I am still really enjoying the Bake It In A Cake trend. This week’s sweet is a candy corn mini cupcake inside a chocolate cupcake with vanilla bean buttercream frosting, topped with a Hershey’s candy corn kiss.
Candy Corn Cupcakes (Makes 12)
We will be making two cupcakes this week, one white mini cupcake and one chocolate cupcake. You will need a mini muffin pan and a regular muffin pan, only regular sized cupcake papers. If you have a bouchon or cork mold, like this pan from Williams-Sonoma, it will work very well for the mini cake-in-a-cake.
White Cake Recipe
6 T. Butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 1/4 c. my favorite gluten free flour blend
1/2 t. xanthan gum
2/3 c. milk
red food coloring
yellow food coloring
Use gluten-free non-stick cooking spray in a mini muffin pan or bouchon pan. This is a tiny bit tricky (or it was for me). Each spot in your pan will need to be filled 2/3 full. Start by filling the first third of that 2/3 with white cake batter. Then spoon in orange batter, topped off with yellow batter. I had trouble eyeballing the right amount and got some of them too large.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a rack, then place in the refrigerator. They need to be chilled before inserting them into the large cupcake.
1 1/2 c. my favorite gluten free flour blend
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. cocoa powder (I prefer Askinosie)
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. xanthan gum
1 c. water
1/2 c. oil
2 T. vinegar
2 t. vanilla
1 t. instant espresso or coffee
Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum together in a large bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine water, oil, vinegar, vanilla and instant coffee grounds. Mix well, then slowly incorporate into the flour mixture.
In a regular size muffin pan, insert paper liners. I found these really cute ones that reminded me of candy corn, however they are not the kind that retain their color after baking. Any cupcake paper would be fine. Spoon in a generous tablespoon of the chocolate cake batter, spread in the bottom of the cup using the back of the spoon.
Insert one of the chilled mini cupcakes. The chocolate batter in the bottom acts as a glue to steady it in the center of the cup. Finally top with more chocolate cake batter, covering the top and filling in around the sides.
(A note about the mini cupcakes: if yours are really tall, you may wish to trim off the mounded top portion, making them flat on top. If they are too tall, they will stick out of the top of the large cupcake. Plus if you trim them off, you get extra cake snacks for yourself!)
Bake at 350 for 15 to 17 minutes. When inserting a toothpick to check for doneness, check around the sides, not in the top as you will be testing the already-cooked mini cupcakes and not the chocolate batter.
Remove from oven, cool on a cooling rack.
2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1 to 2 Tablespoons milk
Hershey’s candy corn kisses
Halloween sprinkles, sugar or nonpareils
Using hand mixer, mix butter and sugar, adding sugar in 1/2 cup at a time. Once well incorporate, mix in vanilla bean paste. Slowly add milk, you may not use it all, just add in until you reach the consistency you desire.
Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes, sprinkle if you like and top with a Hershey’s candy corn kiss. Adorable!
This week’s Sweet Friend is Sloane. I wrote about Sloane’s sister Casey and explained how I came to know these wonderful ladies. They really do add much joy to my life!
I called Sloane and Casey’s store, STUFF, to make sure she was working before I headed across town with these cupcakes. She was! I jumped in my car, zoomed to the highway and then I sat on the highway, no movement. And I sat. And then I sat some more. Finally I moved about 9 miles, then I sat on a bridge, a big , scary, over a river kind of bridge. I was going the opposite direction of rush hour traffic, yet I was stuck. By the time I got to Sloane’s store, she was gone but I left the cupcakes with her staff anyway, trusting that they would share them with her and take a photo. What I didn’t know was that she had left to go out of town for a few days. I had missed another sweet opportunity! My timing isn’t always the best.
The week after Sloane returned and I found out the cupcakes did not reach their intended, I visited the charming stretch of stores where STUFF is located. I was on a mission. My husband and I ran the KC half marathon and I was going to reward those miles by getting a cupcake, a gluten-free cupcake that was not from my kitchen. What a rare treat! Sweaty and disheveled, we bought gluten-free cupcakes and darling meringue mushrooms from La Petit Rouge, a dainty bakery counter located inside of Reading Reptile.
Sloane was outside of her store, barbecuing hot dogs for customers and passers-by. We stopped to say hi and I offered to share part of my cupcake with Sloane. I could tell you all sorts of great things about Sloane (there are MANY) but what happened next is something that exemplifies friendship to me, exemplifies why I think Sloane is so awesome.
With my sweaty, post-marathon fingers, I split the cupcake and handed half to Sloane. She ate it without hesitation, offering part of her portion to my husband. The three of us split a locally-baked, gluten-free cupcake divided with my dirty hands while standing on a sidewalk in Brookside. It was divine. A delicious cupcake, shared with friends, devoured in moments. There was a bit of chatter about gluten, veganism, marathons, and then we were off, walking back to the car and driving home. It was a celebratory moment shared with a friend. It didn’t last long but certainly made my day. These moments shared with friends have made this sweet journey so much fun. I will eat a cupcake on a sidewalk with Sloane any day, marathon or not!