Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Halloween Eyeball Cupcakes (with doughnuts inside!)

The Tiny Funnel
I'm a little fascinated with things you can bake inside other things- like pies in a cake or Oreos in the bottom of a cupcake. Last Halloween we experimented with baking doughnut holes in a cake so it seemed only fitting to take it one more step this year and give cupcakes a try.
What we really wanted though, was a "bloody" eyeball inside using jelly filled munchkins and to our delight-it worked!
The Tiny FunnelBut making the eyeballs took some intense experimentation. Lots of frosting failed attempts (like trying to freeze frosting balls). I really didn't want to use a store bought solution (chocolate eyes or gumballs) or even fondant (which in retrospect would have worked well.)

Finally, with the simply addition of confectioners sugar, I had a nice malleable "clay" that easily formed into a ball and kept its shape.
The Tiny Funnel
The Tiny Funnel
24 Jelly filled "munchkins" (filled doughnut holes)
Cake mix and ingredients (I favor Duncan Hines)
Cupcake wrappers
Chocolate frosting (Pillsbury)
Vanilla frosting (Pillsbury vanilla is really white)
Confectioners' sugar
M & M plain candies
Black food marker
Wax paper
Spray oil

Special optional equipment:
#40 & #100 Scoop
Standing mixer

I had left over cake mix at the end of making the eyeball cupcakes and made about 10 mini cupcakes; you can take that into consideration and have the mini cupcake wrappers and a mini muffin pan handy.

Preheat the oven to 350° (or whatever your package of cake mix says).

Mix half the container of the white frosting with 1.5 cups of confectioners' sugar.

Roll 24 to 26 balls about an inch in diameter between your hands and set them on a piece of wax paper on a flat pan to chill in the refrigerator.
Put the cupcake wrappers into the muffin tins.
Mix the cake mix.

Add about ½ tablespoon (#100 scoop) of cake mix to the bottom of each cupcake wrapper and then add a jelly doughnut hole.

The Tiny Funnel
The Tiny Funnel
The Tiny Funnel
Put 1.5 Tbs (#40 scoop)  cake mix over the top each doughnut (I also experimented with pumpkin munchkins -in the top row of the pictures).

You're basically filling each wrapper .25" from the top edge - it's not much cake mix and there will be some left over in the bowl at the end (hence the mini cup cakes).

Bake the cupcakes for 15 min. and test for doneness with a toothpick on the side of one of the cupcakes (obviously in the center you would hit the jelly).

While the cupcakes are cooling, add a M & M (with the branding face down) to each frosting ball -put a little spray oil in your (CLEAN! and dry) palms and gently roll the ball around until it's round and smooth.
Use a clean Q-tip to wipe any excess frosting or oil off the candy then add a pupil in the center with the food marker.
I put the eyes back into the refrigerator just to keep them firm.

The Tiny Funnel At this point, you can frost the cupcakes and add the eyes.
When I first started this project, I made the whole cupcake into an eyeball by rolling the tops in warm white frosting and while that idea went by the wayside I really like the smooth look so I kept it for the final project.

First, stir the chocolate frosting in its container to remove all the air that's been whipped into it during the manufacturing process.

Warm the frosting in a microwavable bowl for about 30 seconds at 50%.
Stir the frosting---you want it to just be stir-able but not runny! (warm it a little more if you need to).

Dip the top of each cupcake into the frosting and set it on the wax paper.

The Tiny Funnel
I like a little frosting drip on the side but you can avoid it by rolling the cupcake around until the frosting doesn't drip off.
Add the eyeballs and you're done!

The Tiny Funnel
I also tried pumpkin munchkins which were a delicious combination with the chocolate cake and frosting.

The Tiny Funnel

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