Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting

I was invited to a Halloween party and we were supposed to bring something so I decided to make some cupcakes. I had bought some decorative Halloween cupcake liners and this was the perfect excuse to use them. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to bake. I didn’t know most of the people at the party so I didn’t want to make anything too exotic. My husband sent me the recipe below, which sounded just great. Chocolate with a little bit of spice and cinnamon frosting? Great!

I did edit the recipe a bit. Although the only thing I changed about the cake was that I made it into cupcakes. I changed the frosting to be cream cheese, as mascarpone is very expensive. These were supposed to have whipped cream based frosting, but I changed that to a powdered sugar based frosting, which I thought would travel better. My husband also suggested filling the cupcakes with cherry pie filling. 

You might look at this cake recipe and think, “What is she thinking?” The cake does contain some unexpected ingredients like cayenne pepper and balsamic vinegar, but trust me, it works. The cake mixes in one bowl, which was super easy. That makes up for also having to make the frosting and filling the cupcakes. It was fairly easy to core out the cupcakes; I hadn’t really done that before so I wasn’t sure how smoothly that would go. All assembled, these looked fabulous and they were well liked at the party. Some people couldn’t believe that they were homemade, but that’s because they didn’t know me!

Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup butter, room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons milk
Cherry pie filling (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a regular-sized cupcake pan with paper liners. You’ll need about 18 liners.

In a large bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, pepper and salt. Whisk to combine, making sure that the brown sugar isn’t lumpy. Add the milk, oil, egg, balsamic vinegar, and vanilla and mix with a spatula until combined. The batter should be fairly smooth.

Fill each cupcake liner ¾ full of batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting: in a large mixer bowl beat the cream cheese and butter until light. Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until smooth. I added 3 cups. Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla. Add milk and/or additional powdered sugar to achieve spreading consistency.

Assemble the cupcakes: if desired, with a sharp knife core out part of the center of the cooled cupcake and fill with about a tablespoon of cherry pie filling. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe the frosting on the cupcake. 

Inspired by/cake recipe from Baked Bree

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