Sunday, August 14, 2011

Brown Sugar Mocha Pound Cake Cupcakes

Finally I came up with a legitimate excuse to bake a batch of cupcakes. Ever since glutting myself while on vacation I've tried to avoid dessert, which means I also need to avoid baking. I've missed my time in the kitchen so was glad that my upcoming book club meeting gave me an excuse to whip up something sugary.

Ever since King Arthur Flour generously sent me some of their mini cinnamon chips to try out I've been wanting to use them in a coffee-flavored treat. Something about the combination seems comforting and appealing. A little bitterness from the coffee and a little spice from the cinnamon. What's not to like?

I nabbed a recipe from my Pinterest board for a bundt cake, halved it and added the cinnamon chips plus my favorite coffee buttercream. The cake is as dense as you'd expect a pound cake to be and they rise so much that they come out of the oven as huge specimens. I definitely felt full after eating just one. Still, the combination of flavors is, to use a cliche, like a party in your mouth. Chocolate? Check. Subtle cinnamon? Check. A hint of maple in a brown sugary cake? Check. The coffee buttercream really ties the whole thing together and adds that creamy element these dense cupcakes need. I hope you try them out for yourself the next time you can convince yourself that you deserve a treat.

Oh, and can I just say how much I love Hobby Lobby? I don't think I've ever been in one as there aren't any within driving distance of where I live but while on vacation we stumbled across one. I've put myself on a strict budget so I didn't go crazy with the purchases but I did take advantage of their extensive scrapbook paper collection to grab a few new backgrounds for my cupcake photos. I'll have to experiment with moving the cupcakes a little closer to the background so you can really make out that fun houndstooth print.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon & Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Wives With Knives

5 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini cinnamon chips
1 1/2 cups flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups golden brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 cupcake wells with paper liners.
2) Mix chocolate chips and cinnamon chips with 1 tablespoon of the flour in medium bowl. Sift remaining flour with baking soda, baking powder and salt into another medium bowl.
3) Using electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract and maple extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
4) Mix in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.
5) Scoop into prepared pan and bake 17-22 minutes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for ten minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on rack.

Coffee Buttercream
Recipe adapted from 125 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon hot coffee
Chocolate-covered coffee beans (optional garnish)

1) In a small bowl, mix together coffee granulates and hot coffee. Stir until coffee granules are dissolved. Let cool completely.
2) In a small bowl, using an electric miser on low speed, beat together butter, sugar, and salt until well combined. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, beating until frosting is smooth.
3) Add cooled coffee to butter mixture, beating until smooth, creamy, and well mixed. You will need to scrape down sides of the bowl several times while mixing.
4) Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and garnish with chocolate-covered coffee beans, if desired.

4 comments: said...

YUMMMM, as usual. What else can we expect from you, but pure goodness. This looks and SOUNDS amazing.

I never thought of scrap paper for taking pics, what a brilliant idea, DUH....

You always take the best pics anyway, but this was a great tip for sure.

Hope you are doing well my friend, I know you must be happy after eating one of these goodies, he he.

Hugs, Bella :)
**AMAZE ME AUGUST** @ Bella Before and After Any projects, recipes, diy welcome.
**PARTY PLANNING TUESDAYS** @ Euro Style Cakes. All your party planning tips, decorations, invitations, and recipes welcome at my NEW party.

Cathy said...

Adding cinnamon chips to this cake recipe is a great idea and I like the idea of making cupcakes instead of one large cake. I'm sure the little cakes would freeze perfectly and would be great in school lunch boxes. Thank you so very much for the link back to my blog. I'm off now to browse through your back posts.

Baye said...

I am not only stealing the recipe but also the excuse for making them--my book club will be meeting soon. Thanks for both.

(We read Unbroken this time--amazing story.)

Bree said...

Yum! These look & sound delicious! And great idea to use the scrapbook paper for your background.