Sometimes I think people write down a bunch of ingredients on little slips of paper, toss them into a bowl, pull out a few, and combine them all in one random dish. I'll bet that's how the Spumoni blend was created. What other option could there be?
Cherry, pistachio, chocolate. Never in a million and two years would I toss those things together, and in ice cream, no less! Apparently vanilla is sometimes used instead of chocolate, which makes a little bit more sense since this treat is of Italian origin and those are the colors of the Italian flag. Hmm. Regardless of how the combination arose, these ingredients simply DO come together well. I can't explain it, and luckily, I don't have to.
These Spumoni-inspired cupcakes begin with a fluffy chocolate cupcake (my go-to recipe, as a matter of fact, and one that's so good that I haven't felt the need to try a new chocolate cake recipe in some time!) that gets filled with a(n unnaturally) green pistachio whipped cream and mounded with a cherry-flavored buttercream frosting. The cherry on top seals the deal. The only thing missing from these surprisingly tasty cupcakes was crunch. If I had had some pistachios, I definitely would've folded them into the whipped cream filling. Perfetto.
(makes about 24)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pistachio flavoring
- green food coloring, optional
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/4 cup cherry pie filling
- 24 maraschino cherries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed. Divide batter evenly among prepared cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
To make the filling, simply whip the cream and sugar until stiff, then blend in the pistachio flavoring. Add in a few drops of green food coloring if desired.
To make the frosting, beat the butter with an electric mixer for a few minutes. Add the pie filling and briefly blend. Add the powdered sugar gradually until the frosting is thick enough to spread easily.
To fill the cupcakes, carve out a cone-shaped hole (forget donut holes--I'm marketing cake holes!) and squirt the pistachio whipped cream inside. Apply frosting generously to the cupcakes, top each with a maraschino cherry, and, after giving the components a few minutes to get to know each other, devour.