Wednesday, July 24, 2013

White Russian cupcakes


It's time for another What's Baking challenge! Our host for this month is Ange from The Tiny Tyrant's Kitchen. Ange attended pastry school and has a ton of divine-looking desserts on her blog that I am drooling over. She had a very fun challenge for us this month - bake your favorite cocktail.

I am not a big drinker these days, but my drink of choice is usually a fruity martini.  I wasn't able to find anything martini-like to make, so I decided to go back in time and bake a dessert inspired by one of my favorite cocktails from my early 20s: a White Russian. In those days, I would enjoy this smooth and creamy drink while enjoying a night out on the town with my friends. At the time, I didn't know what ingredients were in a White Russian, so I had no idea how calorie-laden they were.

Eventually I wised up and stopped drinking White Russians. It's probably been at least 10 years since I've had one. That's why I thought it would be fun to bake a White Russian cupcake. I've missed the flavors of Kahlua, vodka and milk together and knew that this cocktail in cupcake form would be an awesome treat.

This cupcake was good, but the cupcake base was a little dry for my tastes. I'd recommend adding a bit more milk or even some Greek yogurt to increase the moisture content. I really liked the buttercream and easily could have eaten the entire batch with a spoon (or my fingers). The flavors of the cupcake were pretty close to those in a traditional White Russian. This is definitely a fun and yummy way to enjoy one of my favorite mixed drinks.

White Russian cupcakes
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua, divided 
  • 1/2 cup milk
Kahlua buttercream
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Kahlua (or more if you want it to be more boozy)
  • 1 Tablespoon milk of choice
Directions
For the cupcakes: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a standard muffin/cupcake pan with paper liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a separate large bowl if using a hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Individually add the egg and the egg white and wait until each one has been fully incorporated before adding the next. Then slowly add the vanilla, vodka, and 1/8 cup of Kahlua. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture.

Bake the cupcakes for about 17 -20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcakes comes out clean. Once they are done, remove the cupcakes from the oven and set them aside to cool.

If desired, you can brush the cupcake tops with the remaining 1/8 cup of Kahlua when the cupcakes are still warm. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and allow them to cool completely before frosting.

For the buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup to 1 cup at a time. Beat until the mixture smooth and creamy. Add the Kahlua and milk. If the frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar. If it is too stiff, add a splash more milk (or Kahlua).

Frost the buttercream onto the cupcakes and enjoy.

Yield: 12 cupcakes


Source: Cupcakes from Baked Perfection; originally adapted from How to Eat a Cupcake; frosting is an Eva Bakes original

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