Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Eggnog Cupcakes





‘Tis the season for … fuzzy slippers and pajamas, sparkling lights, crackling fires, shiny ornaments, Christmas carols, sweet things to eat, cheesy Hallmark movies, creamy eggnog, days off work, snowmen, lots of red and green, naps on the couch under a blanket, family …

All of these things are things I love about this time of year, making me forget how I so dislike being cold and driving on snow.  And in spite of the cold temperatures and slippery, icy roads, everything looks so beautiful and bright and colorful.




I recently shared my recipe for my homemade eggnog, a Pumpkin Pie Eggnog with Bourbon that we sipped warm one evening.  Eggnog has been on my mind ever since, and I’ve been thinking of all the recipes I could use it in – pancakes or waffles, cinnamon rolls, cakes…

And so, I couldn’t resist making Eggnog cupcakes – as there was a Christmas potluck at work, I had a reasonable excuse to make something festive.

The cake is a buttery yellow cake full of eggnog, spiked with a little bourbon, and a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg, topped with a fluffy eggnog buttercream.  The cupcakes were beautiful with their simple swirl of frosting, and needed no garnish other than a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg, like freshly fallen snow…






Eggnog Cupcakes

Cake:

  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon or dark rum (or 2-3 teaspoon rum extract)
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Buttercream:

  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 – 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon or dark rum (or 1-2 teaspoons rum extract)
  • Nutmeg, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350; line cupcake pans with 24 paper liners.

Combine all of the cake ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; increase speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes until well combined.  Divide between the paper liners, filling them 2/3 full.

Bake until golden and a toothpick comes out clean; these seemed to bake unusually fast, and I thought that even 15 minutes was a little too much – start checking them at about 12 minutes.

Cool completely on wire racks.

To make the frosting, beat the butter in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment for 2 minutes.  In a separate bowl, combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Add slowly to the butter, mixing on low to combine.  Add the eggnog, vanilla and bourbon, then increase speed to medium high and whip for 4-5 minutes, scraping the bowl down a few times, until light and fluffy.

Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes (I used the Wilton #2D tip).  Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Yields 24 cupcakes.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen