Dark Chocolate Merlot Cupcakes

I was feeling particularly indulgent and wanted to bake, so I decided on combining two of my very favorite things: dark chocolate and red wine. Since Valentine’s Day is conveniently in a week or so, these sugary treats are especially appropriate. Without further ado, here’s a delicious combination of these vices. (P.S. Sometimes when you bake with wine, you gotta also drink wine. Don’t judge the empty wine bottle 😉 )

dark-chocolate-merlot

The Cupcakes:
Chocolate merlot cake
Godiva dark chocolate liqueur ganache filling
Merlot buttercream
Drizzled dark chocolate and chocolate hearts

The recipe:

Chocolate merlot cake (yields about 20 cupcakes):
2 1/4 C cake flour (or 2 C all purpose flour, if you don’t have cake flour)
1/3 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/3 C unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 2/3 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs (room temperature)
2/3 C cocoa powder
1 C merlot or other red wine
1/3 C cold water

(If you’re in Colorado or any other area above sea level, don’t forget to adjust for high altitude! Just send me a message and I can convert the recipe for you:) )

Godiva dark chocolate liqueur ganache filling:
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 C heavy cream
3-4 tbsp Godiva dark chocolate liqueur

Merlot buttercream:
1 1/2 C sugar
1/3 C water
150 g egg whites (if you’re using eggs, use the whites from 4 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb unsalted butter (room temperature)
4 tbsp merlot or other red wine

For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk and sift thoroughly into another bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream sugar, butter, and vanilla in stand mixer or with hand mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Add 3 eggs to creamed butter mixture. Beat thoroughly.
5. In another bowl, combine cocoa powder, merlot, and water. Whisk until well-mixed.
6. Alternatively add flour mixture and cocoa mixture to creamed butter mixture. Mix well between each addition. Start and end with flour mixture.
7. Line a cupcake or muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
8. Fill cupcake tins with batter (about 2/3 of the way full).
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until middle of cupcake is firm to touch.

For the ganache filling:
1. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat.
2. Melt chocolate over double-boiler on low heat (or in microwave–heat in 10 second intervals, mixing in between, until melted thoroughly).
3. While butter and chocolate are melting, heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat.
4. Combine chocolate and butter when melted.
5. When heavy cream begins to boil, mix into chocolate and butter mixture and whisk rigorously until well-combined.
7. Add Godiva dark chocolate liqueur and mix well.
8. Cover and refrigerate until solid.
9. Once solid, mix with a spoon and you’re ready to fill.

For the merlot buttercream:
1. Combine sugar and water in saucepan, heat on low until boiling.
2. While sugar mixture is heating, whip egg whites, vanilla, and merlot with mixer until frothy.
3. Pour boiling sugar mixture into egg whites and vanilla while mixing.
4. Beat on high speed till cool and stiff. This is going to take several minutes.
5. Once the bowl feels cool, switch the mixer to low speed and add in butter in small chunks.
6. Beat for another few minutes on low until buttercream comes together. It will look like cottage cheese for awhile…this is completely normal and happens just before the buttercream pulls together so don’t panic.
7. You’re all ready to frost! Top iced cupcakes with chocolate drizzle (melted dark chocolate with a little bit of butter) and chocolate candies of your choice.

I feel like I’m going to need to go to the gym a lot this week…

Mulled Wine Cupcakes

We had our first snow of the season the other day, which means it’s time for me to go into full on hibernation mode. I’m kidding (kind of). I can’t wait for skiing/snowboarding season, but I also can’t wait for cozy-up-under-a-blanket-and-drink-warm-beverages season. Which led me to an idea…mulled wine cupcakes. I didn’t know if these were going to be any good, to be completely honest, but they are FANTASTIC.

mulledwine

The Cupcakes:
Mulled red wine cake
Apple cinnamon red wine compote filling
Orange cinnamon buttercream
Fresh oranges and cinnamon sticks

The recipe:

Mulled red wine cake (yields about 20 cupcakes):
2 C cake flour (or 1 3/4 C all purpose flour)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 C sugar
2 tbsp orange zest
1/4 C milk (whole milk is best)
1/3 C red wine
1/3 C apple cider
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg whites

(If you’re in Colorado or any other area above sea level, don’t forget to adjust for high altitude! Just send me a message and I can convert the recipe for you:) )

Apple cinnamon red wine compote filling:
1 apple
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 C red wine
Juice from orange zested for cake batter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Orange cinnamon buttercream:
1 1/2 C sugar
1/3 C water
150 g egg whites (if you’re using eggs, use the whites from 4 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 tbsp orange zest
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Whisk and sift thoroughly into another bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream sugar and butter in stand mixer or with hand mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Add half of flour mixture to creamed butter mixture and mix. Add milk and orange zest to mixture and mix. Add rest of flour mixture and mix.
5. In a measuring glass, combine egg whites, red wine, apple cider, and vanilla extract. Whisk well.
6. Add red wine mixture to batter in 3 increments, mixing on high speed for about a minute after adding each increment.
7. Line a cupcake or muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
8. Fill cupcake tins with batter (about 2/3 of the way full).
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until middle of cupcake is firm to touch.

