These look good, no?
In reality they were okay. Like, I won't be posting the recipe because I don't want to hurt the feelings of the source... okay.
My family, unsurprisingly, gobbled them up gleefully. But in a house with a husband, two teenagers and a tween this isn't saying much.
Just so you know, I have baking fails from time to time. Here's a few of the problems with this batch:
- They didn't rise! In fact I think they also fell.
- Tops were big pancakes I had to cut them off with a paring knife to get the cakes out of the pan.
- After all the fussing around with buttermilk, fresh brewed coffee etc. it tasted like boxed cake mix... not terribly substantial cake.
So what's a girl to do?
Can't do much about not rising, but filling the cake helps. I made a franken-monstrosity of marshmallow, coffee, cinnamon and red pepper flakes and squeezed it into the middles. It bumped up their flavor and pooched out their little chocolate bellies making them less concave.
For their deflated muffin tops, I trimmed the cake flush with the liner using kitchen scissors. They looked surprisingly normal... considering. If you look at the pictures you can see the ragged edges, but I bet you didn't initially.
While the texture wasn't something I could work with short of squishing them into cake pops (and it's lightness stymied my plans to drizzle them with carmel for caramel macchiato flavored cupcakes), I was able to gain a lot of headway with the flavor by adding such a grown-up filling and making an intensely dark chocolate frosting. Instead of cream in my buttercream, I used a heaping tablespoon of instant coffee melted into two tablespoons of water. It sharpened the chocolate and gave them an additional delicious jolt.
To highlight the coffee, cinnamon and chocolate, I decorated the cupcakes with dark chocolate covered espresso beans and cinnamon hearts.
Now for the confession. Some of the poor cupcakes were utterly beyond saving and as a family we tend to shy away from mile high (corrective) frosting. So here is what they really looked like, sans blog photo styling:
Yeah... that could have gone better :-)
P.S. Anyone wondering what happened with potentially giving up the 52 Cakes Project as it makes our menu too cake-tastic? My sweetie made it one measly day before bemoaning the lack of cake in the house. LOL. Then he had to wait nearly a week for these ones. Apparently cake is here to stay.