Immediately after baking the baby onesie cake for a work baby shower, I had to switch gears into cupcakes for my girlfriend Linnea’s baby shower on Sunday. After pondering my personal favorite flavors, she decided on Mexican Hot Chocolate cupcakes and banana cupcakes, both with cinnamon cream cheese frosting (which, according to my friend Sean, is “what all cream cheese frosting should be” – said while leaning over my kitchen sink shoving a cupcake in his pie hole).
I mentioned in the last post that there were also rockin’ cupcakes at the work shower. I was talking about the mexican hot chocolate ones (once again, my co-workers are my guinea pigs). They might be my new favorite and I don’t even LIKE dark chocolate. Therefore, I will declare the obvious. They are not really made from dark chocolate, but from magic. They are magic Mexican cupcakes. The banana ones were really good too, though I wish I could find a recipe I used a few years ago…guess I’ll just have to keep experimenting. Any complaints out there?
OK, no more blah blah blah, you have cupcakes to make. Ready? Go!
And…skip to the end. Again…sigh.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
(adapted from The Ever Changing Plate)
She makes mini cupcakes, I made both minis and standard cupcakes. They were both magic – size didn’t matter.
3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 24 mini baking cups with paper liners (or 12 regular cupcake cups).
Sift the first eight ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk to make sure all ingredients are combined.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Keeping the mixer on low, add the coffee and stir to combine. Scrape bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
Fill muffin cups halfway and bake for 10-15 minutes (about 20-23 for regular sized cupcakes) or till cake tester comes out clean. Cakes will be soft and airy (and magical).
Gina’s Banana Cupcakes
(adapted from the Food Network)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large ripe bananas, peeled, and mashed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, (reserve some for garnish)
(I didn’t use nuts – I don’t like them and I’m selfish like that)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 1 (12-cup) muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add the butter and the sugar. Beat with a hand-held mixer (or in a stand mixer) until combined. Add the sour cream and the vanilla extract. Slowly beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Incorporate the dry mixture and wet mixtures together until thoroughly combined. Add the bananas and walnuts, being careful not to over mix. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner 3/4 way full. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops turn golden-brown and when a toothpick, inserted in the middle of the cupcake, comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the oven to a wire rack and let cool before frosting.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
(Loosely adapted from Kiss My Bundt)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened*
2 cups powdered sugar (measured then sifted)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tbsp cinnamon (or to taste)
*I used 2 oz butter and 2 oz vegetable shortening – the shortening makes the texture a little fluffier which makes decorating a bit easier. Just treat the shortening the same as butter.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the cream cheese and butter until soft and completely smooth, at least two minutes.
Turn the mixer speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, making sure to scrape down any frosting stuck to the sides of the bowl.
Add the vanilla extract.
Mix on medium speed until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.