Cook Book: Bake It In A Cake
Megan's Tumblr, Bake It In A Cake, makes it hard to keep from running to the bakery during our lunch break: her blog is dedicated to cake and all of the sweets you can bake inside of them. She made us a special recipe with a double dose of Christmas flavor: eggnog pudding pie cupcakes topped with a cranberry buttercream!
Eggnog Pudding Pie Cupcakes with Cranberry Buttercream
"I know this looks like a lot of effort for some cupcakes, but they're totally worth it! Imagine how amazed people will be when you present pie-stuffed cupcakes. You can make the process a lot easier by using a few pre-made ingredients, such as pre-made pie crust and canned cranberry jelly. You can also make the pudding pies a day or two in advance to split up the workload."
Makes: 18-20 cupcakes that just taste like Christmas.
Eggnog Pudding Pies
1 4.6oz box of vanilla "cook and serve" pudding
3 cups eggnog
1 batch of whatever pre-made pie crust you'd like
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/3 cup whole milk
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
How to Make:
1. Put the pudding mix and egg nog into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring regularly with a whisk (this process should take about 10-12 minutes). Once the pudding has boiled and thickened, pour into a mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set in the fridge. (To avoid “pudding skin”--ew!--put the plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding.)
2. Next, make the pie shells. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees (F). Roll out your pie crust, and cut 20 small circles using a small juice glass or cookie cutter. They need to be large enough to cover the bottom and the sides of your mini cupcake tin. Press the circles of dough into lightly-greased mini cupcake tins and use a toothpick to poke a few holes into the bottom of the dough.
3. Bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool while you make the cupcake batter! Turn the oven down to 350 degrees (F).
4. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl on medium-high speed until it’s fluffy and pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, stopping between each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat for a minute or so, until the batter is smooth. Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed for two minutes.
5. Finally, add the milk and the flour, alternating between the two ingredients about a cup at a time, and beat until the batter is creamy and lumpless.
6. To assemble the eggnog pudding pies, simple spoon a heaping teaspoon of pudding into the cooled pie crusts. If you’d like (and you would!) top each pie with an extra sprinkle of nutmeg.
7. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of cupcake batter into paper-lined cupcake tins. Gently press one pie into each tin, and then cover with another heaping tablespoon of batter, so the top and the sides of the pie are completely hidden. The tins should be about ¾ of the way full (maybe a little more--that’s okay, too).
8.Bake for about 24 minutes until the cake sets and starts to turn golden brown. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
9.To make the buttercream, put the cranberries, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then stir occasionally for about 10-12 minutes, until the cranberries start to pop and the mixture thickens (it might splatter a bit--be careful!). Once the mixture has thickened and all the berries have popped, run it through a fine mesh strainer. You just want to catch all the cranberry skins, leaving you with a cranberry jelly! Allow to cool in the fridge for a bit while the cupcakes cool. (Note: You can skip all this buy simply buying a can of cranberry jelly--I like making my own because then you can control the amount of sugar and still have a tart buttercream, but it’ll taste delicious either way.)
10. To finish the buttercream, whip the butter and 1 cup of powdered sugar together on high speed until fluffy. Slowly add the cooled (or canned) cranberry jelly, then mix for a minute or so on high speed again. Add another cup of powdered sugar and then give it a taste. Add more sugar if necessary. If the mixture is too thick, add a little whole milk to it to thin it out a bit.
11. Frost the cupcakes! If you’d like, top with a drizzle of melted white chocolate and sprinkles. Some nutmeg would be delicious, too.