Big Red Cupcakes with Pastry Cream Filling

A month or so ago a friend of mine asked me if I could create  Big Red cupcakes without using a boxed mix as an ingredient.  I like challenges. I like Big tasted a bit like bubbly, liquid red licorice.

I mulled over quite a lot of possibilities. I initially knew that I wanted a pastry cream filling and of course, Big Red frosting.. I had the idea that marshmallows toasted on top would be amazing.

And they would have been, too…but it just  didn’t work for me.


A Little Glitter Never Hurt Anyone

I went with a little pink glitter.

Yes, you CAN taste the Big Red. The cream filling adds a nice texture and gives it a bit of a taste boost – sort of like a Big Red Float. I use the eggs from our chickens and the yolks are orange-yellow. Had I thought about it I would have used 4 egg whites rather than 2 eggs to enhance the color. These are a bit on the coral side color-wise because of the yolks. If you want a pinker/redder cake than use egg whites rather than  whole eggs.

Beware the Red Dye

Big Red does have red dye in it. I wouldn’t use it often, and if your kids are sensitive to the red dye (and many are) you may want to substitute cream soda with a little cherry juice added to it. You will get a similar flavor and color. Or, just go with the  cream soda with no additions.

Big Red soda was created in 1937. It is marketed as a cream soda but I think the flavor is, as I said, more like red licorice. It has not been a hit like Coke or Dr. Pepper but it does have a very loyal following.

And you may be part of that  loyal few after you taste these cupcakes.

I did not give the recipe for pastry cream because it isn’t essential in these and I think I have given the same recipe about a million times. If you want to fill the cupcakes (and who wouldn’t) you just need to hollow them out and spoon in about a teaspoon or so of cooled pastry cream.


Big Red Cupcakes

moist cupcakes with the flavor of Big Red Soda – made without a boxed mix

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of Big Red, room temp
  • 1 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Beat butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beat thoroughly after each addition.
  4. Blend flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda, in a bowl.
  5. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low until mixed.
  6. Add ½ the Big Red.
  7. Continue to alternate the flour and Big Red ending with the flour.
  8. Scoop into cupcake papers about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  9. Cool and frost with desired buttercream.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

Meal type: dessert

Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)

5 :  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Big Red Buttercream

confectioners frosting with Big Red flavor

  1. 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  2. 3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. Up to 4 tablespoons Big Red
  1. Cream together the butter and confectioner’s.
  2. Add the Big Red to get a good, spreadable consistency.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

5 :  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)


Nutrition Information:

The first number is without the cream feeling the second is with the cream filling.

serving size 1

Calories 675/829

Fat 32.5/41.5

Carbs  92.1/107.5

Fiber 0.8

Protein 5.4/8.0


Printable Version

images: (c) marye audet 2011, all rights reserved

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