Have you ever had to throw away a cake or cupcakes? It happens a lot to me, and it seems like such a waste! Not only am I throwing out a once delicious treat, but also tossing out what took time (and money) to make. If I test out a recipe for my blog, my husband and I will have a serving or two, but end up having a lot leftover that gets tossed. Even if I try to reduce the amount, it is just hard to bake for two!I've also been doing more cake orders lately, and always seem to have leftover cupcakes or "oops" cakes. This past weekend, for example, I had an order for a vanilla cake, chocolate smash cake, and a dozen cupcakes. I decided not to throw out any of extra batter, so I used it to make additional cupcakes. I like having some backups anyway for a paid order, there always seems to be one cupcake that doesn't quite rise enough (or too much). So I ended up with 6 extra cupcakes.
Leftover cupcakes just sitting around and drying outI also had an "oops" cake from the weekend. I'm not sure what happened, but one of my vanilla cakes got stuck in the pan and broke apart when I tried to get it out. I almost never have that problem (using lots of cooking spray and waiting the recommended 10 min cooling period), but this time a whole chunk was stuck in the pan. So, I decided to bake a new one and thus had an "oops" cake.
My poor, broken "oops" cakeI hadn't thrown any of the cake away yet as I thought I might make more buttercream and we would be able to eat a little of it. Like I said, I really hate throwing any of it out! But after a couple days, they were starting to harden and it was clear we weren't going to eat them. I was about to throw it out when I remembered a post I once saw on a favorite blog of mine, Cupcake Project. The blogger, Stephanie, had shared how she made sweet croutons out of uneaten cupcakes. I decided to give it a try. While you don't want to use an extremely old cake (for food safety reasons), it's ok if they are a little stale. The croutons are easy to make in the oven, they just take a little time. If you have a dehydrator, check out Stephanie's directions on making the croutons that way. Below is the oven method. Chocolate Croutons ingredients:
- Mixture of 1/8 cup brown sugar and 1/8 cup sugar (or whatever spices you want)
- Chocolate cupcakes
Chocolate Crouton instructions:
- Preheat oven to 275F
- Unwrap cupcakes and remove all icing
- Cut up cupcakes (or cake) into crouton size cubes (I got around 15 from a single cupcake)
- Create spice mixture and cover with croutons
- Shake off excess spices and crumbs and then place croutons on cookie sheet (cover cookie sheet with parchment paper for easier clean-up
- Cook for 25 mins
- Carefully flip croutons over
- Cook for another 25 mins (or until they are dried out)
These sweet croutons are tasty and so versatile, the possibilities are endless! You can add whatever spices you want (cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg, etc). Here's just a few ways to use them:
- Snack on alone - one cupcake made around 15 so you can eat quite a few without a lot of guilt
- Crumble up to use in pudding
- Compliment to coffee (think biscotti)
- Flavor enhancer to coffee or hot chocolate (the vanilla/chocolate/spices will infuse in drink)
- Mixed in with diced fresh fruit, for a bit of a crunch
- Crumble or as a whole with ice cream/yogurt
I used the croutons in two ways. I crumbled up the vanilla cake croutons in a bowl of pudding. I added the chocolate croutons to hot chocolate and left some as a treat.So excited to try out new spices and uses for the croutons in the future!
Full arrangement of my croutons to share with others
Thank you SO MUCH Sarah for linking up with us each week for "Inspirations in Progress." We enjoyed having you as a host and as our spotlighted blogger this week! I am ready to have some leftover cake so I can try these cake croutons outs! How bout' you?
Please go visit Sarah over at Sarah Lynn's Sweets and let here know how much you love her cake croutons creation!