Sometimes I spend several days designing a new recipe. Researching blogs for ideas, thinking of unique flavor combinations, carefully planning the ingredients.
Sometimes I just look in to my pantry and see what I can throw together.
Which is what happened with the Cocoa Pebbles and Cereal Milk Cupcakes.
Since I began dating my boyfriend, I’ve noticed that he has picked up a few habits from me.
One is pajamas. For whatever reason, before he met me, he didn’t own a single pair of pajama bottoms. Not one. I on the other hand, have everything from polka dots to Nightmare Before Christmas pjs (which actually look rather similar given the shape of Jack Skellington’s head). When I’m home, I spend the majority of my time in pjs.
And now so does he. He even has a rubber ducky pair that have a special place in his heart.
The other habit he’s picked up is eating cereal. Weird, I know, who doesn’t like cereal? But before dating me, he rarely ate breakfast, and even when he did, it was never cereal. Now I need my morning oatmeal. My oatmeal is to me as coffee is to the rest of my fellow sleep-deprived graduate students. But I have always loved cereal as a snack. I actually avoid buying cereal due to my tendency to sit on the couch and eat it by the fistful from the box. Anyway, at some point I introduced my boyfriend to Cocoa Pebbles and now he goes through about 2 boxes of a week.
So the other day, when my man asked me for something sweet (and yes, he did mean something sweet to eat), I looked in to the pantry and what did I see? Cocoa Pebbles.
And that’s when it struck me: Cocoa Pebble Cupcakes.
Lately I’ve been playing with some small-batch recipes for cupcakes (awesome when you have a boyfriend who has the self control of a 5 year old around sweets) and I’ve been constantly intrigued by Momofuku’s Cereal Milk. I know the cereal milk thing has been around for a while, but it seems to have popped up on my blog feed an awful lot lately. I’ve been looking for an excuse to try it out in some dessert or another.
Thus was born my Cocoa Pebbles Cereal Milk Cupcakes. Both the cake and the frosting are made with cereal milk and Cocoa Pebbles. The sugary cereal milk gives this cake a really interesting texture. The inside is fluffy, as cake should be, but the edges are pleasingly crispy, much like the coveted muffin-top.
You should have seen the look on my man’s face when I presented him with these two lovely cupcakes.
Like a kid in a candy store.
Cocoa Pebbles Cereal Milk Cupcakes (adapted from One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes)
Makes 2 cupcakes
- 1/2 Tb white or apple cider vinegar *NOTE*
- 2 Tb sugar
- 2 Tb unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp of baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 Tb Cereal Milk (recipe below)
- 1/4 cup Cocoa Pebbles
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with 2 lines.
- In a medium bowl, add vinegar, sugar, vanilla and butter and whisk until well mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in cereal milk.
- Fold in Cocoa Pebbles.
- Divide batter in to 2 cupcake liners
- Bake at 350 for 16-20 minutes until cake top is set and toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool completely then frost with Cocoa Pebble Frosting.
Cocoa Pebble Frosting (adapted from Chocolate Frosting for Two)
- 2 Tb unsalted butter, melted
- 3 Tb ground Cocoa Pebbles *NOTE*
- 6 Tb confectioners sugar
- 2 tsp Cereal Milk
- dash of salt
- Mix all ingredients in a small butter. Whisk until smooth.
- Refrigerate 10 minutes until frosting is set.
- 5 minutes before frosting cupcakes, remove frosting from refrigerator and allow to come to room temp.
- Whisk again to loosen up the frosting.
- 1/3 cup Cocoa Pebbles
- 1/3 cup milk
- Combine milk and cereal and a bowl and let soak until cereal is soggy (and gross). Or, if you’re in a rush, microwave for 45 seconds.
- Strain out cereal.
- Why vinegar? Well vinegar and baking powder is actually a surprisingly good vegan substitute for eggs. Not that I was going for an egg-free cake. I just didn’t have any eggs on hand.
- I used about 1/3 cup cocoa pebbles processed in my VitaMix (a food processor will work fine too).