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Inspiration Station-Marble Cupcakes

Last week the student organization that I advise on campus hosted a Showcase to raise money for Japan.  It was a pretty amazing event, considering the students spent their entire Spring Break planning the program and folding over 1,000 cranes for folks to sign when they donate money. Japanese legend grants a wish for 1,000 folded cranes.  Their wish was to ask for protection, peace, and express sympathy for those that have suffered from the devastation in Japan.  The event was really moving and what made it even better was that we received a ton of donated food as well.

Celebrity Cake Studio, a bakery in Tacoma donated a full sheet cake for the event.  Not only was it super delicious, it was also super pretty ;) Yay & yay! Check it out:

It was a marble cake with an eclair filling and a vanilla buttercream frosting.  Right?! Super tasty.  So, anyways… after having this amazing cake and forgetting to take some home with me, I was totally inspired to make my own.  Well, not a big cake, cause me and big cakes don’t have the best history together.  But marble cupcakes sounded just as good :)  The recipe I used is from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, instead of doing an eclair filling, I used her pastry cream recipe, also from the book that actually goes with the Boston Cream Pie recipe and a regular vanilla buttercream.

Sometimes, I’m not really sure how I bake because I’m not really a patient person… but, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way to help me out-like keeping butter out on my counter all the time because I bake so much.

This time, I didn’t really follow all the rules, so they weren’t the most aesthetically pleasing cupcakes, but they still tasted great and SOMETIMES that’s just enough for me ;) I *realllllly* should have waited for the pastry cream to cool & firm up in the fridge, but I didn’t, cause I was being lazy.  Long story short, I piped the pasty cream into my cupcakes before it cooled and the pastry cream made my frosting melt, ugh.  I was able to get a few good pics before they had to be tossed into the fridge to keep their shape!  Technically these don’t really call for frosting, but I’ll take any good excuse to use my ginormous pastry tips from Bake it Pretty ;)

Marble Cupcakes

  • 1 3/4 Bella Cupcake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line 16 muffin tins with paper liners.  Sift together flour, baking powder & salt.  Combine milk and heavy cream.
  2. With a standing bowl mixer on high speed, cream together butter & sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the vanilla.  Add flour in 3 batches, alternating with milk mixture until batter is combined.
  3. To make chocolate: measure 1 cup batter into a bowl.  Combine cocoa and boiling water in a bowl.  Stir into reserved batter.
  4. Fill cups alternating with spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter filling each tin 3/4 full.  Run a wooden skewer through the batter in a figure 8 motion to make swirls.
  5. Bake until tops are golden, a cake tester comes out clean, about 2o mins.
  6. Transfer to a cooling rack.
  7. Core the center of each cupcake to make room for the filling.
  8. Reserve core to cover the pastry cream filling.

Yield: 16 cupcakes

Pastry Cream

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Whisk egg yolks until smooth in a large bowl.  Combine sugar, corn starch, and salt in a medium saucepan and heat over medium.  Stirring constantly, gradually add milk in a slow, steady stream and cook until mixture begins to thicken and bubble, about 5 mins.
  2. Whisking constantly, slowly pour 1/3 of milk mixture into the eggs yolks.  Temper the egg yolks so they do not curdle.  Pour mixture into remaining milk mixture in the saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil and is thick enough to hold shape when lifted with a spoon, 2-4 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.
  3. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl.  Cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming.   Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).
  4. Pipe pastry cream into each cupcake.
  5. Press reserved cupcake cores over the pastry cream filling.
  6. Add your favorite vanilla buttercream frosting :)
  7. Enjoy.

Recipe Source: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

Ps. If you’re interested, we raised almost $800 at the Showcase for Japan and will continue to collect money all Spring Quarter.  All the proceeds are going to Peace Winds America.  A non-profit organization that is working in tandem with their sister organization Peace Winds Japan to provide relief and recovery operations to the hardest hit areas in Japan.   Every little bit helps, whether it’s a monetary contribution or just spreading the word….

Pss.  Lots of love to Celebrity Cake Studio, once again for the *AMAZING* cake and supporting the event!  Mahalo!