Friday, April 12, 2013

Slider Burger Cupcakes

What do you do at 8:30 the night before you promised a dearly beloved student that you would bring homemade, memorable cupcakes to school the next day to celebrate their birthday? Why, you take inspiration from the brilliant Bakerella and put together Slider Burger Cupcakes, of course!

It was late, I was tired, and I had set the cupcake bar far too high in the past, but I didn't want to disappoint, so after a quick look at my Pinterest Cupcake board, I thought I would attempt these cute lil' guys. I mean, who doesn't like cute little burgers, especially when they taste like sugary goodness?

Sadly, I don't have step-by-step photo instructions (again, it was late) and there isn't too much of a recipe...

-1 box yellow cake mix (any brand will do, I usually go with Betty Crocker's Super Moist or Pillsbury's Moist Supreme, really whatever is on sale)
-Oil, water and eggs (as called for on the cake box)
-Cupcake liners (important!)
-1 box brownie mix (any brand that doesn't come with frosting, chocolate chips or nuts. Just plain, ole' brownie mix)
-Oil, water and eggs (as called for on the cake box)
-White frosting (if you're in a hurry, like I was, you can use pre-made frosting, or you can whip up a batch of your favorite buttercream)
-Green, yellow and red food coloring (I only use gel color, it doesn't change the consistency of your frosting like traditional liquid color can. Because of my massive collection of cake decorating supplies, I generally use Wilton colors. For this project, I used the following: kelly green, golden yellow and no-taste red)
-Dash of cocoa powder
-Sesame seeds

Prepare cake batter, as directed. Spoon into paper-lined (super important! If you don't use the traditional cupcake liners, you won't get that great "bun" finish) muffin tins and bake as directed. I let the cupcakes go just a bit long; not enough to dry out, but just enough to get that great bun color. Remove from oven and transfer to wire racks. Let cool almost completely.

In the meantime, prepare the brownie batter as directed and pour into a greased 9 x 13" (ideally, for burger to bun ratio) pan. Bake as directed and let cool almost completely.

While your burgers and buns are cooling, divide the frosting into three containers. Color the green in one container and the yellow in another container. Cover to keep from crusting over. For the red, it can be difficult to tint the frosting a deep enough red to represent ketchup, so much so that it can affect the flavor. So, thanks to my wonderful baking instructor at Sweetness Cakery, I learned that by adding just a bit of cocoa power to frosting, it deepens the red. Start with just a sprinkle and a bit of the gel color, adding more, as needed, until you get the color you want. Set the colored frostings aside.

Next, remove the cupcakes from the paper liners and using a knife or a cake leveler, cut each cupcake in half, so it represents the top and bottom of a hamburger bun.

To create the burgers, I just happened to have a circle cookie-cutter that was the perfect size for the buns. If you're not quite as lucky, just look around, you'd be surprised what you can find around the house that will work. Cut out enough burgers to fill all your buns and then sit back to enjoy the trimmings.

Once you've finished snacking, time to start the assembly. I put my colored frostings into cake decorating bags, but ziploc bags with the tip cut off will work, as well. I put a dab of yellow in the center of the bottom bun to hold the burger in place. Plop the burger down and get ready for condiments! I made squiggly lines of ketchup and mustard around the outside edge of my burger, then topped it with lettuce. Add your top bun and get your sesame seeds handy. I used a medium-sized (food-friendly) paint brush to brush the bun with just enough water to make it slightly moist and then sprinkled on the sesame seeds. VoilĂ !

Check out Bakerella's page to add a festive tray and deliciously sweet french fries. It was after my bedtime by this point, so I simply found a barbecue-looking tray and called it a night.

The next day, all the hard work paid off! The kids absolutely loved them and they thought it was a hoot when they could trick someone into believing they were actually beef burgers!

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