For the apple cinnamon red wine compote filling:
1. Peel and chop apple.
2. Mix apple, sugar, cornstarch, red wine, orange zest, cinnamon, and cloves together in a saucepan.
3. Bring ingredients to a boil over low heat while stirring routinely. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until thickened and remove from heat.
4. Cover and refrigerate until cool.
5. Once the filling is cool, you’re ready to fill.

For the orange cinnamon buttercream:
1. Combine sugar and water in saucepan, heat on low until boiling.
2. While sugar mixture is heating, whip egg whites, orange zest, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla with mixer until frothy.
3. Pour boiling sugar mixture into egg white mixture while mixing.
4. Beat on high speed till cool and stiff. This is going to take several minutes.
5. Once the bowl feels cool, switch the mixer to low speed and add in butter in small chunks.
6. Beat for another few minutes on low until buttercream comes together. It will look like cottage cheese for awhile…this is completely normal and happens just before the buttercream pulls together so don’t panic.
7. You’re all ready to frost!

Cozy up and enjoy your wine-infused cupcakes, y’all!

Red, White, & Blue Sangria Cupcakes

The 4th of July is such an excellent holiday (and also an excellent opportunity to bake delicious cupcakes and make lots of new friends at BBQs and parties). When I was deciding what kind of sugary treats to make, I couldn’t think of a better drink than sangria to emulate in baked form. It’s the perfect summer drink. Of course, sangria originates in Spain/Portugal, so I had to throw in a little red, white, and blue in there for America 😉

4thofjulysangria

The Cupcakes:
Strawberry white wine cake
Blueberry brandy compote filling
Chambord raspberry buttercream
Fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and apples

The recipe:

Strawberry white wine cake (yields about 20 cupcakes):
2 C cake flour (or 1 3/4 C all purpose flour)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 C sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 C milk (whole milk is best)
2 tbsp strawberry compound*
2/3 C white wine
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

(If you’re in Colorado or any other area above sea level, don’t forget to adjust for high altitude! Just send me a message and I can convert the recipe for you:) )

*Note: Strawberry compound isn’t a particularly common ingredient – my mom is a professional pastry chef and I was lucky enough to use her kitchen and baking ingredients this time around. You can easily sub in strawberry puree.

Blueberry brandy compote filling:
1 package (6 oz) fresh blueberries
2 tbsp sugar
3 tsp cornstarch
2-3 tbsp brandy

Chambord raspberry buttercream:
1 1/2 C sugar
1/3 C water
150 g egg whites (if you’re using eggs, use the whites from 4 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb unsalted butter (room temperature)
3-4 tbsp Chambord

For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk and sift thoroughly into another bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream sugar and butter in stand mixer or with hand mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Add half of flour mixture to creamed butter mixture and mix. Add milk, egg whites, and strawberry compound to mixture and mix. Add rest of flour mixture and mix.
5. In a measuring glass, combine white wine with vanilla extract. Whisk well.
6. Add white wine mixture to batter in 3 increments, mixing on high speed for about a minute after adding each increment.
7. Line a cupcake or muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
8. Fill cupcake tins with batter (about 2/3 of the way full).
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until middle of cupcake is firm to touch.

For the blueberry brandy compote filling:
1. Mash blueberries.
2. Mix blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and brandy together in a saucepan.
3. Bring ingredients to a boil over low heat while stirring routinely. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until thickened and remove from heat.
4. Cover and refrigerate until cool.
5. Once the filling is cool, you’re ready to fill.

For the Chambord raspberry buttercream:
1. Combine sugar and water in saucepan, heat on low until boiling.
2. While sugar mixture is heating, whip egg whites, Chambord, and vanilla with mixer until frothy.
3. Pour boiling sugar mixture into egg whites, Chambord, and vanilla while mixing.
4. Beat on high speed till cool and stiff. This is going to take several minutes.
5. Once the bowl feels cool, switch the mixer to low speed and add in butter in small chunks.
6. Beat for another few minutes on low until buttercream comes together. It will look like cottage cheese for awhile…this is completely normal and happens just before the buttercream pulls together so don’t panic.
7. You’re all ready to frost! Top iced cupcakes with the fresh fruit of your choice. I used a mini star cookie cutter to cut the stars out of granny smith apples (to keep from turning brown, soak the stars in a little lemon juice).

