I’m Snow Happy Eggnog and Rum Cupcakes

I’m Snow Happy Rum and Eggnog Cupcakes: A smooth, rich eggnog cupcake with a splash of dark rum to give it depth, filled with divine white chocolate ganache, frosted with eggnog and rum butter cream, and topped with a delicate white chocolate snowflake.

Mood: Just picture yourself curled up on the couch with your coziest blanket, a hot mug of tea in your hand, warmed by a crackling fire, watching the snow fall gently out the window and carpet the ground with a soft white blanket which softens the harshness and nakedness of winter, transforming it into a magical winter wonderland. That is what this cupcake tastes like, the bliss and utter contentment you can only find watching the snow fall on a cold winter night.

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Man if it snowed cupcakes, that’d be the tastiest winter ever. I’d be ok with that.

I LOVE winter. Absolutely love it. I might even say I have an unhealthy emotional attachment to snow. Even though February 2015 has been one of the coldest Februaries experienced in a long time in Southern Ontario, I’m not ready for winter to be over and am quite saddened by the melting snow and above-freezing temperatures that are coming this week. I mean, really, we only got 2 months of actually good proper winter and it’s already starting to warm up! 2 months out of the year! How am I supposed to wait a whole 10 months for it to come around again?

I think I need to move further north…

I understand that most other people don’t share my enthusiasm for winter but I do not care! I will frolic about in the snow like a young filly in a grassy meadow and I will never not love winter. The instant the first snow fall of the year dusts the ground, my heart soars with yearning anticipation for the cold harsh beauty of winter to finally settle in our corner of the world yet again.

Also, you can see why climate change distresses me. You thought I was an environmentally conscious person- ha! I fooled you! I only care about my favourite season. Though so far it seems to have brought us some extreme cold weather, in general an average warming of the planet is the absolutely last thing I want. Who cares about saving the planet, I want to save winter! Somehow I doubt that many people would join the cause if I phrased it that way…

“Ok Ok we get it Emily! You’re a crazy person who loves winter. Enough already.” Fine sorry guys I could go on about my love for winter forever. The point is, to me, snow makes me so unbelievably happy that of course I was going to make a happy cupcake that was snow/winter themed. Obviously I thought the rum and eggnog went well as rum and eggnog is a holiday drink, and around Christmas time most people still feel positively about snow as winter is still in its infancy. So even if you’re not a crazy winter person like me you can still feel happy about snow and the holidays. And if you also hate Christmas and winter and eggnog and think these cupcakes are ridiculous, not my problem! Make your own damn happy summer cupcakes. I hope you choke on them (not really please don’t die I’m sure you’re a lovely person).

I made this cupcake specifically for the office Christmas potluck; yes, definitely trying to impress the co-workers. (And it worked- they loved them by the way. How could you not they were delicious!). And also why they’re gluten free- it would just be cruel of me to make these amazing cupcakes that could not be enjoyed by all of my co-workers!

Enough chitchat already- let’s start baking!

Instructions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line your cupcake pan with 18 paper liners (to go with the theme I recommend a pale blue or white. I used white).

Make the ganache- take a half cup of whipping cream and bring it to a boil in a small saucepan. Then pour it over the cup of white chocolate chips, let set for a minute, and stir together until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.

In a bowl, combine 1 1/3 cups flour (gluten free or regular), 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. I know that there are tricks to gluten free baking that are fancy, but I just substituted 1 for 1 and they were delicious anyway sooo if you want to be all fancy with your gluten free baking you go figure that out. I thought it worked out satisfactorily.

In another bowl, mix together with an electric mixer the 1/4 cup of dark rum, 1 cup of eggnog, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1 cup of white sugar. The original recipe says that rum is optional, but I do not. Don’t be a pansy and just put the liquor in- and feel free to use the “shot for me, shot for the cupcakes” method, generally makes baking more fun. It is essential to deliciousness.

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Rum and eggnog, a match made in heaven. You can imagine what happened with the leftover eggnog and rum… yup. #noregrets

Add the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated. Divide among the muffin cups and bake for 22-24 minutes. Woo. If you’re doing gluten free, they probably won’t puff up as nicely as normal gluteny cupcakes. Just be aware of that- that’s why mine look kind of flat!

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Slightly flat but still hella tasty!

While the cupcakes are baking, make the snowflakes. Melt 1/2 cup of white chocolate on the stove. If you’re feeling lucky and are generally an attentive person, do it right in a stove pot. Otherwise make a double boiler type setup to be safe and not burn chocolate. I mess up melting chocolate all the time because I am too lazy to double boiler. Don’t be me. If you screw up or need more chocolate, melt more.

Then take wax paper (or if you’re fancy like me a nonstick silicone baking mat) and spread it out on the table. Put the icing into either an icing bag with a super small tip or a plastic bag in which you can cut a very small hole. Then pipe out the shape of a snowflake! I tend to make mine like little asterisks (*). Do a lot, including some extra, as you will likely break some by accident like myself, and not all of them will come out as you hope. Stick them in the fridge and let set.

Now prep the icing. Take your 1/2 cup of softened butter and whip it up in a mixer until nice and fluffy. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of rum and vanilla and 1.5 tablespoon of eggnog and blend well. Gradually add 3 3/4 cup of powdered sugar until well incorporated. Tasted the icing because it is unreasonably delicious. Feel free to add more rum/vanilla/eggnog if you feel like it could use more flavour, but I feel like the icing should be a more subtle eggnog flavour than the cupcake, which is where it’s at.

