People ask me where I get my recipe ideas from, and the truth is: everywhere.
MOST of the time, it’s a result of me standing and mumbling aimlessly in the candy aisle at the supermarket, staring at the candy and willing it to send me recipe ideas telepathically. As a result, I have probably concerned many of the grocery store employees and am probably going to have Adult Protective Services called on me some day. Talking to myself and staring at a bag of Reese’s cups for 15 minutes does not make for a sane person.
So when I’m not being institutionalized for communicating non-verbally to a bag of Kit-Kats, I’m usually thinking of things that already exist in nature but could be dessert-ified. Things like gingerbread lattes, which are a huge hit this time of year at most coffee shops. But Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes aren’t really a *thing*, at least not on my blog… so I made it a thing.
These cupcakes start off with a humble box of yellow cake mix that I doctored up to taste totally gingerbread-y and homemade. In the cake mix, you have your usual eggs, oil, and instead of water, I used room temperature coffee for that latte kick. I also added in some molasses for flavor and that deep, warm brown color and gingerbread spices, of course! The good thing about these cupcakes is that you can add as much or as little gingerbread spice as you’d prefer. Me, I like something a little more mellow (ginger isn’t my favorite spice, after all) and I found my measurements to be perfect.
Once they’re baked, I wondered what frosting would be perfect. Cream cheese seems like a natural choice, but I couldn’t help but love the flavor of brown sugar with these spicy cupcakes. And boy, was I right! Brown sugar buttercream was sweet and caramel flavored and paired beautifully.
The crowning jewel is a glossy chocolate-covered espresso bean to drive that latte flavor home. And the result is a seriously divine cupcake that didn’t get me in trouble with the local Safeway store for harassing candy.
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup room-temperature black coffee
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 Tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- FOR THE FROSTING & TOPPING:
- 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Chocolate-covered espresso beans
- Holiday sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake tins with about 20-22 paper liners; set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cake mix, oil, coffee, eggs, molasses and spices with a handheld electric mixer, beating until smooth, about 2 minutes. Portion the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling about ¾ full.
- Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes or until the tops are round and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
- For the frosting: in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla together until fluffy, about 1 minute. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, until the frosting is light and fluffy, streaming in a little of the heavy cream if frosting becomes too thick.
- Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Top with holiday sprinkles and garnish with a chocolate-covered espresso bean.
Moist, fluffy, spicy cupcakes topped with a luscious brown sugar frosting… you have got to try these!
Have a super sweet day!
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