So this week’s post is a good one considering we are coming into the festive season. Continuing Cup Cake Month, Sister-E brings you two alcohol-laced cup cake recipes that are sure to impress your guests. The secret to these recipes is they use packet cake mix to make things a bit easier (shhh no one needs to know), and give you more time to focus on the decoration. Check out that frosting! No one will even care that you haven’t made the cup cakes from scratch with frosting like THAT! – Sarah
What to do when your friends went to have a drink but also want to satisfy their cake cravings? Combine the two favourite pastimes together and bake some alcohol fuelled cupcakes of course!.
Type ‘alcoholic cupcakes’ into Pinterest and you could spend an entire day scrolling through the results. However luckily for you, I have extracted two recipes that I have created for various events throughout the year.
Now, you will notice that these recipes call for ‘cake mix’: some may turn their noses up at a recipe that suggests this, but to be honest it makes the process a whole lot easier, and leaves more time to spend on the icing and decorating. This turned out to be a blessing for me when I embarked upon the swiss meringue icing WITHOUT A STAND MIXER. I would not advise doing this. Whilst it is possible (and I did get there in the end), a stand mixer allows the ingredients to be incorporated evenly and easily, with less likelihood of the mixture splitting. My baking has become a lot more efficient ever since I purchased a stand mixer (I got a great deal from the guys at Harvey Norman on the Breville Scraper Mixer Pro (http://www.harveynorman.com.au/breville-the-scraper-mixer-pro.html) and I love it!
The first cup cake recipe (the green cup cakes) is named after “Cinco de Mayo”, a Mexican festival held in May, and could easily be used for any Mexican themed event. You can use any form of alcohol you want (tequila, vodka, rum etc) or for a more PG rated version, simply omit the alcohol and replace with more lime juice (but where is the fun in that?)
Decorate as you wish (you can find plenty of inspiration on Pinterest), I used fresh lime on the top (not to be eaten), but if you can get your hands on some appropriate green lollies then that would be perfect (I was searching for lime segment shaped candy – do these even exist?). Also a little trick I learned was to buy a big packet of white sprinkles, then when I need a specific colour I place a small amount of sprinkles in a zip-lock bag, and put in a drop of food-colouring and shake it all about, and presto – custom-coloured sprinkles!
The second recipe (the pink/purple cup cakes) I made just last week for Melbourne Cup Day. Whilst organising, my friend, Mr P, jokingly enquired as to whether I’d be creating “some kind of crazy horse and jockey shaped cupcake laced with alcohol for the occasion?”. Whilst the cupcakes were not shaped like horses or jockeys, I did manage to create a Red-Velvet and Vanilla layer cake with cream cheese frosting with a horse on top, as well as these Kahlua-soaked Vanilla Cupcakes with Baileys buttercream!
The buttercream I adapted one from my Bible, the Magnolia Bakery cookbook. Again you can substitute the alcohol used for anything you have on hand. I didn’t have enough Kahlua so I added some strong coffee to the soaking liquid. The soaking process can be a tad messy, in the end I just plonked the mini cupcakes (upside down/cake-side down) into the bowl of the soaking liquid and let them float around on the top for a few minutes!
CINCO DE MAYO CUPCAKES
1 packet vanilla cake mix (approx. 500g)
280ml Margarita mix, undiluted (or use lime cordial)
3 egg whites
2 tbsp oil (coconut, vegetable or canola)
1 tbsp finely grated lime zest (about 1 lime)
- Preheat oven to 180°C
- Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake wrappers.
- In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, place the cake mix, Margarita mix, egg whites and oil and beat for 30 seconds on low, then increase to medium and beat for 2 minutes.
- Stir through the lime zest and mix completely.
- Fill the cupcake pans to approx. 2/3 full.
- Bake for 22-24 minutes (or approx. 12-14 minutes for mini sized) or until a knife inserted in the centre of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in tin for at least 5 minutes, then remove from tin and allow to cool completely before icing (recipe below).
MARGARITA SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
5 egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
285g (2.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but cool
2 tablespoons tequila
Zest and juice of 1/2 a lime
Green food colouring
Sprinkles to decorate
- In a glass or metal bowl, place the egg whites, sugar, and salt. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water slightly smaller than the bowl and whisk continuously until the sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 70°C). There mixture should be smooth with no granules of sugar left. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water, or the mix may get too hot and you might curdle your eggs.
- Pour the egg white mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the mixture on high until it forms stiff peaks (but not dry peaks), approx. 7 minutes, or until the mixture has cooled and become light and fluffy,
- Switch to the paddle attachment. On medium speed, add butter two tablespoons at a time and beat well after each addition.
- Increase the speed to medium-high; continue beating for approx. 3 minutes until the frosting appears thick.
- Reduce speed to low; add the rest of the ingredients (tequila, lime zest, and juice) and mix until full incorporated.
Note: If the icing appears to have split, do not fear! Take approx. 1/4 cup of the icing, place in microwave for around 20 seconds until melted and slightly warm, then with the mixer on low slowly pour the warm mixture back into the mixer and beat until the icing magically comes back together. You can repeat this process a few times (like I had to!)
Makes approx. 12 cup cakes
KAHLUA-SOAKED VANILLA CUPCAKES
W/ BAILEYS BUTTERCREAM
1 packet of Vanilla Cupcake Mix (I used White Wings)
1 cup of Kahlua (or any other coffee-flavoured liqueur, or just coffee)
- Prepare cup cakes according to packet directions.
- Once cool, slowly pour approx. 1 tbsp of Kahlua onto each cupcake and allow the liquid to be absorbed, approx. 10 minutes.
- Whilst liquid is being absorbed you can prepare the buttercream.
1 stick (113.4g) unsalted butter, softened (NOT melted)
3-4 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup Baileys liquor
1 tsp vanilla extract
Food Colouring (optional)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, place the butter, 2 cups of icing sugar, the Baileys and vanilla.
- On medium speed, beat the mixture for approx. 3-5 minutes until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Gradually add 1 cup of a sugar at a time until desired consistency is reached, making sure to beat well after each addition (approx. 2 minutes).
- You may not need to add all the sugar, however it needs to be thick enough to hold its shape once piped.
- Add a few drops of food colouring if desired and then place in a piping bag with desired piping tip (I used my brand new ‘Wilton 1M’!)
- Drink Responsibly and Enjoy!
Makes approx. 12 cup cakes