To continue developing my baking skills, I ventured into the realm of cupcakes! Okay, so who doesn’t love a cupcake? They are the perfect sized treat to appease any sweet tooth craving. Heavy emphasis on the size coming off of my last baking project, the massive birthday cake from my “Attempting the Perfect Birthday Cake” post, which my boyfriend and I picked at for far too long.
I’ve tried my hand at cupcakes in the past, but never attempted them from scratch, making this the perfect baking project. I stumbled upon inspiration for this project while exploring my local Barnes and Noble, in a book on cupcakes inspired by some of the most popular cocktails. On a personal note, I am looking at training to be a bartender at my restaurant, so finding this book was like forging a bridge between two aspects of my life. Needless to say this motivated me to build upon the skills I learned from my last project, dabble in a bit of mixology knowledge, and make these delicious cupcakes!
How I Made White Russian Cupcakes:
For my homemade tipsy treat, I decided to make White Russian inspired cupcakes. For those of you unfamiliar with this cocktail, its 1 part Kahlúa, 2 parts vodka, and 1 part heavy cream – you can find its official recipe here. Of all the delicious recipes to choose from I settled on this one for two reasons: one, because I love coffee anything, and two because the book even says, “The dude abides” and who doesn’t enjoy The Big Lebowski? As always, I began by making a shopping list with the required measurements of all ingredients for the cake and the frosting to make sure I had everything I needed before starting this project. See the final result below:
Step 1: The Cake
I recommend you start with the cake so you can work on the frosting while the cupcakes are in the oven.
- Cake shopping list:
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ baking soda
- 1 tbsp. espresso powder → *This is not the same as finely ground coffee
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup brewed coffee → *Any brand will do – I used a medium roast blend
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 – 12 cupcake tin lined with paper liners
Let’s get started!
- Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F
- Brew 1/2 a cup of coffee which converts to 4oz. – I wanted some for myself so I brewed a full cup using 2 tablespoons of ground coffee
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, espresso powder, sugar and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat 1 egg and 1/3 cup of sour cream:
- In a saucepan over medium heat combine the coffee brewed earlier with 1 stick of butter, stirring until melted:
- Remove from heat, and slowly pour the hot coffee and butter mixture into the large bowl with the egg and sour cream, mixing on low-speed:
- Now, gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixture running your mixer on medium speed – make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
- Spoon the finished batter into your prepared cupcake tins filling each about 2/3 full.
- Place cupcakes in oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges on top are firm.
- Have a toothpick ready to test the cupcakes and begin making the frosting!
Step 2: The Frosting
Following my prior success with homemade frosting, I was ready and excited to make some tipsy frosting for these cupcakes. The most important thing to keep in mind when attempting frosting is that the butter must be soft (room temperature is fine) but not melted.
- Kahlúa frosting recipe:
- 1 stick unsalted Kerrygold butter
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup Kahlúa
- 2 teaspoons vodka
- Use your electric mixer on medium speed to beat the softened butter in a medium bowl for a few minutes until broken up, but not melty.
- Gradually sift the powdered sugar into the mixing bowl and use your electric mixer on the lowest setting to combine the sugar with the butter.
- You’ll want to start with just 3 cups of the sugar and add more as necessary.
- Once the sugar and butter are combined and creamy, add the vodka and slowly beat in the Kahlúa.
- If adding the liquid makes your frosting too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar.
- Prepare a piping bag to frost the cupcakes and use a baking spatula to fill the bag with your delicious frosting!
*By this time the cupcakes will be done, so pull them out of the oven and set on a cooling rack*
Step 3: Frosting and Enjoying
- Once the cupcakes are completely cool, begin frosting to your liking.
- Nothing beats a little extra touch, so to garnish my White Russian cupcakes, I dusted the top with a little espresso powder – another idea for garnish is a single coffee bean!
These were really yummy! And the best part is that they took WAY less time than the epic birthday cake from my previous baking post. Highlights from this recipe include the cake itself – using sour cream instead of cream and made the cupcakes moist while cutting the richness of the cake – while my German chocolate cake was delicious, the cake was very rich and sweet making it enjoyable in small quantities. These cupcakes on the other hand are just sweet enough while maintaining an ideal moistness. Another highlight is the versatility of the recipe. For my next baking project, I plan to use bones of this recipe to make a different flavor cake and accompanying frosting.
After taking one bite of these cupcakes, we only had one thing to say, “The dude abides”!
Check back next week for more recipes and other assorted foodstuffs!