It’s my friend Brittany’s birthday today, known mostly to you readers as the genius who came up with the RumChata Ice Cream challenge to which I valiantly arose during my graduation party.
That giant bottle of RumChata that I bought to make the ice cream has been hanging out in my refrigerator ever since, just waiting for the opportunity to become some other sort of alcoholic dessert. I’d say that a 30th birthday is a good enough occasion to break it out again, yes? Yes.
Now, Brittany has a deep appreciation for all things cinnamon, including Fireball and RumChata. Don’t believe me?
I wasn’t the only one who thought that it would make a good gift.
Shots of RumChata are a something of a tradition with us.
She’s also a bit of a cupcake connoisseur, so it seemed like the perfect idea to conjure up some RumChata Cupcakes to bring to the party.
There’s plenty of alcohol in the actual cakes themselves, plus extra brushed on top, and then mixed up into the buttercream frosting, too, as well as a great deal of cinnamon.
adapted from Betty Crocker’s Starlight Yellow Cake and Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Makes 24 cupcakes
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups RumChata liqueur (plus about 1/4 cup extra for brushing)
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs
1 heaping tsp. cinnamon (plus extra for sprinkling)
RumChata Buttercream Frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2-3 tbsp. RumChata liqueur
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners.
In large bowl, beat all cupcake ingredients together on low speed for 30 seconds, and then at high speed for about 3 minutes, until smooth and custardy. I like to start with the sugar and butter first, then the eggs, then everything else, but whatever works best for you.
Whatever you do, don’t trust the lid on the baking powder, no matter how well it seems to be attached.
Divide the batter evenly into the 24 cupcake liners, being sure to only fill each between 1/2 and 3/4 full.
Put your face really, really close to the pan and get in a really good sniff of that cinnamon-y goodness before you have to put it in the oven.
Bake the cupcakes for approximately 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the tops spring back when touched lightly in their centers. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, it’s frosting time!
In a medium bowl, beat the powdered sugar and softened butter together on low-medium speed until well-incorporated, then add the vanilla and 1 tbsp. of the RumChata.
Then, gradually add in enough RumChata, by drops, until the frosting is smooth and spreadable. I lost track of exactly how much I put in there, but I don’t think that I went more than 4 tbsp. You’ll know when you get there.
Now, take your cooled cupcakes and poke some holes in the tops with a toothpick.
Be sure to notice that your cats are up to something over in the corner, and have a balanced, logical discussion with them about how they shouldn’t try to eat cobwebs.
Then, brush on a generous layer of RumChata and allow it to soak in a little bit.
If you don’t let them dry a little bit, the tops of the cake will rip right off when you try to put the frosting on, so be patient if possible.
I did end up having a tiny bit of RumChata left over after brushing all the cakes. You can guess what I did with that.
If you said drink it straight from the measuring cup, you are correct.
Get a nice heaping scoop of frosting on a flat spatula and smear it on top of your cupcakes in a rustic fashion.
Or, if you want to get fancy and pipe it on, go right ahead. However, this frosting recipe gives you just barely enough to get the tops done this way, so if you want something more elaborate, you should probably double the recipe.
Then, with all your pretty little cakes in a row, sprinkle a touch of cinnamon on top of each one.
Now, what do these taste like? Here we have a stop-motion reaction shot, courtesy of the birthday girl.
When they’re baking, they smell like butter and cinnamon and rum and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, all of the good things in the world. They taste that way, too, let me assure you.
Later on in the night, Brittany told me that they were the best thing that she had ever put in her mouth, and then she reminded me again later on Facebook. I’m not sure if I would go that far, but yes, they are definitely something special. They might be worth buying another giant bottle of RumChata for.