Friday, May 3, 2013

Piñata Chocolate Churro Cupcakes

Cinco de Mayo is this Sunday so this is the perfect treat to kick off the weekend (I have something planned for the day of too that I'm very excited for!)! I first saw these cinnamon chocolate churro cupcakes and then saw this piñata cake and could not decide which one I wanted to make so I figured, why not combine them?

Also, thanks to my birthday last week, I got a new, large piping tip! :) I was excited to try it out! And now, I'm in love!
 What do you think?

First you make the cupcakes, and then make a hole in them. Fill it about half way with mini M&M's (about 10 M&M's).

Then hide those M&M's with some of the extra cake pieces cut off from the cone used to make the hole.
Can't even tell there's anything underneath!
Then put a spoonful of pudding on top...

And finally, cover that baby back up!
I know that it's sticking up a little, but the frosting will cover it
Oh yeah, and don't forget the frosting!

Now, these were delicious, but there was one downside. The cake was so moist that the M&M's inside started to lose their coloring....obviously this didn't change the taste at all, but it did make them look a little strange inside. So if I were to use the recipe for the cake again (which I can see myself doing again...and again...and again..) as a piñata cupcake, I'd probably fill it with just sprinkles (yum!).

Happy early Cinco de Mayo!

Piñata Chocolate Churro Cupcakes
Makes about 12 cupcakes

For the cupcake:
{recipe from love and olive oil}

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup soy milk (that's what I had on hand...the original recipe calls for the same amount of almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini M&M's (or any small candy of your choice)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Combine milk and vinegar in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Whisk in sugar, oil and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until mostly smooth (there will still be some lumps). 
  4. Fill the liners with about 3 tablespoons of batter (just under 2/3 full). Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the filling
{recipe from love and olive oil}

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the cornstarch, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan with 1 inch of simmering water (or in the top of a double boiler). Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a heatproof spatula to incorporate all ingredients. Stir occasionally and use whisk if any lumps form. Leave over heat for 15-20 minutes, until mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spatula. Then add the chocolate. Continue stirring for 2-4 minutes, until pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Transfer to small bowl and cover, gently pressing a layer of plastic wrap against the surface of the pudding before refrigerating (this prevents a layer of skin from forming on the pudding). Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.

For the frosting
{adapted from love and olive oil}

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons water

Whisk powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk and cinnamon in a small bowl until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes. Using an electric mixer, or stand mixer with whisk attachment, gradually beat cream together with the chocolate mixture until soft peaks form. Dissolve gelatin in water by placing in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Allow to cool slightly, then add to cream mixture and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

Cut out cones from the tops of the cupcakes, about 1 inch in diameter, to make a hole in the cupcakes. Set cones aside, but do not discard. Place about 10 M&M's in the bottom of each cupcake. Then cut the bottoms off of the cones and use that extra cake to hide the M&M's on the bottom. Then spoon about a tablespoon of the pudding filling on top of that layer. Replace the tops to the cupcakes and frost with the chocolate cinnamon whipped cream frosting. Prior to serving, sprinkle cupcakes with cinnamon sugar (if desired).

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