New Year, new cupcake battle!
This time around, I decided to focus on the villains. We all have our favorite baddies. There’s something about a bad guy or girl that is deliciously appealing. Put that in a dessert form and how could anyone resist his or her charm?!
For this battle, I focused on the DC Villains; specifically The Joker, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Lex Luthor. Yes, it’s very Batman-heavy, but those were the characters that came immediately to mind when the idea took root. Besides, this is the year for Batman, Superman, and Suicide Squad, right? Without further ado, here are the contenders!
Unpredictable. Deranged. Maniacal. Chaotic. The Clown Prince of Crime. A constant thorn in Batman’s side. I knew right away I was going to decorate the cupcakes in purple and green, but I was stumped on the flavor. I needed something that would be as surprising as The Joker himself. I finally settled on a vodka cupcake filled with black raspberry jam topped with marshmallow frosting. A side note on the vodka cupcake batter: HOLY ALCOHOL, BATMAN! That batter packed a punch. And I didn’t use flavored vodka as mentioned in the recipe; just plain ol’ vodka. While the cupcakes were baking in the oven, I made myself a fresh cup of coffee before tackling the next cupcake.
Oh, Harley. You have such a huge heart when it comes to Mistah J and manage to remain so upbeat during the most horrible situations!
Naturally, the frosting had to be the same as The Joker’s cupcakes, so I simply doubled the recipe. While I tinted ¼ of the frosting purple and a ¼ of the frosting green for The Joker, I kept the ¼ of the frosting in white and tinted the remainder red. For the flavor, I felt that the classic, rich, romantic red velvet cupcake baked with mini chocolate chips would be perfect for the Harley Quinn cupcakes. Rather than making the red velvet cupcakes from scratch, I used a box mix.
This seductress is a talented botanical expert who loves nature and is out to save the world’s plant life. Nothing wrong with that, right? Well, throw in some poison and other dubious activities and you got yourself a super villain. Oh, and she’s besties with Harley Quinn. How bad can she be?
The type of cupcake was kind of obvious to me – it’s green – and, luckily, this was the first recipe I came across during my search. It’s so simple! I stuck with my favorite vanilla frosting, but used lemon extract and tinted it green.
When you think of Lex Luthor, the image of an intelligent businessman in a sharp suit, out to thwart Superman comes to mind, doesn’t it? Can’t you just imagine Luthor sitting at a reserved table at a 5-star restaurant for a business meeting while selecting only the best items from the menu over a discussion of illegal firearms that will take down the Man of Steel?
I wanted something rich and decadent, so champagne and chocolate were the obvious choices. My original idea for the Lex Luthor cupcakes was a white chocolate cupcake with strawberry filling and champagne frosting. This cupcake recipe came together quite nicely. I didn’t have any strawberry filling on hand, so I ended up using the black raspberry jam used in The Joker cupcakes. I was all set on making the champagne frosting, but I was wiped out and pressed for time. I ended up dusting the cupcakes lightly with powdered sugar.
Now… the taste test.
Luckily, I had a family gathering that evening so I had my focus group surrounding my dining room table.
Out of 8 people, all but 2 liked the Harley Quinn cupcakes. They were described as classic and delicious, followed by a “Who the heck doesn’t like red velvet??” Apparently, one of my sisters and father are not that impressed by it. Hmph.
The Joker cupcakes were surprising. At least 3 people asked me if there was white pepper in the cupcake. There was definitely a “bite” to the cupcake which was paired nicely with the black raspberry jam filling and marshmallow fluff frosting. Everyone actually loved the marshmallow frosting!
The Poison Ivy and Lex Luthor cupcakes received the highest praise! The Poison Ivy cupcakes were extremely moist and sweet with no hint of the spinach – they all assumed I tinted the batter. The vanilla flavor from the boxed mix seemed to have been amplified by the simple recipe. Also, the lemon buttercream frosting was the perfect combination of tart and sweet. The Lex Luthor cupcakes were extremely moist and decadent from the melted white chocolate, and honestly, really didn’t need the champagne frosting I was planning on making for this cupcake.
A good thing about all the cupcakes? They keep well when stored properly. I kept them in Tupperware on my kitchen table and they kept for 5 days. Guess what I had for breakfast that week?
Which DC villain do you want to see in the next cupcake battle? Weigh in!