Give your favorite vanilla cupcakes a makeover with a cookie bottom, granola center, chocolate glaze and granola sprinkles.
Remember the granola clusters I made from muesli a while back when we were on Bali?
The first batch didn’t turn out so great because I got distracted swimming in the pool…oops. But I tried again, watching the oven closely this time, and they came out wonderfully.
The fact that my husband and I gobbled them up all in one afternoon attests to how much we liked them. And we didn’t even feel too guilty as they are quite a healthy treat.
That is to say there were still a few when I was making cupcakes the same day. It gave me an idea to incorporate them and give the cupcakes a crunchy center. But before that I had already decided to give the cupcakes a cookie bottom.
You can skip this part or use any smallish cookie that you like (home-made or bought) that is about the diameter of your cupcake liners. These were the cookies I used:
They were store-bought chocolate chip peanut cookies.
Next time I would probably use a cookie that complements the granola clusters. Or make granola clusters complementing the cookies. So for these cookies granola clusters with peanuts and chocolate chips would have been perfect.
To add a granola center to your cupcakes cut a cylindrical hole about 2/3 deep into the cupcake. A small knife works well but I prefer the reverse side of a medium-sized icing tip. I did the same for my apple caramel cupcakes and it worked like a charm.
Crumble apart a granola cluster (this works best if they weren’t baked until too crunchy) and fill the center with about 1/2 a granola cluster. Push in a little bit but don’t press too tight. I made that mistake with a few of the cupcakes and those ended up being difficult to cut or bite into.
To close the center again use just the very top of the cut-out cupcake part.
To finish off the cupcakes I thought a chocolate glaze would be wonderful. It keeps the cupcakes moist and adds a chocolaty sweetness without being too overwhelming. I used my absolute favorite and so simple to make chocolate glaze from my Zucchini Brownies.
Any leftover glaze can be used to make hot chocolate or chocolate milk.
- cupcake batter for 12 vanilla cupcakes (your favorite recipe or from a box mix)
- 12 smallish cookies
- 6 granola clusters
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp margarine
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 tbsp milk
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- Prepare granola clusters. You will need only about 6 clusters for 12 cupcakes.
- Preheat oven according to directions for your cupcakes. Prepare cupcake batter. Line a cupcake tray with paper liners. Place one cookie at the bottom of each liner. Fill liners to ½ or ⅔ mark with cupcake batter and bake as long as recipe requires (usually around 15-20 minutes).
- Let cupcakes cool fully. Using a small knife (I like to use a turned around, medium-sized icing tip) cut a hole into center of cupcakes. Pull apart a granola cluster and fill into center. About ½ cluster, dont press in too tight. Use very top of the cut-out part to close cupcake top again.
- For the chocolate glaze, melt cocoa powder and margarine in a small saucepan on medium heat; put aside to cool. In a bowl stir together icing sugar, milk and vanilla. Mix in cocoa mixture. Dip cupcakes in glaze or spoon glaze over cupcakes. Sprinkle with a few remaining granola bits.