AMC’s Breaking Bad is undisputedly the best show on television. For those of you who have been living under a giant [blue] rock, Breaking Bad is a thrill-laced drama about a high-school-chemistry-teacher-turned-American-outlaw named Walter White. Walt is diagnosed with cancer in the show’s pilot episode; in order to pay off his hospital fees, he enrolls in crystal methamphetamine cooking 101. Tapping into his extensive chemistry background, he shifts from student to master chef and rewrites the whole damn meth cookbook. Mexican drug cartel, superlabs, a crooked attorney, blue meth, contentious relationships, a faux fugue state, robberies, and money laundering– the art of cooking has never looked quite so badass.
Breaking Bad came back on July 15th for its fifth and final two-part season, and in order to celebrate, my close friends and family–all of whom are dedicated viewers of the show– decided to have a Breaking Bad themed party.
I brought the cupcakes.
A bit of behind-the-scenes information: all the blue meth shown on the set of Breaking Bad is actually cotton candy flavored rock candy. Who knew one of the most devastating psychoactive substances on the market could taste so sweet?
These cupcakes are a twist on Funfetti: a from-scratch vanilla cupcake recipe with pale crystal sprinkles stirred in, classic American buttercream, and –obviously– rocky candy “blue meth.”
For the cupcakes (makes 12-15):
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter, softened
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 tablespoons vanilla extract (for a very vanilla-y taste!)
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 heaping Tablespoons crystal sprinkles (I used CakeMate Pearlescent Sugar)
For the icing:
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) salted butter, softened (NOT melted)
3 ounces (about 1/3 block) cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or other desired flavor, such as coconut or almond)
2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream (or more for desired consistency)
Cotton candy flavored rock candy to top (available at most candy shops or online)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and add liners to cupcake pan.
2. Stir together flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
3. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Keep mixer on and add eggs and vanilla, beat until fully incorporated.
5. Add half the flour mixture and mix on low, then repeat with the remaining half.
6. Pour in milk and mix.
6. Add sprinkles and stir with a rubber spatula.
7. Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full.
8. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
1. Beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed in an electric mixer for about one minute.
2. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating well between each.
3. Add vanilla (or other flavoring) and beat.
4. Add 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream and beat. Continue adding more, one Tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached (be VERY careful it doesn’t get too liquid-y!)
5. Spoon buttercream into a piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
6. Top with large pinch of rock candy.
7. Place in large airtight container (make sure it’s deep enough so the icing isn’t ruined) and refrigerate to allow icing to harden. I actually like my cupcakes best right out of the ‘fridge!
Another idea for Breaking Bad Cupcakes: use an angled spatula to spread icing over cupcakes so top is flat and smooth. Then write “BrBa,” “Let’s Cook,” “Call Saul,” “Blue Stuff,” and “Yo, Bitch” in sugar letters or fine gel icing pens in black, green, and/or blue.
There’s something so twisted and fun about throwing a Breaking Bad party. It’s one of the few times you can litter your entire kitchen island with drug paraphernalia without people getting the wrong idea about you. Above are some of the creative ideas brought to the table at the party I attended.
Watch the show. Throw a party that, under any other circumstances, would be wholly inappropriate and politically incorrect. Revel in it.
Disclaimer: As an aspiring social worker and certified alcohol and drugs counselor (CADC), I feel morally obligated to say that I do not in any way condone real meth production, distribution, or consumption. I’m a strong advocate for the Montana Meth Project and other anti-meth and meth prevention initiatives. You should be too.