Congrats to Kathlene and Ivy for winning two AWESOME personalized care packages in last week’s giveaway! I can’t wait to create an epic assortment of goodies for you both!
I really dislike chocolate cupcakes.
Wait, say what?
It’s funny how we all define the good things in life so differently. Back when kids used to bring boxes of assorted cupcakes to celebrate their birthday, I loved to ogle (okay, creepy) and watch each student make the all-important decision of which type of cupcake to take–chocolate with vanilla frosting? vanilla with chocolate? chocolate with chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles?–because it is my personal opinion that you can tell a lot about a person through their cupcake choices.
I was a pretty deep elementary schooler.
It was my empirical observation that there were always some cupcakes that got snatched up first: chocolate, then vanilla, then that funky-looking cupcake in the corner that got slightly smushed while your mom made a sharp turn in your car avoiding that crazy granny veering across the street with her roller shopping bag. But the next time you brought this same box to the another place, say to a swim team BBQ instead of school, maybe the vanilla and smushed cupcakes would disappear first before anyone so much as touched the chocolate.
And who can explain why this happens, really? my eight-year old philosopher’s brain would ask.
Me, I’ve always been a full-fledged vanilla cupcake kind of gal. At those glorious school birthday celebrations, I’d turn full-on gladiator against my peers to grab the vanilla funfetti one with vanilla frosting before anyone else could. I was no cupcake ninja; I was Xena, the cupcake warrior.
But obviously I’m not blogging to you today about vanilla cupcakes. When I started thinking about what kind of cupcake I wanted to make this week–because it’s been a really long time since I’ve used my muffin tins and they were crying out at me from the pantry–I knew I wanted something warm. Something different. Something comforting.
Something Christmassy. In April.
And then it hit me.
And aha. Biscoff spread.
And aha again. Kahlua.
In my vocabulary, that is the same as saying, “Comfort, comfort, comfort.”
It’s been a rough
year week for me–there are a gazillion deadlines approaching and I recently had a very big scare with not registering in time for a conference at which I’ll be presenting (thankfully, it worked out in the end). So I really needed the comfort, and these cupcakes fit the bill perfectly.
I am now a gingerbread kind of gal in the middle of spring, and I don’t care who knows it. Well, my neighbors probably know it since I was belting out “Last Christmas” from Love Actually like nobody’s business while making these cupcakes. And then I crouched on our shared porch for an hour taking photographs of these amazing gingerbread Biscoff coffee (and did I mention Kahlua-spiked?) cupcakes, so…
I’m pretty sure they know.
Another major comfort is that everyone who tried a version of this recipe went crazy for it. I made these as cupcakes (obvi), a mini loaf, and cake balls. The recipe is sinfully moist, perfectly spiced, not at all cakey, and basically what the holiday season would taste like if you could itemize it and stick it into a muffin tin in spring.
I stuck Biscoff in the cupcake because Biscoff is the closest thing I know to Christmas-in-a-jar. And since Biscoff and gingerbread were created to make little cupcake babies (I’m sorry, that was a really weird image), I did it. Then I spiked the batter with coffee and Kahlua because it’s, uh, a Wednesday. And then I turned up “Last Christmas” a little bit louder and danced a little jig around my porch while my neighbor’s curtain was surreptitiously drawn…
So that’s me. Toppling calendrical and societal expectations, one cupcake–or three–at a time 😉
Love from the cupcake warrior,
What is your go-to cupcake flavor?
Let me know in the comments–I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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- 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
- 3 tablespoons Biscoff spread or cookie butter, softened in microwave
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup instant coffee granules
- 2 tablespoons Kahlua (you may substitute hot water)
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Extra 3/4 cup cookie butter, melted for decorating (optional but so good)
- Extra powdered sugar for decorating (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter, 3 tablespoons Biscoff, and both sugars until completely smooth.
- Mix in egg and vanilla extract.
- In a small separate bowl, dissolve instant coffee granules in Kahlua (or hot water, if you're substituting it). Add Kahlua coffee and molasses to the other wet ingredients and stir until blended in.
- Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Mix in until just incorporated.
- Divide batter evenly among 12 prepared cupcake liners. Bake in preheated oven for 17-19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean with moist crumbs clinging to it.
- Spoon melted extra cookie butter on top of cupcakes; some of my cupcakes caved a bit in the center, which was actually perfect for this extra-cookie-butter enterprise. Sprinkle with extra powdered sugar if desired.