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 :)
Maraschino Cherry Cake
2/3 c. butter, room temperature
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 c. milk
1/4 maraschino cherry juice
3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
Cream the butter until soft. Mix in the sugar, then the eggs, one at a time. Sift together the dry ingredients. Alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients, ending with dry.
Spoon the batter into prepared tins, bake at 350 degrees for 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cool on wire rack.
Manhattan Buttercream Frosting
1 c. butter, room temperature
4 c. powdered sugar (approximately)
1/4 c. whiskey (I used Bulleit, a family favorite, but any American whiskey/bourbon with do)
1 tsp. sweet vermouth
1/2 tsp. aromatic bitters (I used Angostura)
Cream the butter until soft, then begin to add the powdered sugar. Add about 2 cups worth, and then start to add in the liquids. Continue to mix in powdered sugar until you’ve reached the taste and consistency that you want!
Pipe onto cupcakes and garnish as you wish. I wanted to put maraschino cherries on mine, but ran out of time. A little orange twist would be a good touch, too.