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Blackberry Bellini Cupcakes

I’m the worst, because it’s been almost two years since I last put up a recipe. Two years! Thank goodness sugar never goes out of style 😉 In the spirit of spring and all things fruity and bubbly, I just made some fantastic blackberry bellini cupcakes. For those of you who don’t know, a bellini is basically the Italian version of a mimosa, usually made with peach puree. At the store, the fresh blackberries looked too good to pass up, so I opted to go for a twist on the classic bellini.

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The Cupcakes:
Prosecco-infused white cake
Blackberry prosecco compote filling
Blackberry buttercream
Fresh blackberries

The recipe:

Prosecco-infused white cake (yields about 20 cupcakes):
2 C cake flour (or 1 3/4 C all purpose flour)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 C sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 C milk (whole milk is best)
2/3 C prosecco (champagne works too)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

(If you’re in Colorado or any other area above sea level, don’t forget to adjust for high altitude! Just send me a message and I can convert the recipe for you:) )

Blackberry prosecco compote filling:
1 package (6 oz) fresh blackberries
3/4 C confectioner’s sugar
3 1/2 tsp cornstarch
4-5 tbsp prosecco

Blackberry buttercream:
1 1/2 C sugar
1/3 C water
150 g egg whites (if you’re using eggs, use the whites from 4 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb unsalted butter (room temperature)
4 tbsp seedless blackberry preserves

For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk and sift thoroughly into another bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream sugar and butter in stand mixer or with hand mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Add half of flour mixture to creamed butter mixture and mix. Add milk and egg whites to mixture and mix. Add rest of flour mixture and mix.
5. In a measuring glass, combine prosecco with vanilla extract. Whisk well.
6. Add prosecco mixture to batter in 3 increments, mixing on high speed for about a minute after adding each increment.
7. Line a cupcake or muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
8. Fill cupcake tins with batter (about 2/3 of the way full).
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until middle of cupcake is firm to touch.

For the blackberry prosecco compote filling:
1. Mash blackberries.
2. Mix blackberries, confectioner’s sugar, cornstarch, and prosecco together in a saucepan.
3. Bring ingredients to a boil over low heat while stirring routinely. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened and remove from heat.
4. Cover and refrigerate until cool.
5. Once the filling is cool, you’re ready to fill.

For the blackberry buttercream:
1. Combine sugar and water in saucepan, heat on low until boiling.
2. While sugar mixture is heating, whip egg whites and vanilla with mixer until frothy.
3. Pour boiling sugar mixture into egg whites and vanilla while mixing.
4. Beat on high speed till cool and stiff. This is going to take several minutes.
5. Once the bowl feels cool, switch the mixer to low speed and add in butter in small chunks.
6. Beat for another few minutes on low until buttercream comes together. It will look like cottage cheese for awhile…this is completely normal and happens just before the buttercream pulls together so don’t panic.
7. Add in blackberry preserves and mix on low until just incorporated.
8. You’re all ready to frost! Top iced cupcakes with fresh blackberries.

Phew, I feel relieved to have ended my cupcake blogging drought (or maybe that’s more from the leftover prosecco I’m sipping…). Expect more recipes soon. Happy cupcakin’!

White Rascal Cupcakes

Like any true Coloradan, I enjoy a good craft beer. Since I moved to Boulder, I’ve been taking advantage of the abundance of local breweries. One of my absolute favorite Boulder beers is called White Rascal (shout out to Avery Brewing Company)–a Belgian wheat beer flavored with coriander and orange peel. I’m obviously always pondering my next baking adventure, and sipping on this beer inspired me…thus, the White Rascal Cupcake was born.

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The Cupcakes:
Orange White Rascal-infused cake
Grand Marnier chocolate ganache filling
Orange buttercream
Orange zest

The recipe:

Orange White Rascal-infused cake (yields about 20 cupcakes):
2 C cake flour (or 1 3/4 C all purpose flour)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 C sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 C milk (whole milk is best)
2/3 C White Rascal beer
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest

(If you’re in Colorado or any other area above sea level, don’t forget to adjust for high altitude! Just send me a message and I can convert the recipe for you 🙂 )

Grand Marnier chocolate ganache filling:
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 C heavy cream
4-5 tbsp Grand Marnier

Orange buttercream:
1 1/2 C sugar
1/3 C water
150 g egg whites (if you’re using eggs, use the whites from 4 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb unsalted butter (room temperature)
3-4 tbsp Grand Marnier

For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk and sift thoroughly into another bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream sugar and butter in stand mixer or with hand mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Add half of flour mixture to creamed butter mixture and mix. Add milk and egg whites and orange zest to mixture and mix. Add rest of flour mixture and mix.
5. In a measuring glass, combine beer with vanilla extract. Whisk well.
6. Add beer mixture to batter in 3 increments, mixing on high speed for about a minute after adding each increment.
7. Line a cupcake or muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
8. Fill cupcake tins with batter (about 2/3 of the way full).
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until middle of cupcake is firm to touch.

