Red Bull Cupcakes

Even seen a bakery with Red Bull cupcakes? No? You know why?

Because they taste TERRIBLE.

I blame Heston Blumenthal. After one episode of Heston’s Feast (Roman episode) I was inspired to wildly experiment in the kitchen. Merging his pop-rocks which added an extra sensation to his Ejaculating Cake with my obsession with energy drinks, the popping-candy Red Bull cupcake was born.

Attempt One

Underwhelming attempt number one involved a safe vanilla cupcake packet-mix. I substituted Red Bull for the water, tinted the batter Kelly Green and the vanilla buttercream Pink (why? Why not!) and tossed in strawberry pop-rocks:

See? Cute as a button.

Lessons learned:

I forgot just how inferior packet-mix cakes are compared to cakes made from scratch
Carbonated Red Bull was a mistake. Too many bubbles made the batter and texture very odd.
Pop-rocks + frosting = soggy unpop rocks

Although these were less than fantastic, I gave the idea one more go.

Following the excellent suggestion from Conor at Hold the Beef I found the non-carbonated Krating Daeng, which is Thai Red Bull, available from most Asian specialty marts. I’m not sure what the ingredients are, as nothing is in English:

Then I found different strawberry pop rocks with came with a bonus rocket lollipop!

Free tattoo? Score!!!

Removing the lollipop from the pack….

Erm ….. Wanna suck my rocket???

Attempt Two:

Anyways, attempt two used non-carbonated Red Bull and a reliable vanilla cupcake recipe adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery. The idea was to keep the pop-rocks and moisture separate by using a vanilla buttercream filling inside while making a dry crushed pop-rock topping, kept on top with a light glaze.

And to keep the crazy colour theme going, I decided to marble Red and Blue colouring through the cakes before baking:

Wheee! Psychadelic. Although the nerd in me sees the veins and arteries of the circulatory system. Delicious.

I guess they looked kind of artsy.

However, all my fancy filling and topping plans went out the window. Upon baking, these became incredibly dense and sank in the patty pans. They also tasted nothing like Red Bull either. And sadly I had to skip the pop-rock topping, as these also tasted gross. Talk about no luck!

Lessons learned:

Pop rocks exposed to air will absorb moisture and still go soggy
Product packaging can be misleading e.g Strawberry poprocks can actually taste like sour ass candy
Children’s themed candy can go awkwardly awry
When your cupcakes fail, and your garnishes are a disaster, step away from the spoon and the lonely looking bowl of buttercream filling.

I’m putting Red Bull cupcakes in the Gross category and calling it a day. Not totally sure what I was expecting them to be like. After all, the drink is quite tart on its own. And although Red Bull ‘flavour’ tends to work well in something light like a sorbet, it gets buried in a cupcake.

So if you’re seeking a caffeine kick to your cupcakes, stick to the coffee.

I made Red Bull cupcakes and all I got was this lousy tattoo.

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