Milk Bar Inspired Cereal Milk Cupcakes


I was so excited after making this recipe! First of all, I found a new favorite cupcake recipe  – and the best part, it is probably the simplest recipe with simplest proportions, that I found too good to be true initially. 🥺 If you take a look at the ingredients, it’s only a 1:1:1:1 butter:sugar:flour:egg ratio. Really back to the basics!!! It’s incredible. The recipe for both the cupcake and the buttercream is from the queen of cupcakes, Cupcake Jemma, who breaks it down so nicely in these videos: Milk Bar Inspired CEREAL MILK CUPCAKES | Cupcake Jemma and for the technique, here: How to Get Perfect Cupcakes Every Time. It’s a 20 minute long video, but please watch it!! She demonstrates out key features that may make your cupcake flop – butter consistency, mixing times and oven temperature – and then shares tip to ensure that you get perfect cupcakes every single time. 

I’ve tried many cupcake recipes before haha and the part I’m surprised with most is how simple this cupcake recipe is. This threw out all the previous cupcake tricks such as creaming butter and sugar until light and fluffy, using buttermilk to increase the moistness, not overmixing the flour when it is in, etc. This recipe has you combine all the ingredients together and mix it to get your batter less than 2 minutes. At the same time though, because it’s so simple, I can tell that this cupcake recipe will only work only if we follow the directions to the tee. Basically, she breaks down the key components to perfect cupcakes in 3 main factors:

  1. Butter consistency
    • Just nice: room temperature should be soft and slightly cold to touch. It should not be greasy or have resistance when you press down on it. I like to cut up my butter into cubes, leave it at room temperature, and if necessary, place back to the fridge to adjust, before use
    • Too soft: creates cupcakes with large pockets, that collapses after baking, causing a shrinked cupcake
    • Too cold: creates cupcakes that are greasy and dome up in the center
  2. Mixing timing
    • Just nice: follow the timings as written!
    • Under-mixed: cupcakes will have less volume, harder crust with tall dome
    • Over-mixed: cupcakes have too much air incorporated, and will also collapse. It also develops the gluten if flour is overmixed.
  3. Oven temperature
    • Just nice: unfortunately the real just nice depends on your oven haha. I used 350°F (177°C) as suggested. 
    • Too hot: rise faster hence develops a higher, sometimes cracked dome. It may end up dry and tough also. 
    • Too low: cupcakes bake longer but may end up being paler and sink after taking it out of the oven. 

Don’t make any adjustments, it really ended up quite nice! 🙂 I’m mainly excited to share this to everyone as well because of how magically simple this recipe is, but made it to one of my favourite cupcakes in my archives. 

This flavor also incorporates the nostalgic elements of rainbow sprinkles and cereal, inspired Momofuku Milk Bar’s cereal milk soft serve (ah, the nostalgia, I miss NYC…). We toast the cornflake cereal to maximise the flavor, and infuse it into brown sugar and to make a cereal infused milk (its a flavour that is hard to describe, but it’s the instantly familiarity of the milk at the bottom of your cereal bowl). One thing to change about next time is to toast the cornflakes in sugar (so that it gets a praline-like coating), instead of using crushed cornflakes directly for the decoration.  This is because the buttercream ended up making the cornflake toppings too soft after a while. Nevertheless I had a lot of fun working with this cupcake recipe. Hope you enjoy also!! 🌈🌈🌈

Milk Bar Inspired Cereal Milk Cupcakes
Makes 20 cupcakes (1.5x of original recipe)

Milk Bar Inspired Cereal Milk Cupcakes
adapted from Cupcake Jemma

To make Cereal-infused Milk
50g cornflakes
20g light brown sugar
400g whole milk

For the Cornflake biscuit base:
150g cornflakes
100g butter melted

For the Cornflake sponge cupcakes
187g soft unsalted butter
187g caster sugar
187g self raising flour
3/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 large eggs
3 tablespoon cornflake milk
pinch of salt

For the Cereal Milk Buttercream
150g soft unsalted butter
330g icing sugar
4 tbsp cornflake milk

To make Cereal-infused Milk

Place 250g cornflakes in a baking sheet and bake at 140°C oven for 15 minutes. This brings out the corn flavour. Place 50g cornflakes, light brown sugar, whole milk and place in a pot. Bring it to the boil and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Place through sieve to strain cornflake bits.

To make Cornflake biscuit base

Crush up the cornflakes into small pieces. Mix in melted butter until you are able to press pieces together into medium-large clumps. Place 1 tablespoon into each cupcake tin, lined with cupcake liners, and pack down. 

To make Cornflake sponge cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix for 10 seconds to combine.

Add butter and eggs into the dry ingredients and start mixing on low speed, then increase the speed to medium high and mix for 30 seconds (up to to 1 minute).

Reduce the speed to low and pour in the milk and vanilla extract. Beat at medium high speed for 30 seconds.

Stop the mixer, scrape the sides with a silicone spatula and then run the mixer on medium high speed again and mix for another 20-30 seconds.

Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter between 12 cupcake tins, lined with cupcake liners. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the inserted toothpick comes out clean.

To make Cereal Milk Buttercream

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter until light and creamy for about 7-8 minutes on medium/high speed. (This is the main trick!)
Once the butter is pale in colour and light, add in the icing sugar gradually while the mixer is running at medium speed. Add the vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, salt, and cornflake milk. Whip on high speed for another 3-4 minutes until very light, creamy, and fluffy. 

To assemble and decorate Cereal Milk Cupcakes

Pipe a generous swirl of cereal milk buttercream into each cupcake (I used a Wilton 1M tip). Top with rainbow sprinkles and cornflakes, and enjoy!

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