“Gray Stuff” Black Sesame Cupcakes
If you have a 4 year old like me, it’s is all about Belle and “Beauty and the Beast.” We’ve watched the movies multiple times (classic animation and live action), we have the dolls, the clothes and even dolled her up at the Bibbity Bobbibity Boutique at Disney last year. So it’s no surprise that when my instagram group decided to challenge us to make food that went from #FromScreentoPlate, the only thing I could think about was this movie and one of the more famous lines in it! “…Try the gray stuff it’s delicious!” I know that Disney recently decided to create the dessert for their parks, but I wanted to try me hand at it and came up with these very gray…Black Sesame Cupcakes…and they are delicious!
I used a cake recipe that I’ve made previously for chocolate cake, peanut cupcakes etc. It’s a light moist cake that uses oil instead of butter. The cake is more fluffy and less dense then most cupcakes I’ve come across. The cake is a very thin batter utilizing ground black sesame and buttermilk. Black sesame is used in a lot of Asian desserts. It has a nutty flavor that reminds me a bit of peanut. If you’ve never tried it, please head to your local Asian market! It’s sooo yummy! I also added some black liquid food coloring to push the gray color, but that is totally optional.
The batter is poured into the cupcake tins (pouring is much easier than scooping because of it’s very liquid texture. And baked at 350F for 16 minutes. The cake will spring back once it’s done. Allow to cool on a wire rack and move onto the black sesame buttercream.
The buttercream is also slightly different because it has A LOT LESS sugar than the ones you find in recipes and stores. I wanted it to be reminiscent of the butter cream you find in a lot of Asian bakeries, which has a higher butter to sugar ratio, resulting in a super silky and less sweet butter cream. I like this a lot, but you can always add 3-4 cups of sugar instead of the tablespoons I listed below to achieve the classic buttercream.
I piped on the frosting using a large star tip to create that signature “gray stuff” swirl! These would be great for a “Beauty and the Beast” party or really just any ol’ Monday. The nutty flavor of the black sesame really make a fantastic treat! I hope you try this “Gray Stuff” It’s delicious!
“Gray Stuff” Black Sesame Cupcakes
Yields approx 1 dozen cupcakes
For the Cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup black sesames, ground (I used a food processor)
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup water
4 drops liquid black food coloring (optional)
For the Topping
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) Unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 cup Black Sesame, ground
6-8 drops of black food coloring
Preheat the oven to 350F
Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt an electric mixer low speed until combined.
In a large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, peanut butter, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
Slowly Pour the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on low till they're combined.
Pour the batter into lined cupcakes tins a little more than half way full (I like pouring the batter into a large measuring cup to help make this step easier)
Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then place on a wire rack.
While they cool make the frosting by creaming the butter in a stand mixer.
Add in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Then add in the peanut butter and beat until smooth and fluffy. Approx. 3 minutes.
Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the cupcake, making sure to also frost the sides of the tops. Then gently dip the tops of the frosted cupcakes into the crushed peanuts to coat.