Sunday, July 29, 2012

Easy Dune Cupcakes

Spice Cake and Chocolate Sietch.  Note the edible glitter spice blow.

Arrakis.  Dune.  Dessert Planet.

I'm a huge Dune geek.  I love Star Wars and Star Trek, and have great respect for Stargate, Doctor Who, Ray Harryhausen and the like.  But in my heart of hearts, Dune is where my geeky little soul truly lies.  I've read all the books, played the board games (both versions), the video game and heavily compared and critiqued the David Lynch movie version to the SyFy series.

So when one of my oldest friends asked for Dune cupcakes for his birthday, I was compelled to oblige.  My friend is a pretty avid fan himself and when he once called my then-new-boyfriend a geek, the bf simply replied, "He had a collectible sandworm figure in the original box, and then had a second one to play with.  I'm not too concerned with him calling me a geek."

Occasionally, I run across really great Dune-themed cakes. 
See this? It's awesome. Yeah, I can't make that.*

That cake is amazing but impossible for a mere mortal. Instead, following are cupcakes that any Fremen can make in his sietch. 

Arrakis Spice Cake with Spice Frosting

Spice Cake
Any spice cake recipe will do.  I used the America's Test Kitchen recipe and it was delicious but crazy complex so I recommend just using a mix.

Many, many ingredients.

Make the cupcakes about 2 hours ahead of time so they have plenty of time to cool.  
It's best if your cupcakes have flat tops, not domed ones.  Makes 'em easier to decorate.

Flat Tops.  They're not just for the 80's anymore.

Spice Frosting
2 8-oz packages Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Tbl Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Real Maple Syrup

2 tsp Maple Extract

Cream the butter and cream cheese together.  Add the sugar and cream until smooth.  Add the syrup, cinnamon, salt and extract.  Set the bowl in the fridge for about 15 minutes to set up.

Shai-Hulud: Gummy Worms (or any kind of edible wormy thing), cut to fit on the cakes
Sand: Vanilla Wafers or Shortbread Cookies, crushed into cumbs
Rock: Bulk Chunk Chocolate, smashed with a hammer into small chunks
Spice:  Edible Gold Glitter, available at specialty baking shops

Sietch Signs
Make tiny flags for the cupcakes by writing or printing the names of the sietches, cutting them into small flags and gluing to toothpicks or party picks.

Sietch Abbir
Sietch Gara Kulon
Sietch Jacurutu
Sietch Tabr
Tuek's Sietch
Windgap Sietch

Frost the cupcakes by hand.  You can carefully sculpt dunes if you're good.  I'm not, so mine were flat desert.

We'll never reach the safety of Chocolate.  Well, maybe that small Chocolate.

 Sand: Either roll the cupcake tops in the cookie crumbs, or sprinkle the crumbs from the top.
Rock: Carefully poke in some of the chocolate shards to resemble a sietch.
Worm: Gummy worms don't bend well, so get creative. Shai-Hulud won't mind.
Spice: Sprinkle a little glitter around the worm. The worm is the spice.

Tasty enough for the Kwisatz Haderach!


*Courtesy of Jana's Fun Cakes.  Click the photo to see the source post.
**Courtesy of  Click the photo to see the source post.

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