Tag Archives: Christmas cupcakes

Eggnog Cupcakes with Eggnog and Rum Buttercream Frosting

26 Dec

It is around this time each year that I rekindle a romantic affair with an old love of mine. We don’t get to spend nearly enough time together – just one, maybe two evenings with a little Cruzan rum or brandy by the fire. Perhaps a lazy Sunday morning over coffee. And I’ve even snuck out of the office one or two afternoons for a little quickie. But before I know it, our time together is over and my love is gone again until next year. I speak, of course, of my love for eggnog.

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I’m not proud of this affair – a little eggnog, brandy and grated nutmeg in the evening, catching up with my best friend over eggnog lattes on Sunday morning or as an afternoon pick-me-up. I know this relationship is not good for me and I’ve heard it all: too much fat, too much sugar, it’ll ruin your diet, your figure, your health. But I can’t stay away, can’t say no. And why should I? Eggnog is rich, sweet, smooth and comforting….everything a girl could ask for.

But I am fickle and sometimes tire of this love…maybe it’s a little too rich, a little too sweet, but more often than not, I am done with eggnog before it is gone. And so it is I usually find myself with a half carton or so leftover. What to do? Make scrumptious eggnog cupcakes of course!

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This is a busy time of year, so a little shortcut (by starting with a boxed mix) is completely forgiveable. This is a recipe adapted from one by Sheila posted on Food.com. The frosting is a recipe adapted from one posted by Domestic Rebel.

These cupcakes turned out as rich, and smooth and decadent as their namesake ingredient with just a hint of the nutmeg spice coming through. And although they make a great Christmas cupcake, try whipping up a batch for that “in-between” week, before New Year’s. Because with the eggnog and rum, these are some naughty cupcakes – and you’ve got a whole year to get back on Santa’s Nice List.

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Eggnog Cupcakes (makes 18-24 cupcakes)

1 box yellow cake mix

1 cup eggnog

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

2 tablespoons of Cruzan rum

1/2 teaspoon each of nutmeg and cinnamon

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, eggnog, oil, eggs, rum and spices until blended, about 2 minutes. Batter will be thick.

Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full.

Bake at 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

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Eggnog and Rum Buttercream Frosting

2/3 cup butter

splash of vanilla extract

1 – 2 tablespoons of eggnog

1 – 2 tablespoons Cruzan rum

pinch of nutmeg

5 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter in large bowl. Add vanilla, eggnog and nutmeg. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, alternating with rum, until desired consistency is reached. Frost and decorate as desired and ENJOY!

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CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH GRAND MARNIER FROSTING

12 Dec

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When I was a little girl, a very practical Santa visited our house every Dec. 24th. (Anyone who has read my Bananas Foster Cupcakes post will not be surprised by this.) Each Christmas morning, we’d rush into the living room, pull down our stockings and dump out the contents to see what wonderments Santa left. Without fail, there’d be the new Christmas toothbrush and toothpaste, the new Christmas comb and brush, and maybe some new Christmas underpants. If we were really good that year, there might even be a coloring book and box of nice, new, sharp Crayola crayons. But no matter what, without fail, Santa always left a nice big orange in the toe of the stocking.

As I grew older and Santa got to know me better, the toiletries and coloring books were replaced by lovely little sparkling items that could easily be slipped over a wrist, onto a finger or around the neck.  And he still left an orange in the toe of the stocking – but now the orange was a decadent treat made of rich dark chocolate infused with orange essence, wrapped in bright orange foil. One rap on the table and the ball broke into perfectly formed little chocolate orange segments – delicious!

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And so the whole chocolate and orange combination is now something I’ve come to associate with the holidays. I’ve put together a yummy little cupcake using my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe (which just happens to be a vegan recipe – but don’t let that throw you, this is one awesome, moist  chocolate cupcake), topped with some Grand Marnier-infused buttercream frosting. It’s a perfect holiday cupcake to take to a family gathering or holiday dessert swap…….just be sure to save one for Santa!

Chocolate Cupcakes (Vegan)

Adapted from recipe found on Chow.com. Makes approx 12 cupcakes

1 cup soy (or almond) milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3/4 sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons Grand Marnier

1 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with cupcake liners.

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Whisk together soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl. Set aside for a few minutes to curdle.

Add sugar, oil, Grand Marnier to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy.

In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.

Add in two batches to the wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain.

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Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake 18 – 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Grand Marnier Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 – 2 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

freshly grated orange peel

Cream butter.  Add confectioners sugar, salt, vanilla and Grand Marnier. Blend in slowly at first, then beat, adding more sugar or Grand Marnier until desired consistency and flavor is reached.

Frost cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with grated orange peel.

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Apple Spice Cupcakes with RumChata Frosting

10 Dec

Every once in a while, something comes into our lives that impact us in ways never thought possible. I was fortunate to have such an experience recently.

I was with my favorite group of friends at our favorite taproom for our Thirsty Thursday happy hour when one of us thought it would be a great idea to do a round of shots. Now in my experience this is, in actuality, rarely a good idea at all. However on this particular Thursday, Fate was smiling down upon us. We left it to Dan, by far the best bartender in these parts, to concoct something special for us. And he didn’t disappoint. In just a few moments time he set before us miniature glasses containing what can only be described as elixir of the gods….RumChata.

I cannot begin to describe this amazing beverage. The RumChata website, http://www.rumchata.com, tells us it’s the perfect blend of premium Caribbean rum and the finest Wisconsin cream, with hints of cinnamon and vanilla. But I cannot begin to do it justice. One has to taste this amazing liqueur to truly experience it.

As soon as I got home, I immediately checked out the website to learn about this bewitching beverage, and lo and behold, there was a link to maybe a bazillion recipes using RumChata: RumChata shots, RumChata cocktails, RumChata cheesecake, RumChata bread pudding and…..RumChata frosting! Immediately the wheels started turning, the recipe search began, and I found it – the perfect cupcake accompaniment for RumChata frosting.

I can’t tell you how fantastic these cupcakes are. Suffice it to say, they were by far the most favorite of my taste-testers to date. I will admit, from time to time I am not above using a boxed cake mix as a foundation for my cupcakes, provided the recipe doctors it up enough to make it taste fresh and delicious. And these don’t disappoint. These turnout nice and moist with just the right amount of spice and apple flavors to compliment the delicious RumChata frosting.

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These cupcakes would be the perfect ending to any holiday get together. I promise you, there will be no leftovers.

APPLE SPICE CUPCAKES(adapted from recipe posted on cdKitchen)

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1 package spice cake mix
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 tablespoons RumChata
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups grated apples

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill muffin tins with paper liners.
Combine cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, RumChata and spice in a large bowl. Beat at low speed with electric mixer until moistened, then at medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in grated apples.

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Pour into prepared muffin pans. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

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RUMCHATA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING(from Rumchata.com)

1 c butter, softened
3-4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 tablespoons RumChata
cinnamon sugar

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Cream butter. Add confectioners sugar, salt vanilla and 2 tablespoons of RumChata at low speed until blended, and then at high speed, adding more RumChata until desired consistency is reached. Frost cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar.

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NOTE: the recipe says it makes 12 cupcakes, but I was able to get 1 1/2 dozen.

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