Imagine a cupcake. You have a spongy and moist cake with a mound of perfectly swirled, creamy buttercream or a layer of thickened, glossy icing (and for those who didn’t know, frosting and icing are not the same thing).
According to Merriam-Webster, a cupcake is defined as “a very small cake that is baked in a pan shaped like a cup“. There’s nothing about topping them with mountains of icing or buttercream frosting, yet that’s the way you typically imagine one.
You might think that the frosting or icing might be the most important part of a cupcake or you might take a napkin and slide that icing right off without a second thought. For those who do the latter or those that want to try something new with their cupcakes, here are 8 different ways you can change it up without compromising the satisfaction of eating one.
1. Nutella and Chocolate Glaze
Nutella and chocolate has become a classic combination in everything from cookies to pancakes. Simply melt equal parts of Nutella and chocolate into a glaze that can slowly ooze over your cupcakes making them a little nutty and delicious.
2. Greek Yogurt and Toppings
This topping is perfect if you’re looking for a lighter indulgence. After the cupcakes have cooled, spread some greek yogurt on top with any topping you like whether it’s fresh fruit, chocolate syrup, or honey. Since yogurt isn’t as sturdy as icing or frosting, either eat them right away or put them in the fridge until it’s time to serve.
3. Chocolate Ganache
Melt together heavy cream and chocolate of your choice to get a silky, smooth layer to pour over your cupcakes. It might not be a mountain of icing, but the decadence will be real.
4. Cookie Dough
For all you cookie dough obsessors out there, this is the cupcake topping for you. It might not be as smooth as buttercream but it’ll still melt in your mouth and give you some cookie with your cupcake. Now you can have two desserts in one.
Some of you might not like frosting because it’s too sweet. If that’s the case, meringue provides the same fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth texture as creamy frosting without the overpowering sweetness.
#SpoonTip: Considering it’s a pretty blank canvas, dress it up with a little lemon or torch it to get a marshmallow effect.
With some mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar and heavy cream, you can get a fresh, tangy topping that you can add all kinds of variations to. It’s buttery and rich flavor won’t have you missing out any frosting.
7. Whipped Cream and Toppings
We’ve all taken the can and sprayed some whipped cream in our mouth. Who says we can’t do the same on top of cupcakes? The light and airy texture closely resembles a whipped frosting but has a more subtle sweetness. If it’s not enough, you can add extra toppings like fruit or sprinkles.
8. Fresh Fruit Compote
Instead of using fruit compote to fill cupcakes, try using it as a topping. Simmer any fruit of your choosing with some sugar and water over medium heat until you get a syrup-like consistency. Drizzle some over the cupcakes and enjoy.