â€œI got cake. It’s close enough, right? â€ Sam to Dean â€œThe Girl Next Doorâ€
When I’m not watching Supernatural or getting caught up on my DVR, I sometimes watch Food Network. They have a show titled Cupcake Wars where they pit four cupcake bakers against one another surrounding a major theme. Which ever one ends up on top wins the right to present a 1000 cupcake display for an event surrounding the theme. They’ve done things from zoos to charities to opening nights for movies or plays and more. The cupcakes pay a delicious homage to something.
This past Fall, I started to take up baking. I started with cookies. Snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter. All of them were yummy and got me comfortable with the appliances and baking process.
So, with that in mind, I thought I’d expand my baking horizons. I decided if we can’t get a real episode of Cupcake Wars why not try to do our own? What cupcake ideas could you recommend to try? What flavors make you think of Supernatural? Don’t worry. The fussy French judge on the show won’t be able to criticize your suggestions. Let’s explore!
After all, this is another great way to enjoy the show. I think Dean would approve—even if it is cake.
My first cupcake choice is an apple pie cupcake. Considering how important apple pie is in the show, it seems absolutely the best place to start.
First, here is the recipe.
â€œFreakin’ Worth Itâ€ Apple Pie Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
For the apple pie filling:
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
3 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
For the vanilla buttercream:
2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
To make the cupcakes, combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy (approximately 2 minutes.) Next, beat in eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla extract. Alternate beating in the dry ingredients and milk, in small increments, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Divide the batter evenly among cupcake tins. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place cupcakes on a cooling rack.
To make the apple pie filling, melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add cinnamon and sugar and heat until bubbly. Lower the heat and stir in apples. Coat thoroughly with cinnamon sugar mixture. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until apples are tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before filling the cupcakes.
To make the frosting, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until creamy. Stir in sugar and salt and beat on medium-low speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add vanilla and heavy cream. Mix on medium-low speed for approximately four minutes, until frosting appears light and fluffy.
To assemble, use a paring knife to cut out the center of each cupcake. Fill each cupcake with apple pie filling, and frost with buttercream.
Printed from A Bitchin’ Kitchen
Recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally from Fatty Fat Fats
Here’s my journey on making these cupcakes—complete with photos!
As always, I gathered all of my ingredients together so all I would have to do is combine them. I felt comfortable, everything was coming together, and I was baking to my show of choice, Psych. The batter looked great after I put all the ingredients together, and I filled my cupcake tins carefully. They look so pretty as you can see in the photo here!
Those of you who watch Cupcake Wars knows that each episode features one of the bakers having a disaster in the midst of the contest. The batter is mixed wrong. The frosting isn’t the right flavor. The cupcakes are dropped in the process of putting them in or taking them out of the oven. Something goes totally wrong for one contestant and we all have to wait and see if they can recover.
I had that.
Our oven is over ten years old. The baking process just would not finish. I went way past the allotted maximum time of 22 minutes, and even then they just would not bake completely. It was disheartening to see—especially since everything else was coming together so nicely! No matter what I did or when I checked, the cupcakes just would not come out clean.
It also caused many of them to fall in the middle, collapsing. I was frustrated but not hopeless. I would try and salvage as many of these cupcakes as I possibly could. I tasted a couple of the total rejects that just didn’t make it. They were scrumptious and very vanilla sweet. I knew I had to try to save as many as possible.
Turns out I wasn’t doing anything wrong. The heating element in the bottom of the oven is malfunctioning. It’s not baking evenly or properly—reason yet to be determined. It’s a shame because if they had been baked in a properly working oven they could have been even better in the finished product.
Nevertheless I pushed forward with the filling and frosting. I had come this far so I was bound and determined to see it through. I wanted to know if my cupcakes really were â€œFreakin’ Worth It.â€
I washed and peeled my apples before dicing them up and setting them aside. Then I melted the butter and cinnamon and poured the apples in. The longer they cooked, the happier I became. I love apples and I love apple pie, so this was all good eats. When I took it off the stove and set it aside to cool, I tasted it. It tasted even better than it smelled or looked like and I was ecstatic about the result. Once the filling was cool I set about filling my poor cupcakes. I hollowed out a small cavity to put it in and put the cake I took out back on top to make frosting later easier.
Only problem was I ran out of cupcakes due to the fiasco with the oven. I had too much filling and not enough cupcakes. So, I sat down and ate the rest. I will not lie. Making this filling and eating it by itself could be a great snack. It was sweet, cinnamon spicy, and tart from the Granny Smith apples. What’s most amazing, though, is it did taste just like apple pie—just without the crust.
Then I did the frosting. I debated about buying the canned stuff as butter cream intimidated me, but I felt that if I was going to go through all this effort I had better see it all the way through. So I went ahead and made the frosting from scratch, too. Besides, making it myself ensures that it is Leviathan free—no SucroCorp here!
Boy was I ever glad I went that extra effort. It’s sweet, creamy, and amazing. It tastes a million times better than the stuff in the can.
Some of my cupcakes held up fairly well to the filling and frosting portion. Others didn’t as much, so I gingerly put frosting on those and didn’t fuss too much about how they looked. I might have been inspired to do this baking experiment by Cupcake Wars but I wasn’t trying to win it. I just wanted each one to have enough of it.
So, moment of truth. What was the verdict on the cupcakes? Sure, they’re not the prettiest thing on the cupcake market, but were they any good? Were they actually â€œFreakin’ Worth It?â€
The short answer: YES.
They tasted like a sweet vanilla cake wrapped around a morsel of apple pie with amazing sweet frosting dolloped on top. They were satisfying and tasty. Despite the oven nearly ruining the whole venture, they turned out to be well worth the effort it took to make them. The flavor result really played great homage to Supernatural.
In another words, Dean would probably eat these and not complain that it wasn’t actually pie. Besides, now that he has a kitchen at the MOL Bunker, maybe he could bake up a batch of these for the road. It’s a lot easier to pack and eat these on the run than it is a whole apple pie after all.
Give ’em a try and tell me if you think they’re actually â€œFreakin’ Worth It.â€
Now it’s your turn. Suggest any type of cupcake you think fits Supernatural, and I’ll see if I can make it and share the recipe in another article. This could be one of the tastiest adventures ever.