I have unabashedly been listening to Christmas music for the last week. I don’t care who knows it. I pulled out my Michael Bublé album and my epic OMG It’s Christmas! Spotify playlists and have been as happy as a clam.
Nothing feels cozier to me than listening to Christmas music while baking or cooking or reading or just plain existing. Normally I hold out until the week of Thanksgiving, because Thanksgiving needs it’s due. But we went to a Halloween party this year where the DJ played All I Want for Christmas and that pretty much sealed the deal for me right then and there.
Hello, Mariah. Lovah. All I want for Christmas is you too! And some TransSiberian Orchestra.
And Nat King Cole.
And several off-color Band-Aid tunes.
Tell me, what are your Christmas listening pleasures? I want to make sure I haven’t left any off my list.
So last year I finally experimented with persimmons and I have to say while I’m still not gutsy enough to just plain eat one (I’m terrified I won’t get the ripeness just perfectly and therefore ruin my entire experience) I am digging baking with them. They smell like cozy nights, good friends, and conversations over mulled wine.
I don’t even like mulled wine. But I like the idea of it.
So these little gems are an adapted white velvet cake from the trusty Cake Bible filled with a persimmon-cinnamon puree (say that three times fast) and topped off with a lightly tangy Grand Marnier cream cheese frosting.
Aren’t the little snowflake wrappers darling? They’re Meri Meri from last season I think. I flippin’ love their entire line. If I owned a pantry it would be stuffed to the rafters with Meri Meri products. True story.
Anyway, let’s get baking. Pop on your Christmas tunes!
- 2 cups sifted cake flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 2 egg whites
- ½ cup whole milk, divided
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 6 tbsp butter, softened
- 2 ripe persimmons, cubed
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp brandy
- juice from half a lemon
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 lb (2 sticks) buttered, softened
- 4 tbsp Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur)
- 1 lb powdered sugar
- milk for thinning if necessary
- Heat oven to 350F. Line two cupcake tins with liners. Set aside
- In a two cup measuring cup whisk together the egg whites, 2 tbsp of milk, and vanilla. Set aside
- In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a separate large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix briefly to incorporate.
- Add the butter in cubes and the remaining 10 tbsp of milk. Mix on low until the dry ingredients are moistened then beat on high to aerate the batter for 1½ minutes.
- Add half the milk and egg mixture. Beat on low to combine then whip on high for 30 seconds.
- Add remaining milk and egg mixture in the same manner.
- Fill cupcake tins ⅔rds full. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until the tops spring back with touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on racks.
- In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan combine all ingredients except cinnamon and cook over medium heat until simmering.
- Simmer for 8 - 10 minutes until persimmons breakdown and create a compote.
- Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Pour persimmon mixture into a blender or food processor and whiz until a smooth puree forms.
- Pour puree through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl to remove any skins or unprocessed chunks.
- Stir in cinnamon. Let cool.
- Cream together butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
- Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and Grand Marnier and beat until smooth.
- Continue adding powdered sugar until frosting is of piping consistency. If it becomes too thick, thin with milk or more Grand Marnier.
- Using a cupcake corer or with a small paring knife remove the center of the cupcake.
- Fill with 1 - 2 tsp of persimmon puree.
- Pipe or scoop frosting on top and dip in nonpareils.