Cupcakes are already playful enough, but the greater internet community has collectively concocted enough off-the-wall mash-ups of the unexpected to devote at least one special blog to. (After all, besides silly cat videos, aren’t wacky recipes what the internet was invented for?)
From the simply eyebrow raising to a few that may induce a queasy feeling in some, here are seven of the most unusual batters to be poured into a cupcake tray:
We’ll start you off easy before wheeling out the true frosted freaks with one that should sound delicious to fans of traditional dessert fair and polyester yacht shirts alike. After the usual flour, eggs and baking soda, things start to get exciting with coconut, coconut milk and a liberal pour of coconut rum. Top them off with a coconut cream and cream cheese frosting and you should end up with the perfect companion for a sunset on a beach deck.
This may sound like an odd couple to some ears, but perhaps not to those already familiar with Indian food’s regularly winning juxtapositions of the sweet and the spicy, and curry powder pairs surprisingly well with chocolate. Beet sugar and coconut milk gives them just the right kind of sweetness.
Perhaps concocted after one stein too many at Oktoberfest, this truly oddball combination might not be as horrifying as it first sounds. At its heart, it’s just your old-fashioned flour-and-egg based cupcake, give or take some optional nuts and raisins. The recipe recommends you go with a dark beer – we suggest Guinness for that signature coffee and chocolate aftertaste. Did we mention the frosting is made from beer too?
We’re trying to be nice here, but this one ventures into uncharted waters. On the one hand, it starts with a cornmeal and buttermilk base, so the sweet and savory collision may not be so head-on. On the other hand…it’s a salmon cupcake. But, if you’re going to make a salmon cupcake in the first place, you might as well frost it with a blend of cream cheese, capers, and yes, more smoked salmon.
You know these bacon people-ready to put sizzling strips of this breakfast meat wherever it will fit…or won’t. Then again, if you grew up drizzling syrup over your sausage (or if you’re a fan of Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles), this bacon and maple team-up might be a taste of home. There’s maple in both the cupcake and the frosting, and as there’s a ¼ cup of bacon and bacon drippings in every batch.
If you’ve made it past beer, bacon and salmon, there’s probably nothing left to shock you with, but we’ll try again here. Roasted garlic, yes, but cream cheese and sour cream, not to mention brewed coffee. The sharers of this recipe made things even more scary and fun with some sinister frosting and even a vampire-themed photo-shoot to go along with it.
If the last recipe might make a great Halloween trick, these are a treat that only sound strange for a second: butternut squash is practically kissing cousins with the pumpkin. With a sage and allspice frosting and dashes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger, these are designed for a sharp autumn night and a warm mug of chai tea.
These are only a few of the hundreds of cupcake oddities available online, so have fun hunting for other combinations. If you can think of two flavors you’d never see in the same dessert tray, just plop them next to each other in Google and prepare to be surprised…Or maybe come up with your own flour Frankenstein.
Virginia Cunningham is a freelance health writer in Southern California who works for Northwest Pharmacy. She enjoys food oddities that come in all sorts of different flavors and packaging. She likes baking cupcakes with her kids. Visit her website to view some of her other writings.