Today is a little deviation on the creativity theme. Instead of pictures being the focus of today’s blog, it’s actually the cupcakes. (The pictures are rather terrible and I’m not editing them.) One might argue that there isn’t much creativity in these cupcakes, since I succumbed to using a box cake mix. Honestly, I was more interested in trying to imagine how the flavors would come together than in making a cake from scratch. Besides, I wanted chocolate cake, and it’s so difficult to find a good chocolate cake recipe that doesn’t involve actually melting chocolate. If anyone is willing to share a chocolate cake recipe, I would be grateful!
Mistake #1: I used a sugar free cake mix. I’ve made some great cakes that are reduced sugar and the mix itself isn’t bad, but wasn’t going to work for this application. I blindly grabbed the sugar free mix while strolling down the market isle because I hadn’t put the forethought into how the texture would relate to my idea of putting pudding in the middle of the cupcake. Basically, this mix is too dry, despite the use of oil, so it crumbles very easily.
Mistake #2: I also used sugar free instant pudding. All of this sugar-free starting material with a sugar-full frosting makes the ensemble taste lopsided. I’m also wondering in retrospect, if instant pudding is the right way to go. It doesn’t have the same texture as cooked pudding. I wonder if a pudding cup would have worked better. Some of those don’t even need to be refrigerated.
Mistake #3: In making the buttercream frosting, I used a variation of the Wilton icing recipe, which uses mostly butter but a bit of shortening to keep form. This would be fine normally, because the shortening helps to retain the frosting shape at room temperature. But these are cupcakes with pudding inside, so they need to be refrigerated. The shortening solidifies too much and when you bite into a cupcake, all the frosting comes off in one piece.
Mistake #4: There’s no real flavor to the frosting other than the standard amount of vanilla used. I did this intentionally because I didn’t want the frosting flavor to overpower the pudding. Unfortunately, neither tasted very vanilla-y and they didn’t go together really well. 😦
Well, there’s some lessons learned in this process, but overall, I still think I had a creative starting idea. I did manage to actually get filling into the cupcakes, which didn’t happen last time I tried filling cupcakes. So I am going to give myself a couple of points in creativity for attempting such a project. I sure have a long way to go before I enter Cupcake Wars! 😉
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