Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cupcake a Week: Giant Cupcake Round 2 & Lessons Learned

After a disaster with my first attempt at making a giant cupcake I decided to give it another try...I was not going to be defeated by the giant cupcake pan! As you all may remember my first giant cupcake was the chocolate and peanut butter swirl with the bottom that collapsed right as i had just finished piping on the icing! I was determined it was the ooey gooey peanut butter center that caused this cupcake to collapse. But after some online research, I think there may have been a few other reasons behind why my cupcake was not stable enough.

I refused to have this devasting cupcake disaster happen again so I did some reasearch on how to actually use the giant cupcake pan. This probably would have been a good idea before my first use...right? So basically I had no choice, I had to figure out how to bake and decorate a successful giant cupcake since I had a friend who asked me to make one for her co-worker as a retirement cake! The pressure was on, and I needed to figure this out fast!

So here are some GIANT cupcake lessons learned & tips to follow:

1.Bake LOW & SLOW to avoid what is called "cake lava"...aka collapsing cupcake! Bake at 325 degrees for 60-70 minutes(My first attempt I put the oven on 350 degrees...afterall that is the universal baking temperature right? Well that was mistake see the edges were baking and getting done but the center was not, finally I just had to pull the cupcake out of the oven with a not so firm center so that the edges wouldn't be over done, HUGE mistake)

2.Fill each side of the pan just a little over half way full! You will use about 10 cups of batter total.

3.Do not fill both the bottom of the cupcake and top of the cupcake pan with batter at the same time! Add batter to the bottom cupcake portion of the pan first and bake for about 10-15 minutes. This is because the bottom of the cupcake holds more batter than the top part, so you don't want to bake them for the same amount of time or else the top part of the cake will be over done! Add batter to the top part of the cupcake after 10-15 minutes and continue baking the entire cake for another 45-60 minutes, continuing to check your cake.

I decided to take a whole new approach to the decorating this time around as well. Last time I piped buttercream on the bottom and top portions of the cupcake, which is fine but since I was going for an all chocolate look, the feel of the cupcake just kind of disappeared! This time I wanted to make the cupcake look like it had a wrapper around the bottom like a standard cupcake would. I asked my Wilton cake decorating teach what she recomended and she said to turn the cupcake pan over and roll out fondant to create a circle and then mold the fondant to the outer shape of the cupcake pan...great idea! Let the fondant harden on the cupcake pan and then very gently pry it off with a tapered spatula and place your cupcake inside. I did pipe a little buttercream on the cupcake to allow for the fondant to stick.

I then used a 1M decorating tip and piped swirls of buttercream around the top of the cupcake and added a few royal icing flowers for decorations!

I'm pleased with how this cupcake turned out, and I even had a little bit of batter left over so I made 10 mini cupcakes to go along with it.

The recipe I used for the cupcake was Martha Stewart's One Bowl Chocolate!
If you've had any giant cupcake disasters I'd love to hear about them! Or if you have any tips for baking/decorating this oversized cupcake send them my way!

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