As far as I know, this is the first cupcake recipe baked in ham ever developed. I baked a honey cake inside of a piece of ham to recreate a flavor of honeyed ham. With so many cupcakes out there now featuring bacon (see my beer cupcakes with bacon cheddar frosting, French Toast bacon cupcakes from The Busty Baker, and Cakespy’s ode to bacon cupcakes as evidence), I figured, “Why not salute a different part of the pig?”!
What surprised people the most about the cupcakes in ham was that the ham flavor was not strong – some even said they couldn’t taste it. The ham acts as an edible, environmentally friendly (depending on where your ham comes from) cupcake liner. If anything, it adds a salty flavor to each bite, which gives a zen sweet and salty effect.
Update 12/14/11: You can’t go wrong with the honey cake recipe in this post, but I’d recommend my latest honey cake recipe (it’s found at the bottom of the linked post). It’s my new favorite!
I got the recipe for the honey cake by modifying a honey cake recipe that I found on Smitten Kitchen. Deb of Smitten Kitchen got the recipe from the book A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking by Marcy Goldman. I’m sure Marcy would never have envisioned her holiday honey cake being bastardized into these ham-cradled treats, but once you create something, it’s out there for people to do with as they please.
Honey Cupcakes Baked in Ham
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup whiskey
- 17-20 thinly sliced pieces of ham I used Black Forest ham, which has those nice looking black edges.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
- Add oil, honey, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, juice, and whiskey. If you use the same measuring cup and you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out of the cup.
- Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.
- Place one slice of ham in each well of the cupcake tin. Try to make sure that the part on the bottom and sides of the pan has no holes in it. I found that most of the slices of ham I bought had holes, so I just ensured that the holes were positioned toward the top of the cupcake tin.
- Spoon batter into the ham, as shown in the photo above.
- Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you put this recipe into a normal cupcake liner sans ham, it will bake in about 20 minutes.
A Few Pictures of The Cupcakes Just Out of the Oven
Each cupcake had its own personality:
The Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Of course, I topped my cupcakes with candied pineapple. Rather than just sitting on top of the cupcake, when eaten the next day, the flavor from the candied pineapple seeped into the whole cupcake and pulled it all together!
My idea of baking something in ham was not original. I got the idea for the crispy ham shells from my Taste and Create partner this month, Min at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen. Min made baked eggs and mushrooms in ham crisps. When I saw the ham crisps that looked exactly like cupcake liners, I just about squealed with joy!