Sometimes I have really good ideas that the internet hasn’t already thought of five thousand times before. Hopefully ramekin cupcakes are one of them. Okay, so people have totally baked cake batter in ramekins before, but piping on frosting and treating the ramekin as a cupcake “wrapper” isn’t all over food blogs…yet.
I had some time to kill last week and ended up perusing the baking section at a store where I found a bunch of blue ramekins on sale for 88 cents. I immediately envisioned a cupcake baked into the ramekin topped with swirls of frosting, sprinkles, and a cherry on top. I put every one on the shelf into my basket and headed to checkout.
I filled each ramekin (thoroughly lubed up with Earth Balance or vegetable oil) halfway with root beer oatmeal stout cupcake batter. Four inch ramekins took 24-25 minutes to bake, while the slightly larger five inch ramekins took about 28 minutes. Depending on your cupcake batter, your baking times should be similar. I got three “cupcakes”: one four inch ramekin and two five inch.
After the ramekins have cool off, top with whipped cream or buttercream frosting. If you pipe out half the pastry bag onto one cupcake, your cake is going to be drowning in frosting and end up way too sugary. Instead, think about height rather than mass of frosting when you start piping, and supplement the cupcakes with other garnishes and decoration. Here, I used a thin layer of buttercream, a swirl of coconut whipped cream, root beer syrup, a chocolate dipped strawberry, straws, and a chocolate decoration.
Chocolate drizzle decorations are a great way to add height and a posh look to your desserts. Make the chocolate by melting chocolate chips in a glass bowl (maybe with a teensy bit of vegetable shortening if it won’t smooth out) and pouring the melted chocolate into a ziploc bag. Cut off a bit of one of the corners and drizzle out your design on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Let the chocolate harden at room temperature. If you stick it in the freezer right away, your chocolate will not temper and end up going into shock and melt when you remove it from the freezer and attempt to peel it off the baking sheet. Or end up melting after you stick it into your cupcake. Once the chocolate hardens, remove it from the sheet and stick it into your cupcake as decoration. I brushed my chocolate drizzles with gold luster dust to add shine and color right before carefully peeling them off the sheet.
These ramekin cupcakes would be great for gift-giving, or an alternative to a birthday cake . Buy a few cheap ramekins, bake them into cupcakes, tie a ribbon around the ramekin, and gift them to a lucky recipient! That person is bound to feel special because cupcakes imply single serving, even if they are giant. After single-handedly finishing off the cupcake in one sitting, they get to keep the ramekin and think about what a nice thoughtful person you are every time they use it from then on.
Perhaps the single-serving quality of cupcakes is a curse and a blessing in this application because the amount of batter each ramekin holds is the equivalent of 3-4 cupcakes. Share with a friend if you must, but of course there is nothing shameful in downing multiple cupcakes in one go!