With the upcoming holiday season, I wanted to make some type of "Christmas" cupcake to share at work. I planned to bring them in for a combined "celebration" - my wonderful interns had completed their month on the unit, and one of our patients completed her transplant and was ready to go home after a long 7 week stay with us!
While some may think that Red Velvet may fit the criteria due to their deep red color, I think I am one of the few people who doesn't like the flavor, so I have no interest in making it. My personal love for eggnog lead my search for an eggnog cupcake, and I ran across a recipe for eggnog latte cupcakes. (It just so happens that Eggnog Latte's are my favorite coffee drink of the season - my espresso machine has been getting much more use this month!)
Thus frosting is amazing! Much lighter than a buttercream (and best when cool/refrigerated), with a wonderful coffee favor! I think it would be fantastic on a Mocha Cupcake (and you'll see it again soon on another seasonal cupcake recipe!)
EGGNOG CUPCAKES (Adapted from Baking Bites)
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 cup low-fat eggnog
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a small bowl, mix together the rum extract, eggnog, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. In a large bowl, mix together the nutmeg, sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Divide evenly between prepared muffin wells.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
COFFEE FROSTING (Adapted from The Cupcake Project)
Makes enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes
1 cup chilled whipping cream
8 oz mascarpone
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 to 3 cups confectioner's sugar (depending upon how thick you prefer frosting - I used about 2 1/2 cups)
Whip up whipping cream in mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Fold in mascarpone. While mixing over low speed, slowly add the coffee granules and confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time, being careful not to over whip frosting.