Especially a spicy strawberry cupcake loaded with cinnamon whisky.
I started watching Cupcake Wars recently. It has been on The Food Network for a few years, but I never got around to checking it out. It’s pretty addictive.
If you haven’t seen the show, it has 3 rounds in which 4 teams of cupcake bakers compete for taste and taste/presentation challenges for different themes. 1 team is eliminated after each round until a winner gets named.
What is fascinating to me is the flavor combinations and creative decorations these bakers come up with. They only have 45 minutes for the taste challenge which can include such strange ingredients for cake as seaweed, smoked salmon, pulled pork and sauerkraut. Then they have only 90 minutes to come up with 3 different cupcakes that have knock out flavor and a stunning appearance to tie into the theme.
The winner of The Monster Truck themed episode made these Strawberry Firebomb Cupcakes With Cinnamon Whisky Buttercream. Not only did they look and sound divine, I knew they would be perfect for The Hunger Games themed party I was making the desserts for. (You can read about other desserts I made for that party here and here.)
The whisky infused spicy strawberry cake filled with a sweet strawberry filling and topped with a boozy cinnamon buttercream is an absolutely different, but delightful combination.
½ cup milk
6 large egg whites
2¼ cups flour
1¾ cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup strawberry purée (I used a 10 ounce package of frozen strawberries that I thawed and puréed in a food processor)
½ cup cinnamon whisky (such as Fireball)
Strawberry Flambé Filling (recipe follows)
Cinnamon Whisky Buttercream (recipe follows)
Strawberry slices, to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2, Line cupcake or muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.
3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment, pour in milk and egg whites and mix until blended.
4. In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, and baking powder. Add butter and continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs.
5. Add half of the milk mixture to the crumbs and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes.
6. To the remaining half of the milk mixture, add the strawberry purée and mix with a whisk. Add this to the batter and beat for 30 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl, then beat for an additional 20 seconds. Add cinnamon whisky and blend.
7. Spoon batter into cupcake liners until ¾ full.
8. Bake for about 20–25 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.
9. Use a small knife or a cupcake corer (I just got this one and LOVE it) to cut an indentation in the cupcake. Fill with Strawberry Flambé Filling.
10. Use a piping tip to make a small swirl of icing. Garnish with a strawberry slice. (A Red Hot candy would be fun, too.)
Strawberry Flambé Filling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup strawberries, chopped
2 ounces cinnamon whisky
1. Melt butter with brown sugar in saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add strawberries and continue cooking, about 2 minutes.
3. Add cinnamon whisky and ignite with a lighter or match. Once the flame dies, remove from stove.
Makes approximately 1 cup
Cinnamon Whisky Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1½ tablespoons cinnamon whisky
3¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon cinnamon
1. Mix butter in stand mixer with paddle until creamy, about 3 minutes.
2. Add cinnamon whisky and continue mixing for another minute.
3. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar and continue mixing, about 3 minutes.
4. Add salt and cinnamon, and continue mixing until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl to ensure all ingredients are fully incorporated and distributed evenly and mix until light and creamy, another 2 minutes.
Makes enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes with a small swirl of the icing
Recipe from The Dollop Book Of Frosting by Heather Saffer
Berlin based Whisky & Rhymes “makes kick-ass folk-rock music”. I’d have to agree.
I love this stomper of a song. It’s perfect for dancing around to after a few whiskys. I have to pretend on the lyrics, though.