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Almond Joy Cupcakes with Malibu Rum Buttercream Frosting

3 Apr


Easter candy comes in all shapes, sizes and flavors, and everyone has his or her own favorite. I’m a huge Peeps fan myself, especially after they’re nice and stale. But the flavors I most associate with Easter are chocolate and coconut; chocolate bunnies (gotta eat the ears first) and chicks and eggs…coconut cake and cream eggs and macaroons. In fact, Easter seems to be the unofficial start of coconut season. Let’s face it, it’s not long after the last jelly bean is gone that we’re whipping up that first piña colada of the summer.

Chocolate and coconut are a classic combination, immortalized forever in the PeterPaul Mounds and Almond Joy candy bars. Although I’ve outgrown most popular candy bars as too sweet, I still love these two. Always chock full of scrumptious moist coconut and covered with just the right amount of milk or dark chocolate, one with the crunchy almonds, the other without, they never fail to satisfy the sweet tooth.


I’ve been pondering for a while now how to transfer this yummy candy combo into a cupcake. Pinterest has a ton of Almond Joy cupcakes, but none that are b.u.i. worthy. So I simply deconstructed the candy bar and created my own cupcake interpretation of the Almond Joy: a rich amaretto chocolate cupcake topped with a coconut rum buttercream, garnished with toasted almonds and coconut. The result is simply amazing. Why not whip up a batch this Easter? They’ll be gone faster than you can say Easter Bunny.



Makes one dozen cupcakes

1 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons amaretto

1 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with paper liners.

In large mixing bowl, whisk together almond milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Add the sugar, oil and Amaretto to the almond milk mixture and beat until foamy.

Add the dry ingredients in 2 batches and beat until no,large lumps remain.

Fill cupcake tins about 3/4 full. Bake 18 – 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.


This frosting has a secret ingredient – marshmallow Fluff! – that makes it just a tad more like the candy bars.

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1 cup marshmallow Fluff

3 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons Malibu coconut rum

pinch salt

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Cream together butter and Fluff until light and creamy. Add in powdered sugar, rum and salt and mix at low speed until combined, and then at high speed until light and fluffy.

Meanwhile, heat almonds and coconut in a small, non-stick frying pan over medium low heat until just lightly toasted. Remove from heat and combine together in a small bowl.

Frost cupcakes as desired, dipping the tops into the coconut almond mixture to garnish.



Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

12 Feb


There are many ways to say “I love you”.  One way I say it is through my baking. From the pretty-in-pink to the decadent chocolate/chocolate, here are some of my favorite I Love You’s for Valentine’s Day:

1. Pink Velvet Cupcakes with Sweet Revenge Liqueur

2. Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes with Sweet Revenge and Limoncello

3. Amaretto Sour Cupcakes

4. Goldschlager Red Hot! Cupcakes

Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting

Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting

5. Champagne Cupcakes

6. Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes with Grand Marnier Buttercream

7. Chocolate Wine Cupcakes


8.   Neapolitan Cupcakes with Chambord Raspberry Buttercream

9.   Chocolate Snoball Cupcakes with Coconut Rum

10. Godiva Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes

11. Frangelico Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting


Why not whip up a batch of something sweet for your special sweetie?

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
















Coconut Rum Carrot Cupcakes

14 Apr


Finally! The pretty yellow daffodils are up and the trees are dusted with delicate pink cherry blossoms. Spring is here! It’s hard to believe Easter is just around the corner.

All sorts of goodies are traditionally associated with Easter. There are the chocolate bunnies of course, that’s the big one, but also jelly beans and Peeps and malted eggs. And how about the sumptuous  Easter dinner?  A nice big ham with a rum and brown sugar rub, decorated with golden pineapple rings; fluffy mashed potatoes; and buttery ginger glazed carrots. Easter wouldn’t be complete without any of them.

It was while I was pondering this year’s Easter dinner menu that the thought occurred, why not combine some of the best elements of the Easter feast in a delicious cupcake? Maybe start with a basic carrot cake and stir in some of those Easter goodies – raisins, coconut, pineapple, and of course, it wouldn’t be a  b.u.i. cupcake without a little something special….in this case, Malibu coconut rum.

I was fully prepared to use a from-scratch recipe, but then I came  across this recipe from the Duncan Hines website that starts with their own box mix that includes a pouch of carrots and raisins. Anything that saves me from grating all those carrots is ok by me. Plus, there are so many add-ins, no one will ever suspect you started with a mix. I’ve topped them off with a phenomenal coconut rum-spiked cream cheese frosting. Delicious! Trust me, anyone would be delighted to find one of these gems in their Easter basket!


Coconut Rum Carrot Cupcakes

Makes approximately 20 cupcakes

1 box Duncan Hines Classic Carrot Cake mix (with carrots and raisins included)

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

1 cup Malibu coconut rum

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple

1 1/2 cups flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread 1 cup of the coconut on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until light brown. Keep an eye on the coconut to make sure it doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool.

Turn oven up to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.

Put the carrot/raisins in a small bowl. Heat the rum in the microwave for 30-60 seconds until warm. Pour over the carrots/raisins, stir to combine and set aside for at least 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, flour, baking powder, eggs, oil, pineapple, 1/2  cup (un-toasted) coconut and the carrot/raisin/rum mixture. Stir by hand until completely combined.

Fill cupcake tins about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 22 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove and cool completely before frosting.

Coconut Rum Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

pinch salt

5 – 6 cups confectioners sugar

1-2 tablespoons Malibu coconut rum

Cream together until smooth cream cheese and butter. Add 4-5 cups of sugar, salt and 1 tablespoon of rum. Mix until combined, adding additional sugar and/or rum until desired consistency is reached. Frost as desired and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.




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