Frankenberry Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Meringue Frosting

image

Boo! These cupcakes would be perfect for any “haunted carnival” Halloween party. They’re one part Frankenstein and one part Big Top Circus. But two parts delicious! The cereal gets a little chewy in the cake, and the marshmallows melt into sugary pockets of pink and blue goo. Thanks to their lumpy texture, you could also probably pass them off as wart-covered monster brains, if you frost ‘em with a pile of dyed buttercream or a thin, sweet glaze. Ew! And YUM!

This will make about 24 cupcakes. 

For the cupcakes you’ll need:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
the seeds from one vanilla bean
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/3 c. whole milk 
about 2 c. Frankenberry cereal (marshmallows and all) 

For the meringue you’ll need:

Four egg whites
3/4 c. sugar 
pink and blue food color gel 

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (F). 

Cream together the butter and the sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla bean. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, to ensure everything is getting all mixed up, and then add the milk and the flour, alternating between the two ingredients about a half cup at a time, with the mixer on low-med speed all the while. 

Beat for about 45-60 seconds until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in the cereal with a wooden spoon (the mixer will crush it—no one wants that!) and fill paper-lined cupcake tins with the batter until they’re about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for about 24 minutes, until the cake is set and starting to brown on the top and edges. Some of the cereal will float to the top—they’ll kind of look like wart-covered monster cakes. Cool! Speaking of cool, let them cool before frosting.

To make the meringue put the egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl. Place the bowl over a simmering pan of water, stirring constantly until the mixture is frothy (and has reached about 145 degrees). Remove from the heat and whip on med-high speed until peaks start to form. Don’t over whip, though, or it’ll get a weird chunky texture and be hard to spread.

Getting the striped effect on the frosting is easy. Just use a clean paintbrush, Q-tip, or even your finger to spread a thin stripe of food color gel up the inside of the pastry bag. I had four stripes—two of pink and two of blue. Use whatever colors you’d like! Carefully fill it with your frosting of choice (in this case meringue) and pipe onto the cupcakes as usual. (The first bit of frosting will probably be a little heavy on the food coloring, so I recommend squirting an inch or two of frosting out before you actually start to frost the cupcakes.)

imageMy cookbook, Bake It in a Cupcake: 50 Treats With a Surprise Inside, is available now at: Amazon.comBarnes & Noble, and Indiebound.com!