Cupcakes on the Half Shell | Cupcake Project

Cupcakes on the Half Shell

Cupcakes on the Half Shell

Don’t worry, there’s no fish in these cupcakes on the half shell.  These cupcakes on the half shell are simply a new and surprising way to present America’s favorite treat.  If you are serving clams, oysters, or other seafood for dinner, this is the dessert that will blow your guests’ expectations out of the water!

Start by baking a lemon cupcake (or any flavor cupcake that you love) into cleaned clam shells.

Cupcakes on the Half Shell

Then, top the cupcakes with the special topping of melted butter, lemon juice. dried cupcake crumbs, cacao nibs, and chopped fresh basil.  Bake again to finish.

Cupcakes on the Half ShellServe the shells on a bed of coarse sugar.

Cupcakes on the half shell taste like like any other cupcake, but they are more moist because of the second bake with the buttery topping.

Products Related to Cupcakes on the Half Shell

Harold Imports S/4 Natural 4" Baking Shells

Since you do not need clams for this project, I suggest buying pre-cleaned and ready-to-use clam shells.  These are the exact shells that I used.

View on Amazon.com

Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Nibs, 8-Ounce Pouches

This recipe calls for cacao nibs.  Nibs have a strong chocolate flavor but stay crunchy when baked - like little nuts.

View on Amazon.com

200 Herb Seeds, Lemon Basil (Ocimum basillicum citriodorum) Seeds By Seed Needs

Any fresh basil will work for this recipe, but I loved using the lemon basil that we are growing in our garden.  It paired perfectly with the lemon cupcakes.

View on Amazon.com

CK Products 4 Ounce Sanding Sugar Bottle, White

Although it's not a requirement, you can create a wonderful visual impact by putting the shells on a bed of coarse sugar.

View on Amazon.com

Cupcakes on The Half Shell

Yield: 6 cupcakes on the half shell

Cupcakes on The Half Shell

Ingredients

    Cupcake Batter Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Cupcake Crumb Topping Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dried cupcake crumbs made from ingredients above (see below for instructions)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

    Cupcake Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and butter in a medium-sized mixing bowl until fully combined.
  3. Mix in egg.
  4. Mix in lemon juice and milk.
  5. Fill 6 clam shells with cupcake batter (about 3/4 of the way to the top of each shell). Place clam shells on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  6. Put four cupcake liners in a cupcake tin and fill each 3/4 full with the remaining cupcake batter.
  7. Bake shells and cupcake liners for 20 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched and cupcakes in the shells are just beginning to brown around the edges. The cupcakes in the liners may take a couple of minutes longer to bake than the ones in the shells.
  8. Cupcake Crumb Topping Instructions
  9. Remove the four baked cupcakes from the liners and convert them to cupcake croutons by following the directions in my cupcake crouton post. Skip the step about seasoning with brown sugar and spices because the end goal is dried-out cupcake crumbs.
  10. Food process the croutons to make coarse crumbs.
  11. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  12. Place all cupcake crumb topping ingredients in a small saucepan on medium heat. Gently stir until butter is completely melted.
  13. Divide topping evenly between all shells on top of the baked cupcakes.
  14. Bake for 10 minutes and serve warm.
http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2013/05/cupcakes-on-the-half-shell.html

Inspiration

Kimberly of the lovely Rhubarb and Honey (who happens to be a great friend of mine and co-conspirator for the upcoming Food Media Forum) won my most recent Facebook game of Cupcake Roulette.   I was tasked with finding something on her blog to inspire cupcakes.  When I saw her baked oyster crackers, I got all kinds of oyster crackery ideas, including making my own homemade oyster crackers!  Oyster crackers made me think of oysters, which made me think of clams, which led to these crazy cupcakes.  Thanks, Kimberly, for starting me on my path down the fishing hole.

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6 Responses to Cupcakes on the Half Shell

  1. sara May 31, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    Fun! What a cool idea! :)

  2. Jordan O. May 31, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    I’ll have to try these after we’ve done an oyster roast…they’d be mini cupcakes (not much room in those shells), but it’d be cute and a great way to use up the shells that are otherwise thrown away!

  3. Amy May 31, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    You are so creative; I love it!! I just returned from a vacation to Hawaii, so I was really excited to see shells again. Especially ones with dessert instead of clams inside… I have such a big sweet tooth!

  4. Debra June 1, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    So cool, fun and original! thank you :D

  5. nessa June 1, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    Really creative idea! And such great pictures!

  6. Food Lover June 6, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    I like these “fool the eye” desserts. I once tried to make a dessert that looked like ravoli but was chocolate mousse in white chocolate “pasta” with hazelnut sauce. Alas, I couldn’t get the texture of the white chocolate right. I expect to have better luck with you recipe. Thanks!

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