Monday, June 24, 2013

Alcoholic Cupcakes!

"That was the best cupcake I've ever had"--- a comment left by Jason (it was his birthday and I didn't even know, what luck was that I had brought cupcakes!) More likely it was the alcohol talking, but I'll take that compliment any day of the week! : )

About a week ago, my brother wanted me to bake some cupcakes with a taste of alcohol. I was super excited, experimenting with cake and alcohol is pretty fun. I had many ideas from Champagne Cupcakes, to Blue Moon Cupcakes, the classic Mojito Cupcake, a White Russian and of course I couldn't forget the Irish Car Bomb. Oh the ideas were bursting at the seam. After endless hours of researching and planning, I found 2 classic Alcoholic Cupcake Recipes that fit the bill.

I went shopping and bought some Rum and how could I forget some lovely Kahlua? Also I still get a kick out of buying alcohol and getting those "You're how old" from someone who is really younger than me. Anyway, I decided to do a pairing of Red Velvet and Rum Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate-Espresso-Kahlua Cupcakes with Kahlua Cream Cheese Frosting!

Now onto the Recipes...

Cupcake #1

Red Velvet Cupcakes by The Art of Dessert
makes about 30 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups butter, softened to room temperature*
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 ounce red food coloring (liquid or gel)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract*
3 1/4 cups flour
3 Tbs. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans or line three muffin pans with cupcake liners.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Combine yogurt, red food coloring and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Alternate adding the yogurt mixture and flour mixture into the large bowl. Pour batter into prepared pans or lined muffin pans. Bake for 16-18 minutes for regular sized cupcakes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely.


Rum Cream Cheese Frosting 

16 oz. (two 8 oz. bars) cream cheese, cold
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened to room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups of sifted powdered sugar*
2 tsp of Rum, more depending on your preference


With the mixer on a low speed, beat the cream cheese and butter till blended. Mix in vanilla and rum. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a cup at a time. Once all the powdered sugar is added, increase to a higher speed to whip up the frosting till light and fluffy.

*I never liked using so much powdered sugar, I usually just sift about 3-5 cups of sugar and add about 1/2 a cup of sugar in slowly. And of course tasting along the way, because some may like it really sweet and others like my family members love the not so sweet, but tanginess of the cream cheese to come out. So find what suits you best and go for it! --- T


My Comments: This is a beautiful, vibrant red cupcake, using vanilla yogurt was new for me but the cupcake turned out really tender and delicious. I love that you can you also use sour cream or maybe try other alternatives in terms of yogurt, how about greek? Oh the possibilities! The rum wasn't that prominent in the frosting, I would suggest that you poke holes in the cooled cupcakes and maybe try drizzling some more Rum!


Cupcake #2

Chocolate Espresso Cupcake with Kahlua Cream Cheese Frosting, by Art of Dessert
Makes about 24-26 normal sized cupcakes

1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup whole milk with 1 Tbs. lemon juice*
1/2 cup strong coffee, cooled*
2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 muffin pans with cupcake liners. Beat together butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs one at a time. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Combine the buttermilk and coffee together. Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture. Lastly, mix in the vanilla extract. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. Let cool for at least 10 minutes then poke holes on top of each cupcake. Drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon of Kahlua over each cupcake.

*If you don't know this already, combining milk and lemon juice or white distilled vinegar is a great substitute if you do not have buttermilk on hand. Its so much cheaper too since I don't use buttermilk ever besides baking! But I think everybody has either lemon or vinegar on hand. If you do decide to do this option, combine the milk and lemon juice/vinegar in a cup and wait a few minutes! Its magic : )

*For the coffee, it can be really up to you. Since I don't drink coffee, I used the Pike's Roast from Starbucks.



Kahlua Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. bar cream cheese, cold
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened to room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbs. Kahlua coffee liqueur*
3 cups powdered sugar*
topping:
1/2 to 3/4 cup Kahlua coffee liqeuer*
1 cup chocolate covered espresso beans (optional---this is found at Trader Joe's!)

With the mixer on a low speed, beat the cream cheese and butter till blended. Mix in vanilla and Kahlua. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a cup at a time. Once all the powdered sugar is added, increase to a higher speed to whip up the frosting till light and fluffy. Transfer frosting into a piping bag.

*Again the amount of Kahlua is up to your liking, and the same goes with the powdered sugar.



My Comments: Super delicious and moist, doesn't come out as pretty in the oven so don't overfill your cupcakes! You really can't go wrong with the chocolate and coffee combo since its a elite pairing of food items like PB & J. If you wait for your cupcakes to cool, and I mean really wait...the drizzling of the Kahlua is what makes this cake so moist and yummy! Just don't drown the poor cupcake with Kahlua, you alcoholics! And the frosting is tangy and quite a pairing with the cupcake. Enjoy it my friends, this is a really good one for adults! : )

If you decide to make this at home, let me know how it goes! I'll be back soon updating you with more great recipe finds. Thanks to Art of Dessert for sharing, please check out her blog because it is really fabulous!


Happy Summer everyone! Thank goodness its Tuesday tomorrow....


All the best,

T

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