You can’t have a real birthday party without cake…
My friend asked me to make some cupcakes for her birthday party. As I mentioned in my last Special Order post, I love to receive special request from people! For this order I needed cupcakes that would fit in well with the swanky birthday party location, so I thought that creating flavors where I could infuse a ‘little’ liquor might be nice… up the party factor! I really wanted to do a chocolate based cupcake and a vanilla based cupcake, but not just any chocolate and vanilla cupcake, they had to be special. I have been wanting to make a pineapple rum upside down cake recipe that I found sometime ago, so I decided to give it a try in cupcake form. For the chocolate cupcake I decided I would use one of my favorite chocolate cupcake recipes and infuse Kahlua in as many elements as I could, that would have to make for a good cupcake, right!
First up… Chocolate Mocha Kahlua Cupcake
The chocolate mocha cupcake was laced with mocha Kahlua and filled with a Kahlua chocolate ganache. So, when you bite into the cupcake you get a nice chocolate surprise. The consistency of the filling is like the consistency of those Ferrero Rocher candies… yum! I had tried to achieve this before, but the chocolate filling always oozed into the cake (which did make for a really moist cake!), but I loved how this version solidified a bit making for a nice smooth chocolate filling when you bite into the cupcake. I decided to frost this one so that I could add a bit more of the chocolate filling and people would know what was to come! This lovely glaze is from my trusty Joy of Cooking cookbook, I swear this book has it all!!
I used two different frosting designs. On this one I piled up the chocolate buttercream in swirls made with a 1M piping tip and generously drizzled it with the chocolate kahlua glaze.
Next up… Pineapple Rum Cupcake
I LOVED this cupcake… I had to remind myself that these were being made for a purpose and not just for my own personal enjoyment, but I did really enjoy them. The cake base is basically a rich butter pound cake recipe, but its the rum, and pineapple and glaze and frosting that make it so much more than just a pound cake. I guess this is really a reverse pineapple upside down cake of sorts. I put the rum, brown sugar and pineapple glaze on top of the batter and it created a wonderful topping! Then you brush the warm cupcakes with even MORE of the rum glaze, my oh my!
I could go on and on about these cupcakes, but the final verdict is that the birthday lady loved them (and so did I)! She even shared a picture of them from the birthday party, sparklers and all! These cupcakes definitely made an entrance!
Without further delay, let me go ahead and tell you how to make these cupcakes!
Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes
Adapted based on Sweetapolita recipe
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup brewed coffee or espresso, hot
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Kahlua
Chocolate Kahlua Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, softened but cool
1-1/2 cups icing sugar (confectioners’), sifted
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate, melted and cooled but not cold
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Kahlua
1/4 cup Nutella
1 tablespoon half and half
small pinch of salt
Chocolate Kahlua Glaze
From Joy of Cooking
3 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp water, coffee or milk (I used coffee and milk)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1-2 tablespoons kahlua (I used two!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Prepare cupcake pan with paper liners
- Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch and salt in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl combine buttermilk, hot coffee, vegetable oil, egg, vanilla and Kahlua in a small bowl.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well for a couple minutes until combined. The batter will be somewhat liquidy, don’t worry that is how it should be.
- Divide mixture between cupcake liners, no more than 2/3 full… the cupcakes will definitely rise.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with very few crumbs.
- Remove from pan immediately to prevent over cooking.
- Let cool completely before frosting
- Combine butter and confectioner sugar, mix well for about 4 minutes
- Add vanilla and Kahlua and mix to combine
- Add cooled chocolate and nutella and mix well, about 3 minutes
- In small bowl combine semi sweet chocolate chips and coffee (or milk or water) and melt over a double boiler (or slowly in a microwave.
- Remove from heat and add butter and combine well until fully incorporated
- Finally, stir in Kahlua
Pineapple Rum Cupcakes
Adapted based on Epicurious recipe
Pineapple rum glaze
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cups dark rum
2 tbsp unsalted butter
16 oz sliced canned pineapple, cut into chunks
Rum Pound Cake
1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dark rum
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pineapple Rum Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 – 2 1/2 cups confectioner sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon rum
1 teaspoon pineapple juice
1/2 tablespoon half and half
Prepare pineapple glaze
- Cut pineapples into small/medium sized chunks
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar and 1/2 cup rum and bring to a low simmer. Stir occasionally, until liquid reduces by about one third.
- Whisk in the butter and add pineapple chunks, allow mixture to continue simmering until the pineapple is well coated with the glaze. Allow mixture to sit for about 3 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and beat on high until VERY light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium until fully incorporated.
- Add the vanilla and rum, and mix to combine.
- On low, mix in the flour and salt, do not overmix.
- Using a small ice cream scoop, add batter to prepared pan. This batter will be very thick.
- Add about a tablespoon of the pineapple chunks (try to add more of the pineapple and less of the glaze) on top of the batter.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool for about 5 minutes.
Prepare rum glaze
- After all of the pineapple has been removed from glaze, add 1/4 cup of rum and bring to a simmer.
- After cupcakes have cooled for 5-7 minutes, poke several holes in cupcakes with toothpick and generously spoon rum glaze over each cupcake.
- In bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine butter and confectioner sugar and mix on low for 1 minute and then increase speed to medium and mix for 5-6 minutes.
- Add vanilla, rum, pineapple juice and half and half and mix on high for 3 minutes.
- For a stiffer frosting, add more confectioner sugar to loosen frosting add more half and half.