Mmmm… Cupcakes…

As you all know, I like to try out new recipes. And you probably also know that I have been trying some from “Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth”, by Jill O’Connor.

Today, as part of my NCLEX study break, I decided to try another recipe from this wonderful cookbook. Unfortunately, my camera stinks and the pictures did not turn out well (I really need to get a new digital camera – a good one), so I am borrowing a photo for the same cupcakes (or almost the same) from a fellow online blogger.

Once again, I made the cupcakes just for the fun of making them – the majority will make the trip to the college with Chris, so I won’t be tempted 😉 The recipes look complicated, but they really aren’t – they just take a little time. Trust me – the results are fabulous!

Chocolate-Mayonnaise Cupcakes with Caramel-Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting
Makes 24 standard cupcakes


Cupcake Ingredients
2 C bleached all-purpose flour
3/4 C natural cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (I always omit the salt)
2 C sugar
2 large eggs
1 C mayonnaise (not low-fat)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 C boiling water
Caramel-Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting (see recipe below)

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard 12 C muffing tins with paper cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another large bowl, combine sugar and eggs and beat with electric mixer at medium-high till light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the mayonnaise and vanilla just till combined. Reduce speed to medium and beat in half of the flour mixture just till combined. Stope the mixer nd scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add half of the boiling water and beat at very low speed just till the batter is smooth, 5 – 10 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat just till combined. Beat in the remaining water. The batter will be somewhat thin.

Divide the batter among the prepared cupcake cups, filling the mabout 2/3 full. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 – 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely. When cool, frost cupcakes with Caramel-Butterscotch Butercream and serve.

Caramel-Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
Caramel Sauce
1 C granulated sugar
3 T water
1 C heavy cream

Butterscotch Buttercream
6 large eggs
1 1/2 C firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 lbs (6 sticks) cold unsalted butter
2 T bourbon

To make the caramel sauce: combine the granulated sugar and water in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cook, gently swirling pan occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and starts to change color. Increase heat to high and boil till syrup turns a deep amber color, 4 – 5 minutes. Watch carefully, as it can burn quickly.

Immediately remove the pan from heat and stir in the cream with a wooden spoon. reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until the caramel thickens, 3 – 5 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and let cool.

While sauce is cooling, prepare buttercream. Combine eggs and brown sugar in a metal bowl. Fill a large saute pan or prying pan with water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Place mixing bowl in the simmering water and whisk the eggs and sugar constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is thick, fluffy, and very hot, 3 – 4 minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature; it should be anywhere between 120 – 140 degrees F.

Remove the bowl from the simmering water and, using the whisk attachment, beat eggs at medium-high speed till they are tripled in volume and form soft peaks, and the bottom of the bowl is cool to the touch – about 10 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and salt.

While eggs are mixing, unwrap individual sticks of butter and re-wrap them loosely in plastic wrap (or put in a Ziploc bag). Pound butter 5 – 6 times with a rolling pin, or till butter is soft and malleable but still cool.

With mixer speed still on medium-high, add the butter, approximately 2 T at a time, to the egg mixture, beating in each addition till it is incorporated. When all the butter has been incorporated, slowly dribble in the bourbon. Don’t start to panic if the buttercream seems to liquidy or looks curdled as you beat in the butter. It will magically emulsify into a smooth, creamy frosting by the time the last little bit of butter is mixed in. Have faith; it’s worth it.

When the buttercream is smooth and glossy, turn off the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in 1/2 C of the cool caramel sauce. Fron a stronger flavor, fold in up to 1/2 C more of caramel sauce.

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3 comments

  1. Practically Perfect... says:

    Aww, come on – it’ll only clog up your arteries for a few months! It’ll flush out…eventually… 🙂

  2. Cindy says:

    Hold on a minute – did I just read correctly that it has 6 STICKS of butter! Ella has a book called 6 Sticks and from this book I know 6 sticks makes 2 swings, 3 snowflakes, etc. but I never knew that 6 sticks could make a buttercream frosting. I think I am hereby pulling my previous comment out of the pool. There shall be NO buttercream frosting served with a spoon anymore.

  3. Cindy says:

    I could eat 10 of any cupcake that has frosting that looks like that. I’ve got to make these for Dan – he loves butterscotch. My time is limited so perhaps I’ll just make a bowl of frosting and serve it with a spoon.

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