see above.
So there you have it, my top 5 cupcakes! I love a good cupcake – they are so flexible when it comes to designs, fillings, and bases, and you have the opportunity to do a different design on every cupcake, which is something that doesn’t work nearly as well on a cake.
What are your favourite cupcake flavours? Let me know in the comments below!