|Eggnog Cupcakes with Light-As-Air Eggnog Buttercream - recipe in post|
Every year around the holidays I try to make a donation of some kind to Food Gatherer's, my local hunger-fighting food organization. They're run almost entirely on volunteers, giving them low overhead costs and making them extremely efficient, which means most of the money they receive goes directly into helping those in need.
This year I stopped by Ann Arbor 107one's "Rockin' For The Hungry" Event - a weekend-long fundraiser put on by the local radio station, to benefit Food Gatherer's in trying to raise 200 tons of food (between donations of money and non-perishable food items). I went to make my donation, and bring some cupcakes to my favorite DJ's who were "Freezin' for a Reason" out in the cold all weekend.
In exchange for a donation, I was able to pick from some very cool CD's and things they had available. And in exchange for cupcakes, they handed me a mic and put me on the air. I was so giddy, I'm not even sure real words were coming out of my mouth! To anyone listening, I apologize for the little-girl excitement I may have expressed towards the radio host. She asked me a couple of questions, I told her about this here blog of mine, and next thing I knew she was saying my name for all to hear. Thank you, Ann Arbor, for keeping me on my toes for exciting moments like these!
If you live in the Ann Arbor area, "Rocking For The Hungry" is still going on through the end of today (Sunday), right out front of the Kroger's on S. Main - you can find details here: AnnArbors107one.com. Or, if you can't make it in time, you can always donate directly to Food Gatherer's, here: FoodGatherer's.org
Now, on to some cupcakes!
These cupcakes have plenty of eggnog flavor, but aren't overly-sweet or rich. The cake itself is moist and tender, and the frosting is more reminiscent of whipped cream than buttercream - light-as-air, not too sweet, and dangerously addictive!
Recipe Notes: these cupcakes are adapted from Baking Bites, via Annie's Eats - I changed the recipe considerably, altering the method, increasing the amount of flour, and adding an egg, among other things. The texture of my cupcakes was light, moist, and tender, and the flavor absolutely spot-on. However, the tops of my cupcakes sank slightly when they came out of the oven, so I may try a little more levening next time, or adding a splash of vinegar to help the baking soda do it's thing. If you prefer to try the original recipe, you can find it by clicking: here
These cupcakes are very lightly spiked with rum - the flavor is very faint in the cake itself, and can be adjusted in the frosting to taste.
Recipe adapted from Baking Bites
Makes about 18 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups (165g.) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8th tsp. cinnamon
1 cup eggnog
1/4 cup rum, or other liquor
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350f., and line your cupcake tray with liners.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside
In a separate bowl, combine eggnog, rum, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, and egg until lightened, about 2-3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed, and add 1/2 the eggnog mixture, mixing to combine, followed by 1/2 of the flour mixture. Repeat with the last of the eggnog and last of the dry ingredients, mixing until the flour is just barely incorporated - do not over-mix.
Spoon into prepared cupcake pan, filling each liner about 2/3rds of the way full. Bake on the center rack for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and springy to the touch.
Cool in tray for 4-5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
Light-As-Air Eggnog Buttercream
1/2 cup eggnog
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP granulated sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, plus more for garnish
1-2 TBSP rum, or other liquor, to taste (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
In a small pot, whisk together the eggnog and flour. Don't worry if it's a little lumpy at first. Continue to whisk constantly over medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken to the consistency of brownie batter, about 5-7 minutes. As soon as it begins to thicken, turn off the heat. Set this mixture aside and let cool completely before continuing (can be set in the fridge to speed up cooling).
Cream together the butter and sugar until light, fluffy, and very little graininess remains, about 7-8 minutes. Add the completely cooled flour/eggnog mixture and heavy cream, and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add the nutmeg, rum, and vanilla, and mix to combine.
Frost cooled cupcakes, and garnish with a dash of nutmeg and a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!