I have a problem with recipes that only use “part” of something. Like, “1/4 cup of pure pumpkin” or whatever. What am I supposed to do with the rest of the can now?! Inevitably, I’ll find another recipe that will use up the rest of the can, but then I’ll have to open and use part of another can to have enough of the necessary ingredient for the next recipe. And then I’m back to square one. It’s a vicious cycle, really. Give me a recipe that uses the whole can or don’t waste my time.
*sigh* I’m done venting now. Thanks for hanging in there.
Every now and then, however, I’ll be in a feisty mood and I’ll take it as a challenge. That’s what got me to this post today.
At the end of every semester, I allow my cooking classes to make desserts. They all look forward to it (as do I, duh) and it’s basically the highlight of everyone’s semester. This semester, one of my classes chose this recipe for Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes, which I had planned on blogging about but frankly, they were a lot of work and my lazy side took over and I said nothankyouverymuch. They tasted good, don’t get me wrong. And actually, they did taste a little Coke Float-y which I didn’t expect. Try them out if you’ve got some time on your hands.
Anyway, the recipe calls for a can of cherry pie filling to put in the middle of the cupcakes. Well, of course we didn’t use the whole can so I was stuck with a mostly-full can of cherry pie filling.
It hurt me to think about throwing it away, and I thought it would be neat to make a cherry pie cupcake, so I combed Pinterest. Of course, I did not make this idea up. There are tons of ideas for cherry pie cupcakes (d’oh!), but I liked the look of this one, mostly because it looked unpretentious. Simple. Modest.
In other words, I wouldn’t have to put a lot of work into it. I liked the idea of that, because frankly, I wasn’t in the mood for a high-maintenance cupcake. I wasn’t even really in the mood to make something from scratch.
Why even bother, you ask? Well…because we didn’t have cupcakes lying around my house, and something seemed wrong about that.
So I grabbed one of my 25 boxes of white cake mix from the pantry and got to work. (Really anything goes well with white cake, I’ve determined.) I decided just a basic vanilla buttercream was in order so I whipped up some of that as well. The result was great. The white cake is, of course, light and fluffy and and the buttercream is just vanilla-y enough (incidentally, I also think the buttercream would be good with almond extract, too, rather than vanilla). The juxtaposition of the tart cherries to the sweetness of the cake and the frosting was really nice. The cupcakes are simple, but very very tasty.
If you have extra cherry pie filling that you need to use up, this can be your go-to recipe. I’ll allow it.
makes 24 cupcakes
1 box white cake mix
Necessary ingredients to make the cake mix
1 can cherry pie filling (or leftovers from a partly used can. I used about half a can. Also, I dumped out the cherries, gave them a rough chop, then put them back into the can. It’s easier to fill the cupcakes when the cherries aren’t whole.)
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
3 teaspoons vanilla
To make the cupcakes: Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions, except start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees, and turn it down to 325 when you put the cupcakes in the oven. Bake about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes in the pans, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Once completely cooled, remove the centers using an apple corer (or paring knife). Set the cores aside to snack on later, and fill the cupcakes with the cherry pie filling. I used one of Connor’s old baby spoons for this, and it worked great because it was small enough to fit in the hole a little bit and didn’t make a cherry mess.
To make the frosting: Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated. Turn to medium speed and beat quickly for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the frosting is very fluffy and airy. If you’d like it to be a little thicker, add more sugar. If it’s too thick, add a little more milk. (Mine was perfect the first time. Of course.) Pipe onto cooled cupcakes, concealing the cherry-filled hole in the top.