Where did all the sugary cereals of my youth go? TV channels abound used to be LITTERED with the adorable mugs of Toucan Sam, the Cookie Crisp Burglar, and that silly Trix Rabbit. The Cinnamon Toast Crunch section of the cereal aisle at the grocery story used to span from floor to ceiling, seven deep and ten across on each shelf. Puffs that turned your milk into liquid chocolatey goodness used to be a universally accepted meal choice. YOU COULD EAT MARSHMALLOWS FOR BREAKFAST.
Somewhere between our country’s slide into the Fat Farm and Michelle Obama’s meek attempts to “fix” the childhood obesity epidemic, my beloved toy-stuffed boxes of love became a thing of the past. Like an endangered species, a stingy sprinkling of Lucky Charms boxes sit on store shelves, losing a battle for the limelight to the high-fiber sugar-free bran buds and the cereals fortified with every vitamin and mineral under the sun. Sure, the sugary cereals still exist, but putting a box in your shopping cart and toting it on over to the checkout line is more akin to some sort of public shaming than a simple purchase.
Now, the thought of an obese six-year-old with rotten teeth disturbs me just as much as the next guy, but c’monnn… a little Fruity Pebbles never hurt anyone. Hell, one bowl of Reeses Puffs for breakfast every single day for five years never hurt anyone. And while we’re on the subject, New York, Big Gulps never hurt anyone either. So do us all a favor and overturn your stupid ban on sodas served in 16+ oz helpings– it’s an entirely misguided effort. If I’m jonesing for a Diet Dewski, I’ll buy a twelve-pack.
Cereal doesn’t kill people– serial killers do.
And now, for a moment of nostalgia…:
My fellow babies of the 80s and children of the 90s, do you remember when you could eat Lucky Charms WHILE watching the Disney Channel original movie, Luck of the Irish? An epic collide of magical deliciousness and a heartwarming sports story? Did it not blow your mind?
To bring the sugar and magic back to life over a decade later, I decided to inject cupcakes with some Lucky Charms cereal. And, if you must know, the evening I served said cupcakes, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish decimated the Oklahoma Sooners to maintain their still-undefeated record in the college football world. If that isn’t a modern Luck of the Irish tale, then I don’t know what is.
Lucky Charms Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream
1 box white cake mix (I like Duncan Hines brand)
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream (do NOT use “light,” “reduced fat,” or “fat free” !)
3/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup finely crushed Lucky Charms (cereal pieces only, no marshmallows)
26 drops green food coloring
For the buttercream:
4 1/2 cupas powdered sugar
1 (13 oz) jar Marshmallow Fluff
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 oz (1/2 block) cream cheese
Gold crystal sprinkles and Lucky Charms marshmallows to top
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place cupcake liners in a cupcake pan
2. Whisk together cake mix, sour cream, eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until smooth
3. Mix in drops of green food coloring until desired shade of green is reached
4. Pulverize Lucky Charms cereal in a mini food processor and add to batter, mix well
5. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 19-22 minutes
6. Remove cupcakes from oven and place on a wire cooling rack
7. While cupcakes are cooling, mix together fluff, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl with a hand-held mixer
8. Pipe buttercream onto cooled cupcakes, dust with sprinkles, and place one Lucky Charms marshmallow on top of each right before serving (*marshmallows will become soggy if placed on cupcakes and stored for a long period of time)