A Baking Adventure: Mini Salted Chocolate Caramel FUN da-Middles Cupcakes

I don’t know if I’ve told you all this before, but I’m an avid coupon clipper. Crusader Stacy is responsible for getting me started after she subscribed to the weekend newspaper a couple of years ago. Now I’m a subscriber myself and enjoy sitting down on the weekends to browse through the circulars. It’s always an exciting clipping day when I come across baking coupons. I found myself on a trip to the grocery store with two, one for Betty Crocker FUN da-Middles and another for Duncan Hines Frosting Creations.

Since the Baltimore Cupcake Picnic was fast approaching, I decided I would put these two things together in mini cupcake form (please don’t think less of me for mixing brands).

Betty Crocker FUN da-Middles have a chocolate (or vanilla) center that you bake in the cupcake, which saves you time later having to fill them. It still amazes me how the chocolate center stays smooth and creamy. I may have overstuffed my mini cupcakes, but the frosting hid most of the bursts.

I decided to pair the vanilla-chocolate FUN da-Middles with Duncan Hines Caramel Frosting Creations. You can never go wrong with chocolate and caramel, right? I had to add confectioners’ sugar to the frosting because it was too runny to pipe.

I lined all my minis up to frost and add caramel and chocolate ganache drizzles.

I made my own chocolate ganache and used Smucker’s Caramel Sundae Syrup. I put each into a small bag and cut a tiny opening for more control over the drizzle.

Just to take the flavor to the next level, I sprinkled half of the cupcakes with course sea salt. The Crusaders all agreed that the salted cupcakes were our favorite of the two. The difference was mild, but it really rounded out the sweetness and gave it that little something extra to make the cupcakes special.

My overall thought on working with Betty Crocker FUN da-Middles is that they are pretty neat. My grocery store is no longer carrying the product line and it seems like a few other places I shop at occasionally don’t have them either. I guess it hasn’t been a popular item, but I’ve seen recipes I would like to try where I could modify the filling flavor, so I’ll have to be on the lookout for more. If you’ve tried FUN da-Middles before, let us know what you thought and if you changed up the mix.

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Jenn (Westminster, MD)

Baltimore Cupcake Picnic – Rain Rain chased the picnic away!

Sadly, due to inclement weather, we had to cancel our Baltimore Cupcake Picnic in Patterson Park. We were really sad the rain chased our picnic away, but luckily, for our family and very close friends, Crusader Stacy graciously opened her house so that we could gather together and share the cupcakes we’d already made.

We all couldn’t help but dig in right away, especially after hearing so much about Crusader Stacy’s Nerd cupcakes! As more people showed up, we made room on the table for the cupcakes – some store bought, some homemade. It was great when the tasting was in full swing, with so many kids there, it was hard not to feel like a kid yourself, eating more sugar than necessary and maybe even getting a tummy ache.

Overall there was an amazing variety of cupcake flavors in attendance:

1 & 2) Crusader Jenn’s FUN da-Middles mini Cupcakes, two ways – one with salted caramel and one without the salt
3) Crusader Stacy’s Nerds Cupcakes – keep an eye out for this recipe post!
4) Black Bottoms from a local bakery – yum!
5) Crusaders’ Dad brought four flavors of cupcakes from Sweet Hearts Patisserie, a cupcakery in Annapolis the Crusaders have been wanting to try. Watch for this review!
6) Crusader Elisa brought homemade Peach Cobbler cupcakes that Crusader Stacy had suggested on our FB page – thanks again for the suggestion!
7) A friend made Homemade Ginger Peach cupcakes, filled with a peach compote that was very flavorful
8) Crusaders’ sister Alissa and her friend brought red velvet cupcakes
9) Chocolate Chip cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, made by a friend
10) Healthy Crusader Rebecca brought healthy Black Forest cupcakes – watch for this healthy recipe post coming soon.

It might have been a rainy day, but we had a great time with our family and close friends. So many cupcakes, so many kiddies, so many wonderful people all in the same place! It was the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.

The Crusaders would like to thank everyone who made it out to our picnics this summer. It’s been a great opportunity to meet our fellow cupcake lovers, try some new flavors, and spend time talking about cupcakes! Can’t wait for next summer!

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Elisa (Baltimore, MD)