snowball cupcakes

I decided to turn my pap’s favorite cake into cupcakes this weekend in honor of my grandma’s birthday on March 1st.  She passed away 5 or 6 years ago so I thought I’d make something special for when we visit him this week. He’s so lonely there now, I love every chance I get to see him and to make him smile. Our trips to Clear Spring, MD pretty much solely consist of us going out to eat or watching westerns for hours on end in his living room but I wouldn’t trade it for the world, I love my pap and can’t wait to see him tomorrow!

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So the basics of the snowball cake are an angel food cake, jello, Dream Whip, and pineapple all mixed together and smothered in cool whip. After moving this summer for the first time since I was born, my mother couldn’t locate the recipe anywhere so we searched for some online that seemed similar to what we can remember. The addition of lemon was a pleasant surprise, but I decided to get a little creative. We’re making an angel food cupcake, filling it with a lemony-pineapple, Dream Whip-jello and topping them with fresh whipped cream and lemon zest.

Note: you’re going to need several hours to allow the center filling of these cupcakes to set before assembly…I can’t tell you how many times I haven’t read through a recipe before making plans to bake at the last second and end up scrambling or nixing the idea all together because I needed way more time than I had! You’ll need at least 4 hours.

Angel Food Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 and line cupcake pan with liners. Makes 16 cupcakes.

Mix cake flour, half of the sugar and the salt together, whisking to get rid of any lumps.

In a mixing bowl, beat egg white until they become slightly frothy (they look like sea foam.) Add cream of tarter and mix until the egg whites actually start to turn white. Add the remaining sugar. You want to beat this mixture until it’s shiny and you get soft peaks when the whisk is lifted up. Add almond extract and mix just until combined.

You want to slowly in the fold the mixture of flour, sugar and salt. Pour just enough to cover the egg whites but not enough to let it sink through them and then fold with a spatula. I had to repeat this step about 5 times.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tops of the cakes are slightly browned. I always poke the tops of my cupcakes instead of using toothpicks, if the cake bounces back, they’re done. If not, put them back in for a few more minutes.

After these babies cool, use a serrated knife to cut a small circle in the middle and remove it from the cake. My handy little tool didn’t work so well this time around because of how spongy and soft angel food cake is.

Pineapple-Dream Whip Filling

  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin (dissolved in 1 TBSP cold water)
  • 1 package Dream Whip
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 8oz crushed canned pineapple
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice

Combine dissolved gelatin, boiling water and crushed pineapple. Add lemon and sugar mix and place in fridge until partially gelled (about an hour.) Meanwhile make dream whip. I used 1 tsp of lemon extract instead of 2 tsp vanilla and soy milk because it’s what I had in the fridge, I’m on a soy milk kick these days (the unsweetened kind of course!) After that hour is up, fold the Dream Whip in with the gelatin, combining well. Cover and refrigerate for 3-5 more hours, or until set.

Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • lemon zest for garnish

Whip whipping cream on high with mixer until it becomes the desired texture of whipped cream. Add in powdered sugar, mixing on medium speed until combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to get all that lingering powdered sugar combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Assembly time! Grab your Pineapple-Dream Whip filling and place a generous tablespoon full into the centers of the cupcakes. Plop another generous tablespoon full of the whipped cream frosting on top, smooth out and sprinkle with lemon zest. And we’re done! Refrigerate for up to a week.

Let me know in the comments how the angel food cake cupcakes turn out for you, this was my first endeavor with them.

 *Recipe adapted form cooks.com and Mom’s Big Book of Baking.