Thursday, March 01, 2012

Lasagna Cupcakes and Mini Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes

Pineapple Upside Down Cake/Lasagna Cupcakes

You surely know by now that I love to make things mini-size. Any food item sized down or made indivual is adorable. I love to knit wee baby socks and bitty baby hats, sew miniature play food, and of course my greatest achievement, two mini people :)

Sometimes this gets me in trouble because I fail to calculate the time and effort involved in rolling out 18 individual pieces of dough or measuring out 24 mini wells of cake batter, but sometimes I just can't resist!

When I saw these Lasagna cupcakes, the power of the mini compelled me! The recipe was rolling around in my head and every day I thought, "is today the day I had planned to make those lasagna cupcakes?" (yeah, I'm dorky and talk about food to myself).

I am happy to report they were not much more work than a full lasagna and most importantly they pried free from the muffin tin, saving me the hassle of taking forever to pry them out until I finally give in and chunk the whole pan into the backyard. And because I can't leave well enough alone, I decided to make another muffin tin recipe that I had been saving, Mini Pineapple Upside-Down cakes. These also were easy and plopped from the tin effortlessy (can you tell I have an issue with this?).


These mini lasagnas give everyone the best part of a lasagna, the crunchy edge piece! I doubted that one wonton in the bottom of the pan would hold these up but I should have trusted the author and just used one. I also mixed my cooked meat with my sauce instead of layering and added a second layer of noodles after the first layering because, again, I have trust issues. They were fine with the second layer but would have been fine without as well. I also didn't cut the bottom layer into circles just pushed the squares into the pan and cut circles for the second layer of noodles.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake is such a retro 60's kind of dessert that says, "Honey, let's have Doris and Stan over for cards and Pineapple Upside-Down Cake!" Queue up the rum daiquiris! These were not difficult and used either a jumbo or regular muffin tin pan. I would advise putting a cookies sheet under the tin. The syrup bubbled and ran over making a not so lovely to clean up mess in the oven.

This got me wondering how you could make a complete meal for 2 or 3 in a muffin tin...somebody please stage an intervention!

Lasagna Cupcakes
slightly adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 cup marinara sauce
3/4 pound ground beef
12 wonton wrappers (24 if you want two layers)
8 ounces shredded mozzarella
3 ounces Parmesan cheese
4 ounces Ricotta cheese
(optional) basil for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Brown beef and season with salt and pepper. Drain.

Cut wonton wrappers into circle shapes using a biscuit cutter or using the top of a drinking glass. You can cut several at a time.

Reserve 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and 6 tablespoon mozzarella for the top of you cupcakes. Start layering your lasagna cupcakes. Begin with a wonton wrapper and press it into the bottom of each muffin tin. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese, Ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Top with a little meat and marinara sauce. Use around 1-2 teaspoons of all the ingredients depending on your personal preference. 

Repeat layers ending with marinara sauce. Top with reserved Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. To remove use a knife to loosen the edges then pop each lasagna out.

Mini Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This recipe will make a batch of 6 jumbo size or 8 muffin size cakes.

Cake Ingredients:
2 eggs
2/3 C white sugar
4 T pineapple juice
2/3 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 stick butter
2/3 C brown sugar
1-can pineapple rings
6-maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, add eggs, white sugar, and pineapple juice. Beat for 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and turn mixer back on for 2 minutes.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and add the brown sugar. Stir on low heat for one minute.

Place a pineapple ring in the bottom of each jumbo muffin tin. Add a cherry in the middle of each pineapple. Spoon over a layer of the warm brown sugar mixture. Pour cake mixture over to fill muffin tin 3/4 of the way full. If you are using regular muffin tins, you will need to cut down the rings to fit or just use pineapple tidbits.

Bake jumbo cakes for 25 minutes. Bake regular cakes for 20 minutes. You could also use a 10 inch cast iron skillet and bake for 22-25 minutes (the cake is done when toothpick in middle comes out clean).
Remove from the oven. Let cool in pan for 3 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cake to help loosen in case it sticks a little. Place a wire cooling rack on top, and quickly flip over on top of sheet tray to catch the extra drippings and let cool. These are best eaten warm and can reheated in the microwave. Enjoy!


  1. Jenny, you are a witty writer! Who doesn't love tiny?! Can't wait for your Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing. My absolute favorite flavor is lemon. And did you know that Hey Cupcakes has a new cupcake that's lemon and it's called John Lemon?
    Rhonda Grover

    1. Thanks, Rhonda! I have only had Hey Cupcake once or twice and certainly nothing called a John Lemon! The lemon cupcakes up there on the menu links were deeeelicious.

    2. I'm going to try that recipe. Thanks, Jenny!
      Rhonda Grover

  2. Oh mini things are the best! You can eat three of them without feeling too guilty. These little lasagna cups are adorable!