Well kids, it was certainly an eventful weekend around here for me. I hosted my 4th annual Cupcakes and Wine party on Saturday and it was a huge hit, as always. I find that if you ply people with cupcakes they are more than willing to oblige and leave you tons of booze as a thank you in return. It’s really a great system I have worked out, let me tell you.
However, this recipe is not from the party. These are the second batch up cupcakes I made for my friend, Coach’s (sadly not the handbag manufacturers but my old kickball Coach), event that she organized. I’m going to be posting a bajillion cupcake recipes in the next few days, since I made five different varieties, so get your stretchy pants out folks. This is a great classic vanilla white cake with just a hint of booze to give it a nice earthy flavor. Also I have to say that I was totally stoked with how my buttercream came out. I mean, it’s deadly. No seriously, I hate chocolate frosting and I have been hunting for a good one for years, and I just kind of stumbled upon this solution while baking early in the morning for Coach’s event.
*Just a note: If you do not have meringue powder for the buttercream that’s no problem. Omit the meringue, water and sugar and just use butter, confectioners sugar and the rest of the ingredients. If your icing is too thick you can thin it out with some whole milk or even cream if you’re feeling decadent. Save your yolks for another project, I used mine for some good ol’ fashioned ice cream, I’ll post that recipe soon.
Bourbon Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream
Recipe adapted from Booze Cakes
Makes 3 dozen cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste, or 1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp bourbon
4 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup whole milk
10 egg whites (I saved the yolks to make ice cream)
Preheat oven to 325°F, prepare cupcake tins with liners.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the vanilla and bourbon. In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. Alternate the dry ingredients with the milk, adding in 3 batches beginning and ending with the dry. This prevents curdling.
In a separate dry bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, do not over beat as this will make it difficult to fold in the whites. You don’t want them too dry. Add 1/3 of the egg whites and stir to vigorously incorporate and lighten the batter. Add the remaining whites and fold in gently until not streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops spring back. This should be a light white cake.
For the Frosting
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup meringue powder
2 sticks butter, softened
1 lb. confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water and let cool to room temperature. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the meringue powder and sugar syrup on high until it peaks, about 5-7 minutes. Lower the speed to the lowest setting and slowly add the confectioners sugar. Add the butter in chunks and beat on medium until frosting in smooth. Add the vanilla, cocoa powder and chocolate and beat on medium until smooth and somewhat shiny.
Assemble cupcakes as desired. I piped swirls on mine with a 1M Wilton tip.
Cupcakes will keep in an airtight container for four days.