Monday, February 18, 2008

Cupcake Hero: Vanilla Nut Martini Cupcakes


This month's Cupcake Hero challenge was to make cupcakes that included liquor in the cupcakes and/or the frosting. The wheels in my head started quickly turning, and I decided to use the flavors from my favorite martini of all time - the Vanilla Nut Martini. The martini is made with Frangelico and vanilla vodka. Frangelico is such a delicacy...I love the sweet hazelnut flavor. It's an expensive bottle, but OH so worth the money. I adapted a recipe for Amaretto Dream Cupcakes, replacing the Amaretto with Frangelico, and omitting the slivered almonds. I also used the frosting recipe, but omitted the Amaretto, and used 1 t vanilla extract, and a vanilla bean. Every day I kept thinking about how I wanted to do these cupcakes. I decided that the vanilla bean would add a more distinctive vanilla flavor than just plain vanilla. I also wanted to keep my hazelnut and vanilla flavors separate by making the cupcake one flavor, and the frosting the other, rather than combining them.

OH. MY. GOSH.

You would not believe how heavenly these cupcakes are. I was licking the bowl like crazy. It was seriously the yummiest batter I have ever tasted!!!! The cupcakes baked nicely, although my oven is whack. (We got new knobs that don't seem to align properly, and the temperature is never right. It took me an hour to bake my last cupcakes, so I set the temp for 100 degrees hotter this time. They still took 10 extra minutes to bake this time, but whatevs.)


The frosting turned out very nice. I had to use 5 T whipping cream, because I didn't take into account the liquid I was missing from the Amaretto.

I served these cupcakes at our housewarming party, and people were seriously freaking out about how good the cupcakes were. The cupcakes themselves were perfectly moist and soft. The flavor of the Frangelico had baked out a little more than I had hoped, so in the future, I might add just a little bit more. They had a really nice, mellow flavor though. I think it was everyone's opinion that the frosting TOTALLY made the cupcakes. It was SO good. The natural vanilla flavor was so good! I heard someone say it almost tasted like Breyer's vanilla ice cream.

I cannot wait to make these again...they were AWESOME!!!! Everyone at the party asked for the recipe. So, with no more ado...here is the recipe after I made my modifications to it.

Vanilla Nut Martini Cupcakes

Cupcakes:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup Frangelico


Icing:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
5 T whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
vanilla bean

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add 1/3 of the flour and all of the buttermilk, then 1/3 of the flour and all of the Frangelico, beating well after each addition. Add remaining flour; mix until smooth.

Line regular or mini muffin cups with baking papers. Fill each 2/3 full. Bake at 375ºF for 14-16 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove and cool completely.

For frosting, beat powdered sugar and butter in a small mixing bowl. Scrape out vanilla beans and stir in into sugar mixture until they're evenly distributed. Add whipping cream and vanilla, beat until smooth. Add remaining cream if needed to reach spreading consistency. Spread over cooled cupcakes.

Yield: 24 regular or 48 mini cupcakes.

11 comments:

Julie said...

What a delicous sounding recipe, I'm going to jot this one down.
Thank you

Natalie said...

They were SOOOO good. And I mean sooo good.

Nina said...

Looks delish! You need to get an oven thermometer. I have one in my oven (it doesn't cook at the right temperature either). It makes baking so much easier. You can kinda guess how hot you should turn the knob, then check in about 15 minutes to see what the real temperature is.

Alanna said...

Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely use the thermometer next time. :)

Glad you liked them, Natalie!!!

CB said...

oh.my.god. Look at you miss thang! I am so proud! What a great first entry (hopefully not the last). Totally need to try this one!

Tempered Woman said...

These look YUMMY~ I love that you used a vanilla bean to get real vanilla flavoring in there. This sounds really unique so can't wait to experience the flavor firsthand. ;-)

April said...

OKay, these sound AMAZING!! Must try!

Andrea said...

YUM Alanna! They look awesome. That frosting looks to die for!

CB said...

Your cupcake has been chosen for ATC's Weekly Cupcake Collection! Click the link to see more. Looking forward to your next cupcake creation!

http://tinyurl.com/3d9htw

Alanna said...

Oh, thank you SO much!!!

PrissyCook said...

These do look divine!