Cupcakes used to be simple. But people love them so much there are now enough unique cupcake flavors out there for a three-course meal. From the sweet to literal savory, some of these cupcakes have taken the confectionery world to whole new heights. Unusual cupcake flavors can best be described as any type of cupcake that features savory ingredients in place of sweet confections.
Some flavors, such as bacon and maple cupcakes, are standard fare, while others are a bit, well, odd.
In this guide, we are going to switch gears a bit and talk about some unusual cupcake flavors. Some of these entries may sound appealing, while some will sound quite bizarre. Read on to find out more.
Unusual Cupcake Flavors (Still Yet Accessible)
As mentioned, some cupcake flavors that were once labeled as odd are actually quite popular. Let’s take a look at some of these flavors. Pay attention to the names of the cupcakes to get the gist.
1. Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes: Fans of salty-sweet combos will fall for these swoon-worthy cupcakes.
2. Neapolitan Ice Cream Cupcakes: Three flavors of sponge cake — chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry — are baked inside ice cream cones and topped off with a coordinating trio of buttercream frosting.
3. Lemon Meringue Cupcakes: Lightly lemon-flavored cupcakes are topped with a dollop of lemon curd and a swirl of toasted meringue frosting to create a gorgeous combo.
4. Maple Pecan Cupcakes With Tiny Buttermilk Pancakes: How adorable are those itty bitty flapjacks?! You’ll need to knock out a few different recipes to create these squee-worthy cupcakes, but it’s totally worth it.
5. Key Lime Pie Cupcakes: You can’t tell from this angle, but a layer of graham cracker crumb crust is baked into the base of these tangy cupcakes.
6. Valentine’s Day Donut Cupcakes: Sure, these strawberry-flavored cupcakes may be meant for February 14th, but don’t you deserve donut-topped confections all 365 days of the year? Why, yes. Yes, you do.
7. Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Popcorn Chocolate Cupcakes: Such a fantastic blend of textures and flavors — chocolate cake forms the base of these brown-butter-frosting-and-caramel-corn-topped cupcakes.
8. Ferrero Rocher Stuffed S’mores Cupcakes: Where do we even begin? S’mores are pretty hard to improve upon, but these cupcakes kick up the classic campfire snack by tucking a whole hidden candy into the middle.
9. Cupcake Bouquet: While not quite as long-lasting as a fauxquet, we love these artfully arranged “roses.”
10. Very Vanilla Bacon Cupcakes with “Pork Belly” Caramel: The “pork belly” topping is really just layers of caramel, nought, coconut, and almonds. In other words, possibly even better than the real thing.
11. Prosecco Cupcakes: The bubbly stuff makes an appearance in all three parts of this elegant cupcake: cake batter, whipped cream filling, AND buttercream frosting.
12. Caramel Bird’s Nest Cupcakes: Oh yeah, caramel buttercream and caramelized spun-sugar nests top these gorgeously petite cakes — a terrific Easter dessert idea.
Unusual Cupcake Flavors That Go The Extra Mile
It seems like every month a new baking show appears on TV inspiring more people to pick up a whisk and try something new.
But some bakers go above and beyond to create new recipes to satisfy the tongues and tummies of people everywhere. These eight more unusual cupcake flavors below are sure to give you some ideas of your own.
Samoa Girl Scout Cookie Cupcake
The Girl Scouts on average sell 200 million cookies per year with some flavors dominating the demand from customers.
Normally, people are happy with sharing (or not) a box of these tasty treats and leave it at that. But one baker decided they wanted more out of their cookie and came up with this ingenious idea.
Taking a traditional vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting, they then sprinkled on toasted coconut and crumbled Samoa cookies on top.
And for extra decadence, they added a final drizzle of melted caramel.
Maple Pecan Cupcake With Actual Miniature Buttermilk Pancakes
Another case of someone unhappy with an already delicious meal.
Having the iconic American pancake breakfast with maple syrup is great. Having a cupcake for dessert after is even better. But a combination of the two? Welcome to the future.
These cupcakes are made to mimic the fluffy texture of a pancake and feature pecan buttercream infused with maple syrup. But the recipe then takes it one step further and literally adds mini buttermilk pancakes on top complete with the syrup and cube of butter.
BLT Cupcake: Yep, It Qualifies as One of the Unusual Cupcake Flavors
I wasn’t kidding when I said that some variations are downright weird, and although BLTs (bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwich) are yummy, perhaps not as a cupcake.
Unlike some confections, this outrageous idea doesn’t go for simple imitation or fondant lookalikes. This cupcake includes a ranch frosting created to add a sweet spin to the dressing before adding real bacon with fresh sliced cherry tomatoes.
Why choose between an entree and dessert when you can have both? I guess…
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake
Of course, some people take their inspiration from the rapper, Xzibit, in “Pimp My Ride” and decide they want a dessert inside their dessert.
But with such a mouthwatering combination you can’t blame them for bringing this idea to life. To start, a moist chocolate cupcake is filled with sweet cookie dough which is then topped with a cookie dough frosting.
Then the frosting is topped with chocolate chips and an actual mini cookie dough cookie on top.
Hot Cocoa Cupcake
This recipe goes all out on creativity and visual puns.
