Spot’s Cupcake Wars Recap

In case you missed it, our very own Spot joined Maria Menounos in a culinary battle on the hit Food Network series Cupcake Wars.  The celebrity edition featured Maria, Greer Grammar, AJ Michalka, and Tamera Mowry as they took on a NASA theme to make out of this world cupcakes.  Here’s the description of the show:

Monday, April 25th at 8pm – “Celebrity: Cupcakes in Space”

Jonathan Bennett hosts this all-star cupcake showdown as celebrities Greer Grammar, Maria Menounos, AJ Michalka and Tamera Mowry battle it out to prove that their cupcakes reign supreme. These four stars will have to shine bright to have their cupcakes featured at a galactic blowout celebrating the end of astronaut Scott Kelly’s one-year mission in orbit, the longest in history! Bobak Ferdowski from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is on hand with Florian Bellanger and Waylynn Lucas to choose which celebrity wins bragging rights and a donation to their charity of choice.

spot maria cupcake wars

Round 1 was the taste challenge, using unique flavors from a table of ingredients.  We decided to go with a Ginger Wasabi Cupcake with a Green Tea & Ginger frosting. As this was a taste challenge, we had to go bold or go home.  Luckily, we did neither. And even though the judges weren’t wowed by the lack of flavor, we made it to round 2.

In the 2nd round, we dominated! We went with a Milky Way Bar cupcake with Caramel Buttercream, an Orange Cream Cupcake with Tang Buttercream, and finally a Root Beer Float (in Space) cupcake with a Marshmallow Vodka Buttercream.  The judges thought all 3 were amazing… which carried us to the final round against Tamera, involving 1000 cupcakes and a huge display.

In the end, we battled it out, but there can be only one winner… which you probably saw on the show.

Spot baked his heart out, and even though it was a bit… battered… he came out strong and earned his… purple tart.

For those of you that watched, thanks so much for your support! We loved seeing all the posts and tweets with Spot’s bearded mug on your TV.

In case you’re wondering what it takes to make 2nd place cupcakes, take a look at the recipes below

Ginger Wasabi Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut milk

1/3 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1-2 tablespoons wasabi powder (to taste) – about 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp

 

For Frosting:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature

2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons soy creamer or heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground ginger, or to taste

1 or 2 teaspoons Green Tea (Matcha) powder to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

Whisk together the coconut milk, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract until incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, and wasabi. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and pour in coconut milk mixture. Stir until just smooth (do not overmix). Take a quick taste of the batter, and add more wasabi if you feel it is needed.

Pour into liners, filling each with 3 tablespoons of batter (cups should be no more than 2/3 full). Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

For frosting, cream butter until smooth and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and beat until combined. Mix in vanilla, ginger, and cream. Continue adding sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition (depending on the temperature of your butter, you may need more or less sugar/cream to achieve the proper consistency). Continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and enjoy!

SPOTTY’S NOTE: If you’re looking for the bold flavors of ginger and wasabi, avoid this cupcake.  If you like a delicious, well-balanced and unique cupcake, it’s worth a shot

 

Orange Cream Cupcakes with Tang Frosting

Makes about 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 cup orange juice

1 tsp. orange extract

2 tsp. orange zest (chopped to a paste)

3 cups flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)

3 eggs (separated)

1/8 tsp. cream of tarter

  1. preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prep muffin tins with cupcake liners
  2. Combine orange juice, extract and zest. Set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Beat unsalted butter, and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Add egg yolks one at a time, until fully incorporated. Scrape down bowl.
  6. Add in flour mixture alternating with orange juice mixture, just until fully incorporated.
  7. In separate bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tarter until stiff peaks form, but before the whites turn dry…they should be shiny still, but when you lift the whisk, the peak should just bend.
  8. Gently fold the whites into the cake batter.
  9. Fill cups 1/2 full.
  10. Bake for about 20 minutes until they rise just above the edge and look golden brown on the top. When you touch one in the center of it, it should spring back nicely.

Tang Buttercream

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Tang Powdered drink mix

1 1/2 Cups heavy cream

1 lb. unsalted butter (softened)

1/2 lb. salted butter (softened)

1/2 pkg. french vanilla instant pudding mix

1 cup (or more to suit your tastes) powdered sugar

  1. In easy to pour container, combine the Tang and heavy cream, set aside.
  2. Beat the butter until soft.
  3. Add the pudding mix and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Slowly add in Tang mixture, little bit at a time to avoid splash ups. Get it all in there though.
  5. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Beat the hell out of the buttercream until it is light and fluffy and silky smooth.

The cupcakes are filled with the buttercream as well. All you do is make a hole in the top of the cupcake. Pipe the frosting in. Put the cake hole back on top.

 

 

 

Milky Way Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

Ingredients:

3 Milky Way bars (2.05 oz. bars) (Buy an extra bar if you want for decoration.)

1 3/4 cup milk, plus 2 tbsp.

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 cups flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

4 oz. butter (1 stick), room temperature

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

 

Buttercream

25 caramels

1/4 cup milk

4 oz. butter (1 stick), room temperature

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1/4 tsp. vanilla

This buttercream recipe is enough for about 36 cupcakes.

Directions:

  1. For the cake: In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the candy bars with 2 tablespoons milk. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla on high until well blended.
  1. Add the eggs one at a time and beat for 30 seconds on high, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  1. Add the Milky Way mixture and mix for 30 seconds on high.
  1. Add 1/2 of the four mixture and 1/2 the remaining milk to the butter mixture and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and milk. Mix thoroughly until incorporated. Pour the batter into prepared cake pans.
  1. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  1. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert the cupcakes onto a rack and cool completely before frosting.
  1. For the buttercream: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the caramels, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in milk until smooth. Set aside and cool to room temperature.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla for 3 minutes on high.
  1. Add the cooled caramel and mix on high for 2 minutes. Frost your cupcakes!

 

 

NOT YOUR FATHER’S ROOT BEER FLOAT CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS

½ cup butter

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cloves

1 cup Not Your Father’s Root Beer (or any hard root beer)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together butter and sugars. Add in two eggs, one at a time, and then mix in flour.
  2. Once well combined, add the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves and continue to beat on low speed. Pour in the Not Your Father’s Root Beer.
  3. Scoop batter into lined cupcake tin (makes 12 cupcakes) and cook in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

 

Marshmallow Vodka Buttercream Frosting

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup marshmallow Fluff

pinch salt

3 cups confectioner’s sugar

2 tablespoons marshmallow vodka