Have you ever made a cupcake with yogurt? I hadn’t, but if you love Greek yogurt, these are the cupcakes for you. I’ve had plenty of desserts made with yogurt, but this maple variety may just be my favorite. I may be sponsored by FAGE Total Greek yogurt for this post, but it’s not the first time that I’ve used them in my recipes – I’ve been a fan of the brand for a long time. I eat it for breakfast almost every day, and it goes beautifully in both savory and sweet dishes. Have you ever used Greek yogurt in recipes? I sometimes use it as a replacement for cream in sauces or mix it with cereal instead of a big bowl of milk. You can check out this Sour Cream Coffee Cake or make a yogurt parfait with Homemade Honey Granola for examples of other ways to use it, but today, let’s focus on these cupcakes.
I love pastry cream, and I thought that the tangy Greek yogurt would be perfect to use in something similar. I tried to keep the cupcake itself simple, so as to let the “frosting” shine, and I landed on maple. I usually put honey on my yogurt in the mornings, but it’s starting to turn into fall and I was in the mood something seasonal. These taste like brunch for dessert, if you will – a moist, cinnamon and maple cupcake topped with cinnamon and vanilla Greek yogurt pastry cream. It’s rare that something like cupcakes would not only be delicious, but have plenty of protein and probiotics from the yogurt, so you don’t have to be that guilty. I know that Greek yogurt has recently become incredibly popular, but I tell you – it’s for good reason! I was never a big fan of yogurt until I discovered the Greek variety, so I hope you’ll go for it and make these cupcakes. They’re perfect to impress coworkers and health-conscious friends and family…or even for converting those who aren’t! They’ll be surprised at how addictive these cupcakes can be. Side note: you didn’t hear it from me, but they have been known to make a fabulous addition to a celebratory brunch.
Make your pastry cream by whisking together egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch, then slowly whisking in hot milk, then cooking for 3-4 minutes, until completely thickened, then whisk in butter. Strain the cream, allow it to chill, then fold in the Fage and the cinnamon.
For the cupcakes, beat together the maple syrup, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla, then beat in the Fage. In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and add them alternatively with the milk. Scoop into muffin tins.
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg, room temperature
- ⅓ cup FAGE Total 2% or 0% Greek yogurt
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup corn starch, plus another 3 tablespoons, separated
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 1½ cups FAGE Total Greek yogurt
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more, to taste)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger, then set aside.
- In your mixing bowl, combine your brown sugar, vegetable oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and egg. Beat to combine, then beat in the FAGE yogurt. Add in the flour mixture, alternating with the milk (i.e. add ⅓ of your flour, ½ of your milk, then ⅓ of your flour, the rest of your milk, then the rest of your flour). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Scoop about 3-4 tablespoons of batter into each greased and/or lined muffin cup. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until set. Allow to cool completely before piping your pastry cream on top.
- Simmer the milk and vanilla over medium heat in small pot, until hot. In another larger pot, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch over medium heat. Gradually add in the hot milk, a few tablespoons at a time, whisking well to incorporate the milk and temper the eggs. Continue doing this until you have used all of the milk. Continue to whisk over medium heat until the cream has thickened, about 5-8 minutes or so, being sure that it doesn’t get too hot, as you don’t want the cream to bubble or boil. Add in the butter, a cube at a time, and whisk or stir until melted and combined. Remove from the heat.
- When the pastry cream has thickened, strain it through a mesh sieve to get out any extra chunks of butter. Place the pastry cream in a large glass bowl and press plastic wrap directly on top so it doesn’t form a skin. Place in the fridge for 1 hour, until room temperature.
- After the pastry cream has come to room temperature, fold in the FAGE and cinnamon. Using a mesh sieve, carefully sift ½ cup of powdered sugar and another 3 tablespoons of cornstarch over the cream, and stir to combine. Place the yogurt in a cheese cloth or a coffee filter, and place in a mesh sieve on top of another bowl, so that any extra liquid from the yogurt will drain into the bottom of the bowl. Cover the yogurt again with a layer of plastic wrap so it doesn’t form a skin, and place in the fridge overnight to firm up. I recommend making the cupcakes and cream on one day, then decorating on the next day, as the cream really needs a full 24 hours to firm up in the fridge.
- When you are ready to decorate, use plastic wrap or a piping bag to pipe dollops of pastry cream on top of your cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles, a drizzle of maple syrup, or both! This will keep well at room temperature for up to 4 hours, or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
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