Why You Shouldn't Toss The Cake Core From Filled Cupcakes

The only thing better than cake is cupcakes, because who doesn't love a miniature, handheld cake? Cupcakes pack just as much flavor as any cake, so home bakers can whip up a dozen — or two — of their favorite combinations. Carrot cake cupcakes make for a perfectly spiced but classic dessert, whereas cookie dough cupcakes experiment with the best of cake and cookies. Two desserts in one has never sounded better.

In fact, America's infatuation with creative and gourmet cupcakes is longstanding. Around the early 2000s, the cupcake skyrocketed as a trendy but accessible dessert, with bakeries like New York's Magnolia surging in popularity (via The Washington Post). Although Business Insider reports that the demand and novelty for gourmet cupcakes has since slowed, the cupcake remains a major dessert contender. It's one that's fun to fill — and eat — with your favorite flavors.

Yes, the key to a truly gourmet cupcake is in its filling, which requires a bit of planning. Before you add filling to your cupcake's center, you'll want to remove some of the cake to make room. But just because you're cutting out your cupcake's core doesn't mean you have to discard any cake. Rather, that cupcake center will come in handy sooner than you think.

Cake centers keep the frosting contained and make a great taste test

When making filled cupcakes, cutting away your cupcake's center may feel like a necessary evil. You just baked your cupcakes, only to carve into them and disrupt the perfection. However, Baking Kneads recommends saving all those leftover cupcake cores, not only because it eliminates waste but also because those centers can actually go right back into your cupcakes.

To do this step correctly, return to those cupcake cores only after your cupcakes have been filled, recommends Baking Kneads. Once you've sufficiently stuffed your cupcake with your choice of frosting, jam, or something a little more innovative — hello, cookie dough — simply place the cake centers back over the hole left by the filling. You'll buffer the interior, sealing your frosting in a barrier of cake. Plus, you'll keep your cupcake's contents as a fun surprise.

Boston Girl Bakes likewise recommends finishing filled cupcakes by replacing the cake. Yet rather than use the whole cake center, you can simply cut off the bottom of the cored piece, so you won't have to cram too much cake into an already-filled slot. 

Clearly, this technique leaves room for experimentation, though if you'd rather keep your filling as is, there's another great use for that excess cupcake center. And no, it doesn't require making cafe pops or cake truffles. Rather, you can simply try a bite — or two — of the cake centers. They're perfectly good cake, and you have to sample your recipe at some point, right?