Monday, May 28, 2012

Surprise Inside Cake - Twice Baked Cupcakes

So what's a girl to do with left over batter? MORE EXPERIMENTING! Yay!

Some of my friends loved the idea of the cake balls as polka dots but since they have a booming bakery business, the time needed to do so just wouldn't be profitable for cupcakes. So I thought I'd try out some alternatives.

The cereal cupcakes don't fall under the "Twice Baked Cupcakes" category, but the idea was to try and get brightly colored shapes inside a cupcake without too much effort.

Here are some of the things I tried: Four of the cupcakes used the little strips I'd cut from cake scraps. Three of them used slightly varying amounts of Fruity Pebbles. And the others were all onesies of different cereals or cake crumb scrap variations.

I love how all of these looked before they went into the oven! The cups were getting quite full and to avoid a real mess as they baked, I didn't put batter on top of the colored additions. Which I would do next time.

The extra batter seals in the moisture and keeps the add ins at their best and brightest rather than toasting them on top. Since they were to be covered with frosting anyway, and this IS an experiment, I left them to see if the batter would rise up around the fillings on its own without further fuss. It didn't. But none overflowed so there was no mess in the oven. Next time, I'd thin the batter even more or find a thin batter that would pour easily over the mix ins and level off on its own. Maybe a sponge? (This may not have been an issue if I'd been faster and filling the 6 inch square with confetti cake scraps and batter.)

You can use a toothpick to move things around a bit and cover them but I'm looking for a less troublesome method. I was concerned that just mixing in some of the non-cereal items with the batter would break them up too much and blur the shapes and colors.

This one did get covered with batter so let me show you what is hiding inside that lovely white sugary blanket!

More cake scraps! This time I pressed them into ice cube trays meant for water bottles but any shape would do. A flexible mold was handy. Not sure if the shapes would pop out as easily in a rigid mold. That's another post for another day. Or perhaps one of you will try it and let me know. I'd love to see your creations!

The scraps were moist enough that no frosting or other "glue" was used. Just a little pressure to smish . . . (Is that a word? No, per spellchecker. It's a technical term meaning to smash and squish at the same time.) . . . them into the cavities and then into the freezer to harden up.

While I was waiting for the tray of misfit cupcakes to bake, I peeled back the liner on these two that I'd baked earlier. They were REALLY full of Fruity Pebbles. A bit too much for me. Which is why there are three more in the oven with a less pebble-to-batter ratio.

The cereal doesn't stay crunchy since there's so much sugar in it. Instead it becomes a little chewy. But the good news is that it doesn't all fall to the bottom while baking. And it adds a nice happy confetti look along with some fruity flavor. If you like that sort of thing. To be fair, I had to give the other fruity cereals a run at it.

I contacted the Trix people to ask them when or if regular colors of Trix would be available in the stores. I hadn't bought Trix in YEARS so I was disappointed to learn that they all have swirls. I was hoping for brighter solid colors. The swirls are a limited edition and regular Trix won't be available until they're sold out.

Meanwhile, the Walmart brand of Fruity Puffs did the trick. And then there were the Froot Loops. Conveniently available at my hotel breakfast bar a couple of mornings ago. I love their softer color blend.

A word about Froot Loops in cupcakes. I searched for recipes to make sure that this was a somewhat original idea. Turns out that are lots of cupcake recipes with Froot Loops on top or crushed into the batter or frosting. I only found one with what may have been whole cereal inside but the photo didn't show any bright colors.

Most recipes were going for citrus flavor in the batter and the fun colors on top but my goal was to get those fun colors inside in polka dot or confetti type fashion. Another thing I learned about Froot Loops along the way: the spelling. I'd never noticed the play on words before. Cute.
I'm sure to misspell it often as I did in the labels above.

The same may be true for the originality of my Fruity Pebbles cupcakes. I stopped searching after a while in order to get back to my vision of bright colors inside. Someone, somewhere in this big wide world may have come up with this first. If so, I'm sure I'll find them sooner or later.

Here they are all baked and covered up. I didn't want to spoil the surprise for you. So I sort of frosted them in patterns that hinted of their insides. I like the idea of a plain white outside so that no one suspects the fun in the middle.

But you could also add a little hint of what's to come like I did here.

These are the leftover confetti cake scrap and Fruity Pebbles cupcakes. Not quite enough pebbles inside. But the cake scrap confetti cupcakes were just about right. Although the tops were a bit dry when I first took them out of the oven, they moistened back up overnight. Patience is a wonderful thing.

Doesn't this one look yummy? Confetti cake crumbs. Nothing goes to waste. And they kept their pretty colors.

This was the one I was most hopeful about. Confetti cake scrap tubes. Although they made stripes, they weren't quite as distinct as I'd planned. Next time I'll use all solid colors and make sure that they are spaced correctly. They kind of remind me of Playdoh.

Are your eyes tired of all these bright colors yet? Not me. These are the confetti cake scraps. So cheerful looking!

The Fruit Froot Loops stayed in place but I didn't use enough of them. The colors got a bit darker during baking which helps them show up more.

The Fruity Puffs made cute little dots but again, I could have added a few more. The colors here stayed pretty true.

And this little Fruity Pebbles was just right. You can pretend that the dots are dried fruit if you're concerned about too much sugar. Which dried fruit also has. Pick your battles. Or eliminate them from birth. I was amazed when one of my baking buddies visited last weekend with her daughter who had no idea what Fruity Pebbles were. Good mommy!

I, unfortunately was the bad mommy type. My thirty something son will love getting the leftover ingredients from this session.

These look like they could have stood a couple more minutes in the heat unless that's frosting transferred during cutting. All of the cupcakes had more holes than usual. I'll bet my food science friend, Summer would have the answer to this one.

And finally, the Trix cupcakes. Not enough added to the batter and not enough colors in the box in my humble opinion. I'll wait for them to reintroduce the old style Trix or substitute Fruity Puffs.

I may not have had much leftover batter after all these cupcakes but I still have leftover ideas. Be sure to check back for the latest craziness!


Cindy Dy said...

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Leslie Lim said...

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