Not only does it consist of making a chocolate cupcake with a smooth layer of marshmallow buttercream on top. It’s also baked inside an actual cup and topped with warmed mini marshmallows.
It’s a cupcake in a cup that looks like hot chocolate. If you like pranking your friends but are also an amazing human being then this is the way to do it.
Chicken and Waffle Cupcake: Possibly One of the Most Unusual Cupcake Flavors
At this point in your day, you’ve eaten a pancake cupcake for breakfast and munched on your BLT cupcake for lunch, so all that’s left is dinner.
The beauty of this recipe (both as a meal and as a cupcake) is that it provides a great excuse to have breakfast again for dinner. Somehow adding a chicken on top makes it seem a little bit more acceptable.
To take this buttermilk cupcake to the next level, the center is injected with warm maple syrup. Top it off with a maple syrup buttercream frosting and a chicken and waffle combo and you’re set for an unforgettable meal.
Neopolitan Ice Cream Cupcake
But who stops at the entree? Dessert comes next—and there’s always room for dessert.
This cupcake takes the classic ice cream combination and infuses it into every section. True to form, the sponge itself is three layers of strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla.
Then the buttercream that goes on top is, as you’d expect, three layers of the same flavors.
If that wasn’t enough ice cream realness for you then you should know that the whole thing is baked inside an ice cream cone.
By now you’re probably thinking you couldn’t eat another bite.
That’s why we suggest you wash everything down with this eggnog cupcake. The fluffy sponge is flavored with traditional spices like cardamom, and cinnamon and infused with eggnog itself. Then to tie it all together the cream cheese frosting is flavored with eggnog and cinnamon too.
Sure eggnog is normally a festive flavor. But real food enthusiasts eat whatever they like, whenever they want it.
Unusual Cupcakes Flavors That Use Your Fave Foods
It seems the way to come up with unique cupcake flavors is to just eat your favorite foods.
This article even proves you don’t even need to think of magical sugary substitutes to make it happen. If you like spaghetti and meatballs then make a savory sponge and add a mini version on top. If you’re obsessed with sushi then find ways to blend the same flavors in and serve it cold. Give these ambitious cupcakes a try.
Jaffa Cake Drizzle Loaf
There are few things in life that bring more simple pleasure than a Jaffa Cake (or three) with a cup of tea, but we are going to put it out there and say this tops it – and it’s only marginally less simple to put together (and totally worth the light effort).
A simple orange sponge is topped with marmalade – we recommend Bonne Maman – and covered with a chocolate ganache. And can we suggest topping it with actual Jaffa Cakes, if we may be so bold?
Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Reese’s peanut butter cups are an American import that has been heartily embraced over here in recent times and are given a lot of much-deserved glory in this cake, worthy of making a peanut butter lover’s birthday very special (it goes without saying that it mustn’t be served around any allergy sufferers, of course).
A cocoa sponge is covered in peanut butter cream and a chocolate ganache and topped with halved peanut butter cups. You could add other delights like the colorful candy of Reese’s Pieces on the topping, too.
An icebox is a fridge cake that has been popular in the US since the 1930s when it was named after the cool boxes used before mass refrigeration. Basically, layers of wafers or biscuits with cream, this version features a mere six ingredients and is heavy on the ol’ caramel, featuring choc caramel digestives sandwiched between layers of cream mixed with the God of sweet sauces, dulce du Leche.
Topped with cubes or caramel and grated chocolate, after a night in the fridge, it’ll come out looking fancy for minimal effort. It’s very rich, so a little will go a long way, too.
Chocolate Creme Egg Cake
An obvious one for Easter, it could equally be adapted to any other time of year – swap the Creme Eggs for anything else with a gooey center – Munchies? – or even without – Maltesers, M&Ms, chopped up Snickers, crumbled Flakes, you get the idea. A simple chocolate cake with a cream filling and a ganache top, you can also pop crumbled pieces of your topping of choice into the cream center.
This amazing anti-gravity cake will give you some serious kudos with the kids at a birthday party, so it’s well worth the effort.
Made with whatever sponge you fancy (though chocolate fudge is an obvious choice), the secret is a couple of straws stuck into the cake to which you stick your chocolate of choice, and then pop the empty bag on the top so it looks like they’ve all just tumbled out. It could be done with chocolate buttons, but we highly recommend Smarties or M&Ms to make everything wonderfully rainbow-colored.
Rhubarb And Custard Cake Bars
A flavor combo of utter joy, we all love a rhubarb and custard dessert, or those sweets from the jars in old-fashioned candy shops. And now, we can have it in a cake bar too, with both fresh rhubarb and rhubarb jam with this custard sponge. Excellent to give as a gift, in a box wrapped with ribbon, or to make when friends are coming for a frothy coffee and a chat.
You need plenty of patience and prep time for this one, but it’s an absolute triumph when it’s done because, not only is it fantastically dotty on the outside, it’s even dotty on the inside. Making sure the inside of the cake is as fab as the outside is such a treat when it is cut and looks really clever. But there are very simple techniques anyone can master to make this professional effect.
This is done by adding brightly colored cake balls (ideally you’ll use a cake pop machine but it’s not crucial) into the middle of the cake mixture before baking. Not something you knock up for anything other than a party or occasion – because it must be shown off to as big an audience as possible.