For the Grand Marnier ganache filling:
1. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat.
2. Melt chocolate over double-boiler on low heat (or in microwave–heat in 10 second intervals, mixing in between, until melted thoroughly).
3. While butter and chocolate are melting, heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat.
4. Combine chocolate and butter when melted.
5. When heavy cream begins to boil, mix into chocolate and butter mixture and whisk rigorously until well-combined.
7. Add Grand Marnier and mix well.
8. Cover and refrigerate until solid.
9. Once solid, mix with a spoon and you’re ready to fill.

For the orange buttercream:
1. Combine sugar and water in saucepan, heat on low until boiling.
2. While sugar mixture is heating, whip egg whites, Grand Marnier, and vanilla with mixer until frothy.
3. Pour boiling sugar mixture into egg whites and vanilla while mixing.
4. Beat on high speed till cool and stiff. This is going to take several minutes.
5. Once the bowl feels cool, switch the mixer to low speed and add in butter in small chunks.
6. Beat for another few minutes on low until buttercream comes together. It will look like cottage cheese for awhile…this is completely normal and happens just before the buttercream pulls together so don’t panic.
7. You’re all ready to frost! Top iced cupcakes with orange zest.

Grab a beer, live up the last few days of summer, and let out your devilish side with these awesome White Rascal cupcakes!

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My New Toy

kitchenaid

So I know it’s been forever since I’ve posted anything; life was absolutely crazy for a bit there with graduation and traveling abroad and moving to a new city. Anyway, now I’m settled, and I’ve just acquired the ultimate baking tool–my new Kitchen Aid, fondly nicknamed “The Grinch.” Time to get baking!

 

Samoa Cupcakes

It’s that time of year again…Girl Scout cookie season. Everyone knows that the best kinds are Samoas and Thin Mints (duh). Since I have a love affair with all things coconut and chocolate, I’m 100% obsessed with Samoa cookies. I could probably eat a couple boxes in one sitting, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. Not even a little. Hence, my Samoa cupcakes.

samoa1

These are so perfect in every way. If you are a fan of Samoa cookies (which you better be), then you will not be able to resist them.

The Cupcakes:
Chocolate cake
Coconut cream cheese filling
Caramel buttercream
Toasted coconut
Drizzled chocolate
Half a Samoa cookie

samoas2

The recipe:

Chocolate cake (yields about 20 cupcakes):
2 1/4 C cake flour (or 2 C all purpose flour, if you don’t have cake flour)
1/3 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/3 C unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 2/3 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs (room temperature)
2/3 C cocoa powder
1 1/3 C cold water

Coconut cream cheese filling:
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 C (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 C coconut
1 tsp coconut extract
2 C confectioner’s sugar

Caramel buttercream:
1 1/2 C sugar
1/3 C water
150 g egg whites (if you’re using eggs, use the whites from 4 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb unsalted butter (room temperature)
~2 C caramel blocks/candies

photo

For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk and sift thoroughly into another bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream sugar, butter, and vanilla in stand mixer or with hand mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Add 3 eggs to creamed butter mixture. Beat thoroughly.
5. In another bowl, combine cocoa powder and water. Whisk until well-mixed.
6. Alternatively add flour mixture and cocoa mixture to creamed butter mixture. Mix well between each addition. Start and end with flour mixture.
7. Line a cupcake or muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
8. Fill cupcake tins with batter (about 2/3 of the way full).
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until middle of cupcake is firm to touch.

For the coconut cream cheese filling:
1. Cream butter and cream cheese with mixer.
2. Add coconut extract and mix.
3. Add all of confectioner’s sugar in 1 cup increments, mixing between each addition.
4. Mix in coconut by hand.
5. Fill a pastry bag (or Ziploc bag) with the filling and pipe out a generous amount into the center of the cupcake.

