Introduction: Alphabet Soup Cupcakes
This is the time of year that your kitchen counters may look a little like mine and are literally piling up with fresh tomatoes from the garden. After you have made pasta sauce, ketchup, BBQ sauce, canned tomatoes and what ever else - you might want to try something a little different.........like a tomato cupcake with cream cheese frosting. We put all kinds of fruit in cupcakes why not tomatoes!?
My two boys love soup and now that the weather is getting chilly I have been making soup a lot. My youngest son insists that there be alphabet pasta in his soup no matter what kind it is so I thought it would be fun to try and create a cupcake with an alphabet soup theme!
The flavor of the cake is surprisingly delicious. It is tender and moist from the juicy tomatoes. Once cooked the tomatoes release natural sugars making them sweet much like that of a zucchini or carrot. There is a hint of tomato flavor but it is not at all overwhelming. It's quite nice and a fun way to use up extra tomatoes in a unique way!
Step 1: Prepare Tomatoes
I was making pasta sauce this day so I did a whole lot of tomatoes but if you are just doing the cupcakes it would only take 2 or 3 tomatoes.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
Wash tomatoes and take off the green stems.
Gently drop tomatoes into the boiling water and boil for 30 - 45 seconds. Remove from the water and let cool slightly on a pan. You will then be able to easily peel off the skins.
Gently squeeze the tomatoes to get most of the juices and seeds out. Keep the juices and strain later for fresh tomato juice. If you don't like to drink it you can use it in a soup.
Dice tomatoes and let sit in a strainer to let extra juices drain off.
Step 2: Make Cupcakes
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. whole wheat flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/3 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla
3/4 c. diced tomatoes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare 12 hole cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
In a large mixing bowl sift flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl add butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs mixing well. Add in tomatoes.
Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix to incorporate.
Evenly distribute batter in cupcake tin.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove and let cool on a wire rack.
Step 3: Make Frosting
Tomato Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 T. butter, softened
3 T. tomato juice
1 t. vanilla extract
3-4 c. powdered sugar (depending on desired consistency)
In a medium mixing bowl combine cream cheese and butter. Add in tomato juice and vanilla and mix. Add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time mixing after each addition until you reach desired consistency.
Add food coloring if you don't have the color you like. I added red and copper to get the end color.
Frost cooled cupcakes. Break plastic spoons in half and stick the end half in the cupcake to get a spoon-in-the-bowl effect.
***Although there is tomato juice in this frosting recipe it is completely masked by the powdered sugar. You could certainly omit it since it doesn't offer much flavor in the end result.
Step 4: Make Alphabets
Melt white candy melts in a Wilton Chocolate Pro (thanks instructables!! - I won it in one of the contests).
Spoon melted candy into a piping bag fitted with a number 2 round tip.
Pipe the alphabet (several times) onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Let harden.
Step 5: Assemble Cupcakes
On frosted cupcakes add as many letters as you like. The more the better I think, go ahead and smash them on there.
Add small pieces of colored candies to make it look like peas and carrots in the soup. I used chocolate covered sunflower seeds but cut m&m's would work fine too.
I also tried making one in a ramekin to make it really look like soup!