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Tip Tuesday: How To Turn Cakes Into Cupcakes
It’s Tuesday! Possibly my new favorite day of the week because it’s time for another cake tip. Today I wanted to answer one of the most frequently asked questions I get: “can I turn your cakes into cupcakes?”
My answer? I’m not 100% sure, to be honest. I’ve never made my cakes into cupcakes. I don’t actually love cupcakes (may sound strange but it’s fact. I’d just rather have cake).
So, for today’s tip, I’d love YOUR help! I know many of you have turned my cake recipes into cupcakes and I’d love if you shared with us which recipes worked for you and if you made any adjustments. You’ll have to bake the cupcakes for less time but anything else?
Excited for your help on this one! I always love how you help each other out on here. I have some responses from Instagram, but feel free to share more of your thoughts in the comments below.
How You Cupcake
- “I’ve made your chocolate peanut butter, classic white, and pink Velvet into cupcakes! I bake them all around 20 min. The Chocolate are to die for.”
- “I’ve baked your chocolate cake and vanilla cake in cupcake form, they both worked really well. Some recipes stick to the wrapper, but these don’t. I made the cookie dough and cookies and cream cake in cupcake form and I filled the cupcakes with cookie dough and cookies and cream. They were both delicious!”
- “I’ve made both your funfetti cake and your white cake into cupcakes and other than adjusting baking time, I left everything else the same and they all turned out perfect!”
- “I’ve made the cookie cake- I just baked the chocolate cookie crust on the bottom of each cupcake and it worked great! I also did the everything but the kitchen sink- I dipped the top in the ganache (instead of the drip), topped with frosting and did the pretzel clusters around the edge of the frosting then drizzled with a little salted caramel. I’ve also done the peach crisp and just did the peach filling in the center of each cake, then topped with frosting and a fresh peach slice. A lot of them lend themselves well to cupcakes actually! I think the harder ones would be the ones that have several cake flavors- like the tonight show cake- not sure how that one would happen as a cupcake!
- “I have not made your cake recipes, but I have turned several cake recipes into cupcakes. Just keep in mind how much your cake rises (or doesn’t) and fill your cupcake pan appropriately. Also, if you want your cupcake to “mound” make sure you use a recipe that creates a cake that does the same thing. I like full, but level, cupcakes so most cake recipes are great for that.”
More Readers’ Thoughts
- “I’ve made your white cake and high altitude chocolate cakes into cupcakes and they both turned out PERFECT. I don’t change the temp at all but they both baked for about 20 minutes. Use a medium sized cookie scoop to fill the cupcake liners (about two scoops made it so the cakes didn’t “overflow” while cooking). I do have to say, I typically don’t love vanilla cupcakes because they are more dry in texture or dense, and they just taste bland to me. But your white cake was seriously what my dreams are made of — SO much flavor, perfect texture.”
- “I turn nearly every cake into cupcakes. They cook faster and it’s easier to serve for a large group or to share. Plus I suck at decorating cakes, haha. I can’t ever get the super smooth sides. I did your pumpkin gingersnap cake (added crystalized Ginger to the crumble) and it was perfect. Bake cupcakes at 400 so that I can get a nice dome and they usually cook in about 10-14 minutes.”
- “The high altitude chocolate cake mixture is a bit thinner batter than the classic white. I was able to get 24 cupcakes with white cake and 34-36 with the chocolate.”
- “I made your Churro Cake into cupcakes! Just put a little bit of the cinnamon sugar mix halfway through the cupcakes, just like the cake layers and baked for less time! Worked great!”
- “I made your citrus cranberry cake last Christmas into cupcakes for a cupcake contest and took 1st place! (thanks for helping me win) and I didn’t change anything except for less baking time. They tasted great! I even put the filling in the middle. I’ll dm you a picture. They were so cute!”
- “I made the coconut key lime pie and just put a little bit of the crust in until it browned, made the cake part, let it cool, then I put the curd into a piping bag with a small circular tip and placed the tip slightly into the top of the cupcake and filled it with the curd. Then I topped it with the frosting and toasted coconut.”
Almond Joy Cake
Rich chocolate almond cake layers with a coconut buttercream, toasted coconut and almond filling and chocolate ganache.
