And the Winner Is …

Jamieanne Hassler of Indianapolis! This self-described cupcake addict baked up an amazingly creative version of Jupiter that, well, takes the cake in our Planetology cupcake contest.

It really has been Jupiter’s lucky week so far: a new orbiter, an intriguing new study of its core, and now a sweet homage in the form of a decadent chocolate-chili cupcake. Have a look, and send virtual handclaps to Jamieanne for her winning creation:


I’m hungry for some gas giant goodness …

In Jamieanne’s own words: These are Jupiter cupcakes. The cake is chocolate with a kick of cayenne pepper to represent the heat of Jupiter’s core [no kidding! Jupiter’s core is estimated to be around 55,000 degrees F, or 30,000 degree C], and the center of the cupcake is filled with a soft whipped cream to represent the many layers of clouds on Jupiter. The frosting is a cream cheese/chocolate buttercream swirl in colors similar to Jupiter’s. Hanging above the Jupiter cupcakes are the 4 Galilean moons of Europa, Ganymede, Io and Callisto, formed from homemade playdough.


*Chocolate cupcakes

Makes 12


  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (use more or less to suit your taste)
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about one-third full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.


*Whipped cream filling

Makes about 1 cup


  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chill stainless steel bowl and whisk attachment of an electric mixer in freezer for about 10-20 minutes. Combine all ingredients in steel bowl and use whisk attachment at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fill

cupcakes when the cupcakes are completely cool.

*Cream cheese frosting

Makes enough for 1-2 dozen cupcakes


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate frosting for 2-3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using.

*Chocolate buttercream

Makes about 1 cup


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa powder. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount of additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.

To make swirled frosting, spoon an amount of each color individually into a piping bag so that the colors are side by side. Squeeze out the frosting over a bowl first until all the colors start coming out, then start swirling!

Human Journey