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Friday, September 20, 2013

Arrr! Pirate Booty Cupcakes (with hidden treasure inside!)

There is secret buried treasure in this Pirate Booty! 
 So September 19th is "Talk like a Pirate Day" and it is also my Hubby's birthday! So I celebrated two things yesterday. If you are wondering how to talk correctly to a pirate might I suggest this site. It will get even us landlubbers to talk like a proper pirate!

   When I asked my husband what he wanted me to make him he said cupcakes. I said, "are you sure?" He said, "Yeah I want cupcakes, Reese Peanut Butter cups and Nutella." Or he said something like that... I have to say something. I do not have a lot experience with cupcakes nor do I have decorating skills! When I say cupcakes are epic fails with me, I mean it either they are too dry or too wet! I also have yet to learn to pipe frosting as well. I cannot do more than dipping into warm ganache.  So I saw that Pillsbury cake mixes and canned frosting were on sale (on Monday...) I decided to have a back up plan.

  I know, I know I usually do things from scratch but I did not want to put in a lot of effort and have an epic fail! This still took me about 1.5 hours! But I have to say it was confusing how easy the cake mix was and I took a lot of pictures. I decided to spare you the step by step process of a from a box cake (yeah I do actually have pictures of that).

 But I figured that I have never use the Chicago Metallic "Surprise pan" cupcake pan and I am not good with cupcakes. I decided to make it easier on myself. Now that I have experience with both one batch of cupcakes in the 'surprise pan" cupcake pan I understand what needs to be done.

  Am I going to try to do it from scratch another day...yes! I even bought the buttermilk for the William Sonoma Chocolate Cake Recipe. Also I got the instant coffee to make the coffee syrup for the same recipe. I made it at least once for my mother in law who wanted cupcakes as well but I made a cupcake,cake. So really I just assembled this cupcake.

  The box cake mix saved a lot of mess. I just mixed the cake mix in one bowl and I also got to exercise my arms as I mixed it like a grandma. I also used the Wilton Pirate Combo pack which was $2.29 vs the prettier packaging of the Pirate Meri Meri cupcakes which retails for $12.95. But I have to say that Meri Meri's so beyond cute but for $2.29 and all that savings you can upgrade to a big jar of Nutella ($8.00) and not feel so bad!

  • Classic Yellow Cake mix (follow the recipe on the box)
  1. 3 eggs 
  2. 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  3. 1 cup water
  • 20 Mini Reese Peanut Butter cups (half a package of an 8 oz bag)
  • 16-24 oz of Nutella
  • 8 oz Whipped Canned Chocolate Frosting
  • Sprinkles 

Decorating items:
The Assembled Recipe:

  • Follow the directions on the box. I recommend Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic Yellow Cake because it has pudding in the mix. I think perhaps the pudding made the cupcake more fool proof because it makes the cake mix moist. 
  • For this cupcake mix I got 20 cupcakes and the perfect time was 19 mins.

  • Punch the cupcake liners over the post in the surprise pan. I found that it was aiming the post through the  pirate's nose made it centered.

  • Fill the batter with a cookie scoop 1/4 of the way of the "Surprise pan." 
  • Use a knife to smooth down the cake batter.

  • Add one unwrapped mini Reese's peanut butter cup and slide down the post of the "surprise pan" cupcake pan. For this recipe you need 20.

  • Fill up each cup with more batter so that it covers the cup 3/4 of the way and it covers the Reese's Peanut Butter cup.

  • Use a knife to smooth down the cake batter.
  • Bake according to the package's directions but for Pillsbury I got 20 cupcakes and I baked it at 350 degrees for 19 mins. 

  • Make the Frosting while the cupcakes are baking.

  • I have not perfected this combo but I suggest next time I use a whipped frosting with the Nutella. I think either 2:1 ratio or 3:1 ratio. Mix together with a spoon 16 oz Nutella with 8 oz of Chocolate whipped frosting. This Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Chocolate was tasty but was the texture of clay! I would just use the Nutella except it is too runny! 

  • Cool the cupcakes for 5 minutes on top of the stove. In order to further cool down the cupcakes put the cupcakes in the freezer. I did this for about 15 minutes so that I could frost the cupcakes. 

  • When the cupcakes are cooled down take the cupcakes off of the posts and add the frosting mix to the cupcake. I tried piping it but it was too thick and I used a spatula but it did not come out smooth. It was the texture of clay so with clean hands I smoothed down the cupcake. So once again it was time for the old sprinkles and topper to make it look better. 

  • I used the confetti sprinkles and I just rolled the cupcakes in the sprinkles in the lid of the frosting can. 

  • Then add a Pirate flag topper and it already looks better! 

 In the end the cupcakes came out really well! So I am going to experiment with making a better non-buttercream Nutella frosting and I plan to bake more cakes/cupcakes from scratch. My husband will be happy to know that there are more cakes/cupcakes to come! 

  For the ride to a party I recommend taking two cupcakes for yourself and put nine in two of the Sistema Klip it Bakery box. It is much less bulky and the cupcakes with the Pirate flags were able to fit in and be stacked! Also much easier to store than a cupcake carrier (which I got on my Wedding Shower list but I never use because it only works in theory!). All my cupcakes arrived to the party without being ruined which  has never happened! 


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