White Russian Cupcakes

26 Feb


Back when I was in college, I’m pretty sure I worked as many different part-time jobs as I earned college credits. You name a profession, I’ve probably tried my hand at it. But in those days, it was all fun. It didn’t matter if I was flipping burgers and blending milkshakes, swinging my whistle on the lifeguard stand, or cleaning summer cottages at the beach. I was in college and I was having a good time. One job that stands out, and to this day was probably one of my favorite jobs, was serving up cocktails at the local club. Maybe not the most prestigious job, but it helped pay the tuition and I had a blast. It was hard to believe that someone was willing to pay me to listen to great live music all night long while plying my new-found friends with drinks. The tips didn’t hurt either. But the best part of the job was at the end of the night, after the patrons had gone home and the band was breaking down. That’s when the staff was allowed one drink each, on the house. Anything we wanted.


And that’s when the addiction began. Every night, around 1:15 a.m.,  what I wanted was a tall, creamy, coffee-flavored White Russian. And not one of those little on-the-rocks size ones either. I got mine served up in a long, tall glass, full of the best vodka, cloyingly sweet Kahlua and artery-clogging cream, poured over just enough ice to keep it nice and cold. I simply loved them. Of course, my love affair with the White Russian lasted about as long as that job, and I don’t think I’ve had one since.


I don’t know if it’s the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi or the fact that February 27 is National Kahlua Day, but the memories of those late night cocktails have recently made their way back into my consciousness. And while I still have no desire to ever drink another White Russian, it did occur to me it might make a phenomenal cupcake. And I was right. This recipe adapted from Baked Perfection turns out one rich, delicious, Kahlua spiked cupcake. Give them a try, you may score a perfect 10!

White Russian Cupcakes

Makes one dozen cupcakes

1 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 whole egg

1 egg white

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 cup vodka

1/8 cup Kahlua

1/2 cup 1/2 & 1/2

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, until combined.

Stir in vanilla, vodka and Kahlua.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Fill cupcake tins about 2/3 full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for approximately 5 minutes, then remove to rack to cool completely before frosting.

Kahlua Buttercream Frosting

4 tablespoons Kahlua

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3 cups confectioners sugar

pinch of salt

1 – 2 tablespoons 1/2 & 1/2

chocolate covered espresso beans (optional)

While cupcakes are still warm, brush the tops with 1 – 2 tablespoons of Kahlua.

Cream butter in bowl of stand mixer. Add confectioners sugar and salt at low-speed until combined, and then at high-speed, adding remainder of Kahlua and enough 1/2 & 1/2 until desired consistency is reached.

Frost as desired. Sprinkle with ground espresso beans.



2 Responses to “White Russian Cupcakes”

  1. Ellen@BakeItWithBooze March 3, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    Nicely done, once again! I’m wondering why you opted to not include the vodka in the frosting. Just wondering…Did you try it and it was too boozy? Regardless, lovely cupcakes and I am a HUGE fan of lacing the cupcakes with the Kahlua once they are baked. Cupcakes look light and fluffy. Brilliant!

    • Linda March 4, 2014 at 5:54 am #

      Thanks Ellen – yes, I’ve found the Kahlua is pretty strong on its own compared to some of the other liqueurs I use. I thought adding vodka to the frosting would have made it just too strong, and it doesn’t really add anything flavor-wise.

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