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 18 mins
FOR THE CAKE
- 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (375g)minus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup Cacao Barry Extra Brute Cocoa Powder or similar good quality dark chocolate powder
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (5.6 g) salt
- 3 large or extra large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk room temperature
- 1 cup (236 g) hot water
- 1/2 cup (109 g) vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons (8.4 g) almond extract
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter slightly chilled
- 1/4 cup (60 g) cream of coconut
- 6 cups (750 g) confectioner's sugar sifted
- 4 teaspoons (16.8 g) coconut emulsion
- Pinch of salt
- *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.
FOR THE TOASTED COCONUT AND ALMOND FILLING (adapted from Milk Bar)
- 1 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
- 7 tablespoons (96.25 g) light brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons (16 g) milk powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter melted
- 6 tablespoons (86.6 g) heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.1 g)vanilla extract
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup (75 g) toasted sweetened coconut
- 1 cup (150 g) toasted slivered or chopped almonds
FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
- 1 cup (150 g) dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (115 g) heavy whipping cream
FOR THE CHOCOLATE DRIP
- 1/2 cup (75 g) chocolate ganache recipe above
- 1/4-1/2 cup (57-115 g) heavy whipping cream
FOR THE CAKE
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three 8” or four 6" round cake pans by spraying each with nonstick spraying, lining the bottom with parchment and spraying again. Set aside.
- In a bowl of electric mixer, combine all the dry ingredients.
- Combine eggs, buttermilk, water, oil and almond extract in a measuring cup and lightly beat with a fork.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Batter will be thin. Scrape sides and mix for another 30 seconds. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans (I like to use a kitchen scale to ensure the batter is evenly distributed - you'll get about 15 to 16 ounces of batter in each of the 8-inch pans or 12 ounces in each of the 6 inch pans).
- Bake for 17 to 20 minutes (you may need more time depending on your oven), until toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it. Cool on wire racks for 10-15 minutes, then gently invert onto racks until cooled completely.
- When cakes are completely cooled, level them if needed.
- I like to wrap each cake layer individually with plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer until I’m ready to frost. The cake will be easier to work with if it’s cooled a bit.
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and coconut cream. Beat on medium-high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, followed by the emulsion and salt.
- Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat the frosting until it is light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Use a wooden spoon to stir out air bubbles.
FOR THE FILLING
- Set your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchement and pour the almonds on the sheet evenly. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the almonds are golden brown. Toss the nuts every 5 minutes.
- Set your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and pour all of the coconut evenly onto the baking sheet. Bake the coconut for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and toss, and then toast for another 5 minutes, or until golden brown all over. Let cool completely.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9x13" with with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, brown sugar, milk powder, and salt. Mix on low speed until evenly blended.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the melted butter and stir for one minute until all the dry ingredients are wet.
- Add the heavy cream and vanilla and continue mixing on low speed for about one minute, until any of the white streaks from the cream have completely blended into the mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the egg yolks, stirring them into the mixture until combined. Be careful not to over beat (aerate) the mixture, but certain the mixture is glossy and homogenous.
- Pour the filling into the prepared pan and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. You want the filling to be firmer and more set toward the outer edges of the baking pan but slightly jiggly and loose in the center. If the filling is still jiggly all over, give it another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Let the filling cool slightly and add the toasted coconut and toasted almonds. The filling can be used immediately or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
FOR THE GANACHE
- Heat the cream in a microwave safe bowl for about 1 minute.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate chips. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Let cool slightly before using in the cake.
FOR THE DRIP
- Heat the remaining chocolate ganache for about 30 seconds. Add additional 1/4-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream to make the ganache thinner and easily pourable out of a drip bottle.
- On a cake board, spread a dollop of frosting to act as "glue" to the cake. Place the first cake layer, top side up, on the center of the cake board. You will have a little edge of the cake board showing around the cake.
- Spread about 3/4 cup of the coconut buttercream over the cake layer, followed by about 1 cup of the coconut and almond filling. Drizzle with chocolate ganache.
- Place the second cake layer, top side up, on the fillings and repeat step 2.
- Place the final cake layer, top side down, on the second layer of fillings. Apply a thin coat of coconut buttercream around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. Place the cake in your freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to set the frosting.
- Remove the cake from the freezer and continue to frost the cake with the remainder of the frosting.
- If you want to pipe swirls or any decorate design on the cake, I suggest adding another quarter or half recipe of the coconut buttercream.
- Use the chocolate drip recipe to "drip" the chocolate along the sides of the cake (as shown in the video above).