When Life Gives You Burnt Cupcakes, Make Cake Pops!

18 Sep

So, if you follow me on Facebook, you’d have seen my teaser picture of carrot cake, and my plans to try a new recipe this past weekend. Well, I sure did try it and it was definitely my newest baking (mis)adventure!

The back-story…

John: “Why are there so many carrots in the fridge? This is ridiculous!” *You should know that John is particular about cleaning and hates when things go bad in the fridge – I am the more relaxed of the two of us on the cleaning front – just sayin’

Me: “Well John, when Mom was here she asked me to get carrots for her sauce and chili recipes, and we used most of them, not a big deal. It was only a 5lb bag, don’t worry we can use them all up before they go bad”

John: “You mean you bought all these carrots?” *points to crisper in fridge filled with carrots- filled!

Me: “What the wha?? Where did all those carrots come from? I did not buy all those! (Seriously like 20lbs of carrots – clearly my mother cannot pass up a sale, even on carrots she will never use) What are we going to do with them? What can we make with that many carrots?!”

John: “Carrot Cake?”

And so began our journey toward the Great Carrot Cake Meltdown of 2012! *cue dramatic music

Here’s how it all went down… (notice the giant bowl of carrots pictured above)

I decided to make the recipe that Canadian Living calls The Best Carrot Cake in Canada, and because I wanted to get rid of the carrots, I decided to double the recipe and turn them into cupcakes so we could share them at both of our workplaces. Awesome idea, right? I’ve made cupcakes before, I thought, how could any of this go wrong?

Well, in all fairness it all went incredibly well… until it didn’t.

Things were going along swimmingly at first. I had the first batch in the oven and was working on the icing and preparing a second batch when the first came out – looking great at first glance…. The tops looked good but the sides and bottom…  not so much!

I have added a few steps to the recipe here. I would not recommend adding them unless your oven plays the same tricks on you as mine does on me. Hopefully your cake will turn out just fine, but these will help you get the picture of what happened next in my kitchen.

Final Step: Once the cake is done (toothpick comes out clean) leave it to cool. Cover in icing once cooled. (This is where most people would stop, satisfied with their creation)

But if you’re me you:

  1. Impatiently pick at the cupcakes until you eventually get one out of the pan, only to discover the worst thing of all… the cupcakes have burned on every edge except the top!

    So remember each time you diligently checked on them and relaxed in the fact that they “looked good”?
    You were living in a dream world in which you are the Cake Boss and people pay you to say “fon-dant!” in a thick Jersey accent! – (Not reality!)
  2. Now try to maintain composure because your friend is there and you don’t want to freak her out. (which only makes things more stressful)
  3. Fail miserably at maintaining composure and give into the crushing need to burst into tears. (Do this for about 5 minutes)
  4. Be angry at those damn cupcakes for being so easily burned and that oven for running too hot! It’s ok! You’ve worked hard for this!
  5. Rack your brain for what the heck you can do with burnt cupcakes. Trifle will come to mind – but everyone knows trifle is what you make when your cake burned!
  6. Remember back to a few days ago, when you were reading about Cake Pops and how all they need is icing (yes, I have that) and pieces of cake (yes, yes! I have that too)
  7. Now the acceptance phase: Decide on Carrot Cake Cake Pops and send John back to the store to get white baking chips and sucker sticks while you and your friend (who did actually stick around through your meltdown and subsequent mini fight with John) get started on the inside of the cake pops.

Here’s How To Make Carrot Cake Cake Pops:

You’ll need: Cake pieces, Sucker sticks, Styrofoam, Wax paper, Cookie sheet, Cream cheese icing, Mixing bowl, Pieces to make double boiler and Food colouring

  1. Take carrot cake cupcakes that burnt to a crisp and peel off burnt edges, leaving you with the lovely soft inside of each. Put them all in a mixing bowl. (You could use carrot cake that wasn’t burnt to begin with, but that is clearly too easy for me)
  2. Mash up the cake so it is not clumped together anymore.
  3. Add in cream cheese icing. You’re looking for the texture of a meatball – moist and sticky, not too runny or wet.
  4. Form into balls using a tablespoon measure (that was the trick I taught you last weekend! See I’ve learned too!) so they are all evenly sized and place them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
  5. Put them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes so they firm up a bit.
  6. Start a double boiler with white baking chips and melt fully stirring constantly to avoid burning.
  7. Dye it orange because you want them to look like carrots!
  8. Take a baking stick and insert it into the cake ball, so it is about half way through.
  9. Dip it in the chocolate and stick in the Styrofoam so it hardens while standing up.
  10. Repeat with as many cake balls as you have chocolate for. (In my case only about half )
  11. Take some cream cheese icing and dye it green then use a piping bag or sandwich bag (in my case) to put little “stems” on each one.
  12. Put cake pops in fridge and they will set after an hour
  13. Share and enjoy the fact that your cupcake meltdown was so creatively turned around into a wonderful success! Your friends will like cake pops more than they thought they would! (or maybe they feel bad for you? Hard to say)

I must say – I know they are certainly not the most polished or professional looking but for a first try and none of the proper tools needed – I think I turned it around pretty well!

And – they got rave reviews! Most people gave it a solid 10 out of 10!

“Just the way carrot cake should be:  a little kick of cinnamon blending nicely with the cream cheese and moist cake texture.  Yum!”

I did end up making a 9×13 cake with the rest of the batter it turned out amazingly as well – I would agree that it is the best carrot cake recipe in Canada!

Give it a try and remember if the cake burns, give yourself 5 mins to cry and move on to even better, more creative things. You’ll surprise yourself at what you can come up with!


6 Responses to “When Life Gives You Burnt Cupcakes, Make Cake Pops!”

  1. sabhskitchn September 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    Haha, could have been me, the most important thing is to stay creative. Should it not turn out as desired, make something else out of it. 😉 Will def. try your little coloured cakebites, as I already have the worlds best carrot cake recipe ( without pineapple !) cheers* sabh

  2. Niki Toomey September 19, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    I liked the little carrot cake cookies you made too with the remaining little balls. They were yummy and super moist!

  3. Becki October 31, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Great idea, thanks so much for posting this ideas and how to make cake pops. I was searching Google for “what to do with burned cupcakes.” I had some (just burned on the bottom) and I knew there had to be a good use for them. I had never made cake pops before. This worked perfectly and was really fun to make! Came out delicious!


  1. Here’s to a Low Stress Baking Adventure! « The Goodie Girl - September 23, 2012

    […] Ok – so you all remember the stress and exhaustion that was last week’s baking adventure? No? Enlighten yourself… The Great Carrot Cake Meltdown of 2012 […]

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