Happy Thanksgiving! I thought I’d treat our loyal readers to a taste of the season. I hope that you and yours enjoy your holidays and have many happy returns. We are grateful for your dedication to our cupcake experiments, and I wish to you a happy culinary adventure :)
Hello again! I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve posted, though it’s only been a few weeks. This recipe has been brewing in my head for a while. A friend suggested root beer cupcakes, and I wanted to step them up a notch. I kept thinking of sarsaparilla, which I used to get in Old Town Sacramento growing up. It has a spicier taste with a hint of ginger. With that thought, I decided to use a gingered cupcake and top it with root beer frosting. Thankfully, I had a bottle of Root Beer Float Dessert Topping that I bought this summer from Cooking Up Ideas, one of my favorite stores in Fort Bragg, CA. I am using the dessert topping as the root beer flavoring in my frosting, but if you don’t have it, check below for alternative ideas!
My brother and sister-in-law held a Halloween party this weekend. They are ones to appreciate a good cocktail, so I thought I’d bring them yet ANOTHER cocktail-themed cupcake. I have finally learned from my previous (and numerous) disappointments with alcoholic cupcakes, and created a wonderfully successful rendition of a Manhattan! The trick? I will never use alcohol in the batter (other than beer) ever again. It has always yielded a dense cake with little of the original alcohol’s flavor. You must put your alcohol in the FROSTING. The treat? A fluffy cake with the full-flavor of the alcohol and the bouquet of it as you take a bite :)
These cupcakes were suggested by Gibbs! I love Thai tea, though it is one of those things that I don’t indulge in very often due to the high-fat cream or creamy condensed milk used. However, baking and sweet are another story! Both of those things that I avoid in my beverages sound like they would make amazing additions to a cupcake! For the Thai tea, try to find whole-leaf tea, not the instant kind. I searched and searched for whole-leaf, and only found tea bags (better than instant). Brew it until it’s nice and dark, and you can even add in a piece or two of star anise to the tea as it’s steeping to give it a richer, deeper flavor.
I made a batch of Dark Chocolate Cupcakes, to be featured in my next post, and had some leftover batter. This resulted in a dozen or so mini-cupcakes. I didn’t want to do the same exact cupcake as my main batch, so I improvised with what was lying around! For me, that’s alcohol :) And so was born the ruby port buttercream frosting!
Ruby Port Buttercream Frosting
1/2 c. butter, room temp.
3 c. powdered sugar
3 tbsp. ruby port
Approach this like any other buttercream: beat the butter until soft and creamy, slowly add in the powdered sugar, then the port, until you reach a desired flavor and consistency. Both the powdered sugar and port are “give or take” measurements and can be adjusted to reflect your own personal tastes.
The color turned out to be a very pale pink. If you want to make more of a statement, feel free to play with food coloring that may reflect a more port-like visual appeal!
Pipe onto cupcakes and enjoy! I would suggest serving the cupcakes with the same port with which you made the frosting.
Snickerdoodle cupcakes were recently mentioned by the now famous Sadie. I associate snickerdoodles with Christmas, with family, and with pure deliciousness. Thinking about how to translate my vision of a snickerdoodle cookie into cupcake form led me to come up with the idea of making a brown sugar cupcake, laced with cinnamon, topped with a brandy-spiked buttercream. To make it absolute perfection, I decided to top the frosting off with a cinnamon and sugar dusting. And, VOILA! The Spiked Snickerdoodle Cupcake is born.