The idea of making a pizza cupcake came to me about seven months ago when I bought a copy of Who You Callin’ Cupcake by Vinny and Michelle Garcia. While the recipes in this book are pretty lackluster and leave me feeling underwhelmed, the book is loaded with cupcake-related eye candy. In fact, if it weren’t for all the lovely food pictures I probably would have dropped the book in the donation pile a while ago. But, I digress. I’ve been waiting for the most opportune occasion to make a batch pizza cupcakes and finally decided the time was right when my birthday rolled around a few weeks ago.
This recipe (adapted fairly heavily from the original) creates a light, savory cupcake which makes it an ideal party appetizer or light entrée. I took most of the sugar and all of the vanilla out of the cake batter which makes it taste and act similar to cornbread. The acidic and slightly spicy pizza sauce is nicely complemented by the sweeter pizza crust. In fact, you can make this recipe even easier by replacing the pizza crust with a package of premade pie crust.
All in all, this was a very tasty and unique creation which got approval from all who dared to try it. I would definitely make it again but have them before dinner as opposed to after a heavy dinner at the local Mexican restaurant.
Active Prep Time: 40 minutes
Rise Time (for the pizza crust): Overnight (about 18 hours)
Bake Time: 20-25 minutes minutes
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Recipe inspired by:
Who You Callin’ Cupcake by Michelle and Vinny Garcia
1/2 cup water, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1-1/3 teaspoons salt
1/2 pound butter, room temperature and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 pound pastry flour
4 egg yolks, room temperature
1/6 cup granulated sugar
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup butter, room temperature and diced
1/2 cup skim milk, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup marinara or pizza sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
12 ounces Italian sausage
Preparing the pizza dough (day ahead of time). In a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook), whisk together the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the salt. Add the diced butter and use an electric mixer on medium speed (or stand mixer on low) to mix in a little of the water.
Add the pastry flour and mix until the butter and flour are fully incorporated. Add the egg yolks and continue mixing until the eggs are incorporated. It is important to stop mixing as soon as the eggs are incorporated or the dough will be very elasticy. Pour the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten it into a disc. Wrap it with plastic and tuck it in the fridge overnight.
Preparing the sausage patties. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Form the sausage into silver-dollar sized patties and fry until they are fully cooked. Transfer to a few paper towels to absorb any fat remaining on the surface of the sausage patties.
Rolling out the pizza crust. Spray a cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Remove pizza dough from the refrigerator and transfer to a lightly floured counter. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough (similar to pie crust) until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Use a small bowl or large cookie cutter to cut out 12 4-inch circles of dough. Working with one at a time, place the dough circles over each cupcake cup and gently press it into the pan. Place a sausage patty at the bottom of each dough cup. Set pan aside while you prepare the cupcake batter.
Preparing the cupcake batter. Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and use an electric mixer on medium speed (or stand mixer on low speed) to mix together until it has a coarse and mealy consistency. Add 1/4 cup of the milk and mix slowly to make a paste.
Add remaining milk and eggs. Mix on high speed for about 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Use an ice cream scoop or tablespoon to fill the sausage-filled cupcake pan with cake batter.
Baking the cupcakes. Top each cupcake with about a tablespoon of marinara sauce and bake the cupcakes for 10-15 minutes. You are looking for the cakes to be baked through and the pizza crust to be a light golden brown. While the cupcakes are still warm, top each pizza with about a tablespoon of mozzarella cheese. Pizza cupcakes can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Related posts from around the web.
Pizza Cupcakes (The Life of a Cupcake)
Pizza Cupcakes (Jeanne Benedict)
Pizza Cupcakes (Kitchen Daily)