For the caramel buttercream:
1. In a double boiler or in the microwave, melt caramel. You’re going to want to let it melt for about 20 minutes, or else it will be too sticky to add to the buttercream. Mix in a little milk and melted butter to smooth it out.
2. While sugar mixture is heating, whip egg whites and vanilla with mixer until frothy.
3. Combine sugar and water in saucepan, heat on low until boiling.
4. Pour boiling sugar mixture into egg whites and vanilla while mixing. (Enlist a friend if you have a hand mixer! 🙂 )
5. Beat on high speed till cool and stiff. This is going to take several minutes.
6. Once the bowl feels cool, switch the mixer to low speed and add in butter in small chunks.
7. Beat for another few minutes on low until buttercream comes together. It will look like cottage cheese for awhile…this is completely normal and happens just before the buttercream pulls together so don’t panic.
8. While mixer is running, slowly drizzle in melted caramel. Mix thoroughly until all of the caramel is incorporated.

For the topping:
I baked a sheetpan full of coconut at 350ºF for 10 minutes. Move around the coconut with a spatula at 5 minutes or else it will burn.
After sprinkling the toasted coconut onto the iced cupcakes, I melted a handful of semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave and added in a tiny bit of melted butter to smooth it out. Using a fork, I drizzled the chocolate onto the top of the cupcakes by using a zig-zag hand motion.

photo

 

I was a Girl Scout myself back in the day. Here’s to hoping these cupcakes make today’s Girl Scouts proud! Enjoy! 🙂

Maker’s Mark Bourbon Cupcakes

I’m a whiskey lover. I can vaguely remember the days long ago when I flinched at the sight of a whiskey bottle because I thought the taste was too strong. But over time, it grew on me, and today I can confidently say that it’s my favorite.  My preferred bourbon? Maker’s Mark.

So obviously, Maker’s Mark cupcakes had to happen. And they did.

bourbon1

I loved these. I wanted to stuff them all into my face, but my roommates beat me to it! (Yes, they’re avid whiskey lovers, and more importantly, sugar lovers just like me. Great minds think alike?)

The Cupcakes:
White cake
Bourbon chocolate ganache filling
Cinnamon bourbon cream cheese frosting
Sugar & cinnamon

picstitch

Here it is:

White cake (yields about 16 cupcakes)
2 C cake flour (or 1 3/4 C all purpose flour)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 C sugar
3 egg whites
2/3 C milk (whole milk is best)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Maker’s Mark Bourbon chocolate ganache filling:
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 C heavy cream
3-4 tbsp Maker’s Mark Bourbon

Cinnamon Maker’s Mark Bourbon cream cheese frosting:
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
4-5 C confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp Maker’s Mark Bourbon

For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk and sift thoroughly into another bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream sugar and butter in stand mixer or with hand mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Add half of flour mixture to creamed butter mixture and mix. Add half of milk (1/3 C) to mixture and mix. Add rest of flour mixture and mix.
5. In a measuring glass, combine remaining milk with egg whites and vanilla extract. Whisk well.
6. Add egg mixture to batter in 3 increments, mixing on high speed for about a minute after adding each increment.
7. Line a cupcake or muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
8. Fill cupcake tins with batter (about 2/3 of the way full).
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until middle of cupcake is firm to touch.

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For the ganache filling:
1. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat.
2. Melt chocolate over double-boiler on low heat (or in microwave–heat in 10 second intervals, mixing in between, until melted thoroughly).
3. While butter and chocolate are melting, heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat.
4. Combine chocolate and butter when melted.
5. When heavy cream begins to boil, mix into chocolate and butter mixture and whisk rigorously until well-combined.
7. Add Maker’s Mark and mix well.
8. Cover and refrigerate until solid.
9. Once solid, mix with a spoon and you’re ready to fill. (side note on filling cupcakes: I usually cut an inverted cone out of the cupcake. Basically, cut a circle into the top of the cupcake but point towards the center of the cupcake with the knife so that you’re making an upside-down cone. Pull the cone out and cut off the very top circle of it–you’ll put this cake circle back onto the cupcake after filling it).
10. Fill a pastry bag (or, for less advanced bakers, a Ziploc bag with one corner cut off) with the ganache filling, pipe the ganache into the hollowed cupcakes, and replace the top cake circles.

For the cream cheese frosting:
1. Cream butter and cream cheese with mixer.
2. Add cinnamon and bourbon and mix.
3. Add all of confectioner’s sugar in 1-2 cup increments, mixing between each addition.
4. If buttercream is not stiff enough, add a small amount of confectioner’s sugar and mix well.
5. Fill a pastry bag (or Ziploc bag) with the buttercream and pipe out a generous amount of frosting in a circular motion.
6. Mix a little sugar with a pinch of cinnamon together in a separate bowl.
7. After icing cupcakes, sprinkle sugar & cinnamon mixture on top.

And there’s my boozy dessert creation for the day. Enjoy responsibly 😉

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