I can’t even tell you how long ago I even made these cupcakes (I believe it was possibly as long ago as 2019 since I obviously haven’t posted here in a million, billion years), but they were memorable . Deliciously, deliciously memorable. So much so, that I clearly had no time to actually write about them because I was too busy stuffing them in my face (and since their centers are also stuffed, does that make it double stuffed? Oreo’s have got nothing on me 😉 ).
Anyway, let’s start off by saying, what the f*#k 2020? And also, how happy are we all that it’s finally over? You know how you should celebrate the end of a terrible year? Baking these cupcakes. Maybe someday soon you’ll actually be able to bring them over to someone’s house for a party or as a housewarming gift. In the meantime though, just eat them all yourself, baking them many, many times convincing yourself that your just perfecting the recipe for the hopefully *fingers crossed* soon day when you can share them with others.
You know what another upside of baking with children’s cereal should be? Getting the prize inside. Is that not a thing anymore? That was the best part about cereal as a kid. “Yeah, yeah, dubious nourishment etc. but what about the toy????!!!!!”. And then you jam your hand into the box, crushing half the cereal in your enthusiastic desire to get to the the non-edible part of the box (I know you’re thinking the cardboard box itself is inedible, but I would argue it’s filled with fiber and probably won’t kill you? In fact, I’d even go so far as to imply, nay, outright SAY, that the cardboard has more nutritional value than the sugary cereal itself, but I digress 😉 .)
As usual, I of course had to Google this whole “cereal prize” thing, and shocker of shockers, it’s because of all the dumb kids who decided they needed to eat toy whistles for example, and choked to death on them or some other such nonsense. What better way to weed out the herd I say? (whoa Amber, that’s a pretty harsh and evil way to start off the new year. I thought I knew you). Look, all I’m saying here is that I would much rather die of the joy and happiness that comes from a crappy, ultra low quality cereal box toy then Covid (or “Coviticus – and sometimes when I’m feeling ultra-whimsical, “Coviticus-Rex” – as I like to call it). Who’s with me? For some reason I feel like I’ve suddenly got a cricket infestation.
Fun side note though that I got from this article, apparently prizes in kids toys started in the early 1900s by one John Kellogg. So next time any nimrod tries to tell you how much “healthier” we were back then, you can wham bam them with the fact that over 100 years ago, we were already trying to trick kids into eating sugary cereal (because, in my experience, kids hate sugar and need extra incentive in order to choke it down? )
Anywhoodle, I feel my whimsy in this blog post is somewhat lacking, and for that I sincerely apologize. I know you come here with the expectation of at least shaking your head in shame and embarrassment for me (while also, you can admit it, in your heart of hearts, laughing silently inside at all of my hilarious buffoonery). I think I’m just rusty, so bear with me while I try and get back on the horse. I haven’t quite gotten a cinnamon roll yet 😉 .
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Vanilla Almond Cupcakes:
- 1 cup cake/pastry flour
- ½ cup finely crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal (ideally whirred into powder form in a food processor)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, room temperature
- 2 egg replacer
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Few drops cinnamon oil/ extract (optional – if you have it)
Cinnamon Sugar Swirl:
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans toasted
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Crumble:
- 1 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, cold and cut into Tablespoons
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 tablespoons fireball whisky (or just non-dairy milk is fine too)
- ¼ cup canned coconut milk (or non-dairy milk would probably be ok too, but you might need to add more icing sugar)
- 1 ½ cups icing sugar
- 1/4 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, finely crushed
- Preheat oven to 325F (170C).
- Combine 1/3 cup of sugar, pecans, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, crushed/ ground cereal, sugar, baking powder and salt).
- With a mixer on medium speed, add the butter by heaping teaspoonfuls. Add 4-5 teaspoons and mix to incorporate into the flour mixture. Repeat until all the butter has been incorporated. It’s ok if it’s not completely mixed in, you just don’t want any large chunks of butter.
- Add egg replacer one egg at a time.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk, vanilla, and almond extracts (and cinnamon oil/extract if using). Add this slowly to the rest of the dough mixture. Beat until just incorporated (try not to overmix)
- Fill cupcake liners about 1/3 full, generously sprinkle cinnamon sugar swirl on top, swirl the batter in slightly with a toothpick. Top with more batter until it’s about 3/4 full. Bake about 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely (very important to cool completely before adding the filling as the cupcakes will likely fall apart when you cut into them if they’re too warm).
- While cupcakes are cooling, make the cinnamon toast crunch crumble. Lower oven heat to 300F and line a sheet pan with parchment or a silicone mat.
- Whisk together cereal, baking powder and salt. Add butter and vanilla and mix until small clumps form.
- Spread evenly and bake for 15 mins. Cool completely before using.
- Make the Filling/Frosting:In a medium sized bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese and salt on high until fluffy, (a couple of minutes). Add the vanilla, whisky and coconut milk. Add the icing sugar, a half cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in (or beat on low) the crushed cereal.
- Using a teaspoon (or bread knife), carefully cut a circle into the top of the cupcake and scoop out some of the cake so that you have a well in the center. Fill with approximately a teaspoon of frosting mixture (or alternatively, a cinnamon-apple jam might be nice if you want it less sweet) and replace the “cap” carefully on top.
- Ice the cupcakes with remaining frosting and sprinkle with cinnamon toast crunch crumble.