Tuesday, June 5, 2012

French Toast Cupcakes

So I've discovered that there's a world where cupcakes are acceptable for any meal. I used to think they were only good for desserts, snacks, and celebrations ... but now I've discovered breakfast cupcakes. Now, I know what you're thinking. You're probably asking yourself, "Aren't these called muffins?" The answer to that is, "No!" They are really cupcakes that just taste like breakfast items. Earlier, I wrote about Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes. Today, however, I'm going to tell you about French Toast Cupcakes.

These were so easy to make because they start with a box. I got the idea from Kate at Grin and Bake It.

1 package plain yellow cake mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Mix cake mix, pudding packet, milk, oil, eggs, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer until smooth (approximately 2 minutes). Spoon batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it 2/3 full. Bake approximately 15-20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.

I used the same Maple Buttercream recipe that I used for my Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes. You can find it here.

To assemble, I loaded up my piping bag with the maple buttercream and a large star tip and made a pretty little pile on top. I then sprinkled with some powdered sugar. In hindsight, a strip of bacon might have made a nice garnish for this cupcake.

Just like with the Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes, I fed these to the junior high jazz band. They loved them.

I don't really understand why my mother wouldn't let me have things like pie and cake for breakfast when I was a kid. How is this any different from donuts and Pop Tarts? Yea ... I know... I won't let my kids have cake and pie for breakfast either. I save it for other people's kids.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Graduation Cakes

It's graduation season. Since I'm a high school teacher, and since I tend to feed high school kids cupcakes on occasion, I get asked about doing graduation cakes. Not a lot of cakes ... thank goodness. And they all seem to want 1/2 sheet cakes. I've broken my share of these cakes ... but then fixed them with frosting. I always seem to fight with them too. But I always seem to win. :)

This year I got to do a fun cake for graduation. Four boys, whose mothers I'm friends with, had their party together. The moms wanted cake for 150 people. After much e-mailing, they finally settled on 2 half-sheets, and this little beauty.
The bottom is a 12" square chocolate cake and the top is an 8" square white almond cake. I personalized it on the corners for each boy. Jeff got music notes, Dominick got a stethoscope, ...
... Matt got a computer mouse, and Aaron got a film reel. Everything was edible except for the cap and diploma on top.

As mentioned before, they also and 2 half-sheets. One was red velvet and the other was vanilla.

It was a lot of cake, but when I asked later, I was told that most of it got eaten at the party. Ben, Matt's younger brother, finished off the red velvet himself, and the rest was divided up and taken home (where I'm told it didn't last long).

Another one of my students, who just happens to be my neighbor, and I work with his dad, had 3 wishes for his graduation party: kegged root beer, a chocolate fountain, and a cake made by me. So of course I obliged. After talking with Reid in class, he said he wanted chocolate and peanut butter. So I made a half-sheet of chocolate cake and filled it with peanut butter butter cream. This was another party where the moms combined forces. Since Reid is off the the University of Illinois, and Jordan and Charlie are off to Western Illinois University, they wanted those schools included on the cake. Here's what I came up with ...

I am really tired of sheet cakes...and orange and black frosting. I'm so glad graduation season is over.

But before I go ... let's take a look at some graduation cakes I made last year for friends and former students.
Red Velvet cake for a young man heading off to Stanford
Chocolate and Vanilla cake for a Sox fan
Red Velvet and Vanilla cake