Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cinnamon Bun Cupcakes

A little while ago I tried a recipe that celebrates a marriage of two crowd favorites: cinnamon buns, and cupcakes. This one manages to be sweet without going overboard and the cinnamon adds just a bit of dimension to the cake. Here's what I did:

In a small bowl I created a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger (you could use allspice aswell, but I didn't have any).

In a second small bowl I sifted together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl I used my mixer to beat unsalted butter until fluffy. I alternately added sugar and eggs then splashed in some good quality vanilla before mixing until the mixture was light and fluffy.

Then I alternately added the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture (sorry for no pictures of this step. The mess was really flying).

Once the batter was ready, I filled the prepared cupcake liners about halfway then sprinkled the batter with a spoonful of the cinnamon mixture. I topped up the cups so they were 3/4 of the way full then inserted a butter knife  into the batter and swirled it in an "S" shape to create a cinnamon sugar swirl in the cake.

Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon mixture over the cupcakes and bake them for about 20 minutes.

While the cupcakes baked I prepared a batch of Creamy Butter Frosting. First I placed softened butter in a large bowl and beat it for 30 seconds. I then beat in vanilla and salt. When it comes to adding powdered sugar to frosting I have a rule, I start with half the amount in the recipe. Then I increase it a 1/2 cup at a time alternating with tablespoons of heavy cream until I have reached the right consistency. That's what I did here.

I wanted to play with my piping techniques which resulted in the unfortunate frosting application below. Next time I think I would go for a more rustic application that better mirrors a real cinnamon bun. 

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

350 Degrees
Makes 24 Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
2/3 cup butter
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk 

1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. In a separate bowl combine brown sugar and spices. Set both aside. 
2. In a large bowl beat butter until fluffy. Add granulated sugar 1/4 cup at a time. Beat for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. 
3. Add eggs one at a time. Beat after each then beat in vanilla.
4. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk, beating on low after each addition. 
5. Spoon half batter into prepared baking cups, then sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. 
6. Fill cups the rest of the way with batter then sprinkle remaining cinnamon mixture on top. 
7. Bake 18 to 20 minutes. 

Creamy Butter Frosting

1. Allow 1 cup unsalted butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. 
2. In a large bowl beat butter for 30 seconds.
3. Beat in 1 tsp vanilla and pinch of salt.
4. Gradually add 4 cups of powdered sugar. Beat until combined.
5. Beat in 1/4 cup whipping cream.
6. Beat in 4 cups additional powdered sugar. 
7. Beat in 2 to 3 tablespoons of whipping cream until frosting reaches correct consistency.
Makes 4 cups

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