Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Iron Cupcake Challenge

The Iron Cupcake Earth Challenge is ON!

You can cast your vote (for me, of course), by clicking on the Iron Cupcake widget on the right. It will take you directly to the voting website...No One Puts Cupcake In a Corner. Voting begins at 8 p.m. on Weds, April 29th and ends Monday, May 4th at 12 noon. Winners will be posted on May 4th at 11:59 p.m. Click on the Iron Cupcake widget to get to the website to vote for me ------------------->

I'll put another reminder up at the end of the week.

The April challenge was to create a cupcake using Soda Pop. Everytime I came up with what I thought was an original idea, it turned up somewhere on the internet. People are just so creative! Eventually, I stopped beating my head against a wall and stopped trying to reinvent the wheel. Instead, I chose to just have fun with the challenge.

And as you can see.......I did.

In was "a blast"!

I called my cupcake creation the Chocolate Cola Cherry Bomb (I have to remember this for the Fourth of July). I used Diet Pepsi Cherry Cola because everyone always uses Coca-Cola. The chocolate cake recipe is inherited from one of my mother's favorite cookbooks.......I just reworked it a bit to include the soda pop. The result is a surprisingly moist, delicately flavored chocolate cake with a hint of cherry. Outstanding, in fact. The "bomb" on top of the cupcake is actually a Chocolate Tuille cookie (so easy to make), and the center of the cupcake is filled with a slightly tart cherry filling. Then, sweet cherry buttercream covers the top of the cupcake and extends up all the way up inside the "bomb" . The tartness of the cherry filling combined with the sweet cherry buttercream make an explosively delicious flavor combination!

You will need to make the Chocolate Tuille Cookies first
(trust me.... so fast and easy!)

You will need:
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
4 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 cocoa powder

I made a "template" for the cookie batter by using a piece of poster board and cutting out six circles measuring 4 1/2 inches in diameter. I put this template on top of the parchment paper on the cookie sheet. I could have just eyeballed the batter to make the circles, but since I needed the finished cookies to be a specific size, I used the template for accuracy and to keep the cookie size consistent.

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the softened butter with the confectioners sugar. Add the egg whites one by one. Beat in the vanilla extract and blend the cake flour and cocoa powder. Do not overmix! When the last ingredients have been incorporated....stop mixing. Chill the batter for 1 hour. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper and your template.

Using a spatula, spread a small amount of batter evenly and thinly in the openings of the template. The thinner you spread them, the crispier they will be. They will have a cake-like consistency and will not roll as well if you are heavy-handed.

Lift the template off and bake tuilles for about 10 minutes then remove from the oven. They smell so rich and chocolate-y...........just heavenly!!

While the tuilles are still warm, shape them until they are set. I wrapped them around a small rolling pin to achieve the "bomb" shape. When they are cooled, gently slide them off of the rolling pin. Store them in an airtight container until you are ready to use them.

You will need the following ingredients for the cupcakes:

1 1/2 ozs. coarsely chopped unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp canola oil
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
2 3/4 cake flour
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups granular sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 ground cinnamon
2/3 cup Pepsi Cherry Cola
1 can cherry pie filling (unsweet)*

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place liners in the cupcake pans. Combine the chocolate and buttermilk in a double boiler or metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring often until the chocolate melts (about 5 - 7 minutes). DO NOT let the buttermilk come to a boil or it will curdle. (and be gross!) Remove from the heat and whisk until it is smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs lightly.

Beat in the oil and vanilla. Gradually whisk in the sugar until it is well blended. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set these dry ingredients aside. In 2 or 3 alternating additions, add the dry ingredients and soda to the chocolate mixture, beating between the additions. Pour into cupcake liners and fill about halfway.

Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted inthe center of each cupcake comes out clean. Makes three dozen regular sized cupcakes. I noticed that the cupcakes really "popped" up out of the liners......could it be the result of all that soda carbonation?? Hmmmmm..

While the cupcakes were baking, I made the Cherry Buttercream. You will need the following ingredients:

8 cups confectioners sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter
5 heaping tablespoons cherry filling (cut the cherries up)
3 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup milk
dab of red food coloring (optional)

Using an electric mixer, combine the butter and confectioners sugar, then slowly add the cherry filling and vanilla, and gradually add the 3/4 cup milk. Beat on high speed about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. When the cupcakes are completely cool, I used a small round biscuit cutter to hollow out the center of the cupcake then filled the center of each cupcake with about two tablespoon of cherry filling*. (I saved the cupcake centers to make cakeballs later) I used a 12-inch decorator bag fitted with a large decorator tip to pipe buttercream swirls over the top of each cupcake. Then I took a Chocolate Tuille Cookie and placed it upright in the cherry-filled hole in the center of the cupcake. (You may have to gently push the cookie down into the buttercream to make sure it is stabilized). I finished by piping the buttercream down inside the cookie "bomb", filling it up and letting the buttercream spill out a bit. Topping it all off with a maraschino cherry and chocolate shavings..... this cupcake is the bomb!!!

After tasting one of "the bombs", it was not exactly what I expected. The cherry filling is a little on the tart side all by itself, but when mixed with the cherry buttercream, it is fabulous......just the right blend. I didn't think that it would be a taste that kids would like, but my 13 year old nephew promptly devoured one and proclaimed it to be "awesome". So there you have it.

But is it good enough to win?? It's going to be a tough decision.........there are so many fantastic entries! It's up to the voters (YOU!) to decide. All you have to do is click on the Iron Cupcake widget at the top right-hand side of this post and it will bring you to the website to vote for me. These are some of the fabulous sponsors who are providing prizes to the lucky winner:

A creation by FRUITFLYPIE,

A pair of cupcake earrings from LOTS OF SPRINKLES at

A sweet surprise from Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Cupcakery,


IronCupcake:Earth can not forget our good friend, CAKESPY, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice - sweet!

Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers:

-HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson at,


-TASTE OF HOME books at;

-A fabulous T-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM at

Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers,

So before you dash out to buy the ingredients to make your cupcake "bomb"............don't forget to wake the kids and phone the neighbors! Tell all of them to click on the Iron Cupcake widget at the top of this blog post and vote.............for ME!

Okay, now you can eat.

Ready? Set?...............Vote!!!!


Aunt Grace said...

Oh me oh my, Uncle would just love this one, he loves any thing tart...why do you think we get along? It just looks fabulous how long does this take??? Your amazing

Poppy said...

Niiiiceee! :) That really looks great (and reminds me that I still need A LOT of practice :S )
But on the other hand I like it to look a bit messy so it's obvious that it's home made :)

Anonymous said...

I'm on my way over and so is Tyler and Jim, froze at the Marathon today-we made customized shirts with peoples times at the finish line. Need lots of cupcakes.

AWESOME!! Love the pictures.


Anonymous said...

Awesome cupcakes!!!!!

The Amazing Trips said...

You're a culinary genius. Good job on coming up with this concoction. I'm not quite sure mine would come out looking nearly as nice!

Thanks for the link. I'll be sure to vote!

The Amazing Trips said...

PS: I think this t-shirt would look great on you...

cookies and cups said...

I love your pics...saw your entry on flickr and had to check out your blog! Very cute and creative!

Lisa said...

OHHHH! YUMMY!! I think this one is my favorite!
I think I can smell the Chocolate they look so good!

Can we vote more then once? (for you of course;)