Of course hi-hat cupcakes are awesome, but they get even better when the surprise isn’t only on the top of the cupcake, but also inside! For the frosting, I used Martha Stewart’s hi-hat cupcake recipe—it worked! However, it makes enough for 12 cupcakes, so if you want to go really high with your frosting while using my cupcake recipe, I’d double it (or make two batches) as this cupcake recipe makes about 20-22 cupcakes.
For the pies you’ll need:
1 14.1 oz package of pre-made pie crust (you’ll only need about half the package)
1 3.4 oz box cook-and-serve style chocolate pudding (you’ll only need half)
1 1/2 cup cold whole milk
For the cupcakes you’ll need:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
2 3/4 c. flour
1 1/3 c. whole milk
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees (F).
Roll out the pie crust and use a 2.5” round cookie cutter (I used the top of a small juice glass) to cut out 20-24 circles (depending on the size of your mini cupcake tin). Press the dough circles into a greased mini cupcake tin. Use a tooth pick to poke a few holes into the bottom of the crust so it doesn’t puff up too much while baking. Bake the crusts for about 10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Set aside to cool while you make the pudding.
Mix the milk and half the box of pudding in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking every few minutes. Once the mixture starts to boil and thicken (it will take about 10 minutes) remove it from the heat and pour it into a small bowl. Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding (to keep the pudding skin from forming) and place the bowl in the fridge.
Pre-heat (or turn down) the oven to 350 degrees (F). Cream together the butter and sugar until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then the baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and a salt. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides, to ensure everything is getting mixed up really well. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and the milk, alternating between the two ingredients about a half cup at a time. Beat just until the mixture is smooth.
Remove the cooled pudding from the fridge and use a small spoon to fill the cooled pie shells. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of batter into your paper-lined cupcake tins. Place one pudding pie in the center of each tin and gently press it into the batter. Scoop another heaping tablespoon on top and spread it over and around the pie so that it is completely covered. (It’s okay if a little of the pudding blends with the batter in this process.)
Bake for about 22-25 minutes until the cake is set and starting to turn golden brown. It will spring back up when you gently press your finger into the top of it. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the cupcake tin for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Once the cupcakes are cool, you can make your frosting using Martha Stewart’s directions here. One tip: Do wait for the chocolate coating to cool before you dip your cupcakes. The vegetable oil will keep the chocolate from hardening, and if it’s hot or really warm, it will start to melt the frosting.
Also: Once you dip your cupcakes, place them in the refrigerator immediately after, so they can begin to firm up without losing their shape.