Stuffing things into other things: Vanilla cupcakes stuffed with mini chocolate pudding pies


Sometime last year I became quite obsessed with stuffing things into other things. This sounds a bit obscene, but what I mean is that I liked the improbable and over-the-top (at least in theory) pairings of peanut butter cups stuffed into chocolate chip cookies or Toblerone candy stuffed into a cupcake. I have kept that stuffed theme going into this year, occasionally dreaming up some new thing to put into a cookie or cake. The whole idea of baking an entire pie into a cake gained traction in recent years, and while I have not yet had the fortitude or occasion to try that experiment for myself, I have tackled the mini pie inside a cupcake.

I give you the mini chocolate pudding pie inside a vanilla cupcake with what should be chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream that never quite took shape or firmed up the way a Swiss meringue frosting should (but it seemed fine enough to use in any case).

Vanilla cupcakes stuffed with mini chocolate pudding pies
Vanilla cupcake batter:
3/4 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/3 cups milk

Chocolate pudding:
You can make your own or buy a couple of packages of instant chocolate pudding.

Pie crust:
Make your own (find a decent recipe for pie crust here). Or use pre-made pie crust if you can find such a thing.

Preheat oven to 375F/190C. First roll your pie crust out and use a glass or pastry cutter that is about 2.5 inches in diameter. Cut out rounds from the crust. Press the dough into a lightly greased mini cupcake pan. Either use pie weights or dry beans to weigh down the middle of the pie crust (they will puff up otherwise) or poke a few holes in the pastry bottoms. Bake for about 10 minutes until the crust turns slightly golden brown. Set aside and let cool.

Make the pudding according to your instructions.

Fill the cooled crusts with pudding and refrigerate.

For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350F/175C. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Then add the baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and salt. Add the flour and milk in alternating turns with the mixer on low. Beat mixture just until combined/smooth.

Fill cupcake liners in your cupcake pan with about one heaping tablespoon of batter. Top this with one of the chocolate mini pies and gently press it into the batter. Put another heaping tablespoon on top of the pie to fully cover it.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the cupcakes have begun to turn a light golden brown and the cupcake top will spring back when touched. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about ten minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.

You can frost as desired. I made a chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream (recipe here).