I know, I know... Halloween is over. So why am I posting a recipe now for brain cupcakes?
Well, partially because I missed out on a lot of the pre-halloween hoopla due to a horrible virus that ran through my house in the weeks leading up to it. And... well also because one of my favorite shows is The Walking Dead.
I've tried to make 'light' buttercream frosting in the past, but it's never worked out for me very well with any sort of light butter. It just refuses to hold it's shape and any food coloring added starts to look all crazy.
So instead, I've just used a lot less frosting than what a basic cupcake recipe will recommend. But, as you can see... it's not as if they are lacking. There is still plenty of frosting to indulge in here!
Now quick, go whip up some these cupcakes and sink your teeth into a nice juicy brain!
By the way, I know the notion of eating a brain can be scary... but my toddler didn't turn her nose up, so I think these should be a hit with any kid considering her picky palette.
Skinny Brain Cupcakes
Servings: 18 • Size: 1 Cupcake • Calories: 205.9 • Fat: 6.0 g • Carb: 36.4 g • Fiber: 0.6 g • Protein: 2.0 g • Sugar: 25.1 g • Sodium: 218.4 mg
15.25 Oz. Box Vanilla Cake Mix (I used 'Golden Vanilla'.)
1 C. Water
6 Oz. Plain Fat Free Greek Yogurt
2 Large Egg Whites
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 C. Light Cherry Pie Filling
1/2 C. (1 Stick) Butter, Unsalted & Softened
2 C. Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1 Drop Red or Pink Food Coloring
1-2 Tbsp. Water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
I gave my liners a quick spray of non-stick baking spray. This keeps the cake form sticking to the paper and allows for a cleaner removal.
Mix together the ingredients for the cupcakes, except for the cherry pie filling.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared baking pan(s) and bake for 15-20 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Once done, remove the cupcakes from the oven and set aside to cool.
While the cupcakes are cooling, go ahead and whip up your frosting.
Beat the softened butter for a few minutes until light and 'fluffy'.
I used the whisk attachment on my stand mixer on medium speed.
Add in the powdered sugar a half cup at a time, mixing on the slowest speed possible so you don't have sugar blown back into your face.
Not that I speak from experience or anything. Tee-hee.
Once the powdered sugar is fully incorporated add in the vanilla, salt and food coloring.
If the frosting is too thick, add in some water, one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
Note: the picture above is before I added the food coloring!
Using a pairing knife, carefully cut the tops and center of the cupcake out. You want to remove a good heaping tablespoon of cake from the middle.
All in all I removed about two full cupcakes worth of cake from all of them combined.
Cut some of the cake from the bottom of the top of the center of the cupcake that you removed to allow room for filling.
Note: I have 15 cupcakes pictured, that's because my little girl doesn't like pie filling! The recipe accounts for 18 though.
Fill the cupcakes with some of the cherry pie filling.
I fit about two cherries and some of the filling in each one of mine.
Once done, place the reserved tops of the cupcakes back over the hole.
Frost the cupcakes as you desire.
I placed my frosting into a gallon ziplock and cut the tip off. I then did my best to make a 'brain like' design on the top.
The way I that I found work best ended up being a singular line down the middle and then zigzags along each side of the line for each hemisphere of the brain. Definitely not accurate but at least they look cute!
Enjoy with your favorite zombie show!
Store any leftover brains in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.