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Mmmm frosting. So great.

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Into the icing bag it goes- I always like to use a cup to hold open the bag, works well.

Now fill the cupcakes by cutting the cones out of the top, putting in a dollop of ganache, and putting the cone back on (again, detailed instructions can be found in my Going Banana’s Cupcake Recipe).

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Filled with the nectar of the gods- white chocolate. Mmmmm yes.

Pipe on the icing in a nice delicate swirl. Take your snowflakes out of the fridge and carefully (VERY CAREFULLY) peel them off of the wax paper/silicone mat, and stick them onto your cupcakes! And there you have it folks. Once you try one of these cupckes you’ll be “snow happy” I guarantee it!*

*Disclaimer* I don’t actually guarantee it I do not know your baking skills. You could have totally screwed them up and that is not my fault. My cupcakes were awesome. So I suppose I should say if you do it correctly and then eat them you will be “snow happy.” But probably not if you screw everything up. Sorry kids.

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Tell me these aren’t happy cupcakes! They’re just sitting there all happy and snowy and wonderful. Winter in edible form.

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*happy sigh*

Ingredients (Makes 18 cupcakes)

Cupcakes

  • 1 1/3 cup flour (either gluten free or all purpose)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup dark rum (mandatory)
  • 1 cup eggnog
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white sugar

Icing

  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter (1 stick/8 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 tsp. rum
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tbsp. eggnog
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 3 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Ganache

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup white chocolate

Snowflakes

  • 1/2-1 cup white chocolate (depending on your snowflake making skill)

Brief Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350F and line cupcake pans with 18 cupcake liners, preferably white or light blue.

Make the ganache by bringing 1/2 cup of whipping cream to a boil. Right when it starts boiling pour it over the 1 cup of white chocolate. Let sit for a minute then stir together. Put in fridge to cool.

In a medium bowl, mix 1 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt.  In a mixer, blend together 1/4 cup dark rum, 1 cup eggnog, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 cup white sugar. Add the dry ingredients.

Pour into cupcake liners and bake for 22-24 minutes; cool.

While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the snowflakes by melting 1/2 cup of white chocolate. Put the white chocolate into a piping bag with a very small tip or put in a ziplock bag and cut a tiny hole out of the tip. Pipe snowflakes onto a piece of wax paper and make lots of extra! Place in the fridge to cool.

Prep the icing: whip up the 1/2 cup of butter. Add the 1/2 tsp of rum, 1/2 tsp vanilla, pinch nutmeg, and 1 1/2 tbsp. eggnog. Then gradually add 3 3/4 cup of powdered sugar until well incorporated.

When the cupcakes are cool, cut out cones in the top, fill with chocolate ganache, and put the cone back on. Then pipe on the icing, carefully peel the snowflakes from the paper, and set on top!

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Beaming Butterscotch Cupcakes

Beaming Butterscotch Cupcakes: Butterscotch chip cupcakes with butterscotch filling, salted caramel buttercream icing, and butterscotch drizzle.

Mood: This is the cupcake for when everything is going your way, and life is so sweet you can’t stop smiling.

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As previously stated in Party Like It’s Your Birthday Cake Cupcakes, I threw a party in celebration of my recent employment, and for said party I made 2 kinds of happy “Eat Your Feelings” cupcakes. This one, Beaming Butterscotch, is full of butterscotch and caramel goodness! I hope you enjoy them as much as my party guests did :).

Instructions: 

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Then, mix together the dry ingredients (1 1/2 cup flour, 1 2/3 t. baking powder, 1/3 t. salt) together in the smaller of 2 bowls. In the larger bowl, whip up the 2/3 cup of softened butter. Add the 2/3 cup of granulate sugar. Then add the 2 eggs, one at a time and the 2/3 t. vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and the 1/2 cup milk to the wet ingredients, alternating (add dry, milk, dry, milk, dry). Mix it together really well, and then fold in the 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips.

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The butterscotch chips mixed in the batter! Mmm yum.

Divide between 15 lined cupcake wells (I did 18, but as you can see from the pictures, did not adequately fill the cups so the cupcakes were a little short. my guess is that they may adequately fill 12-15 cupcakes. Use your judgement. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cupcake comes out clean.

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Look how sad and short they are! Save your cupcakes from this same fate and do not try to stretch the batter too far.

Now for the butterscotch sauce. Put the 1/3 cup butter in a saucepan on the stove. Heat over medium heat to melt. Once melted, whisk in the brown sugar, whisk in cream, then let it bubble and thicken for 5 minutes. NO STIRRING. I know you’ll be tempted but don’t do it. Once it turns a caramelly brown, remove from heat and whisk in 2 2/3 t. vanilla extract and 2/3 teaspoon salt. Let it cool either on the counter or in the fridge.

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Side note: If you’re like me and make a ridiculous amount of cupcakes, you may have frozen heavy cream in the freezer because it’s cheaper to buy in large quantities. But unlike me you should try to remember to thaw it out before you start making cupcakes. Needless to say, I, being the brilliant human being that I am, did not thaw it out. Sooo I ended up hacking away at a frozen brick of cream, which looked like this: I then melted it on the stove before proceeding like normal with the rest of the sauce.

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Doesn’t it look appetizing? Nope.

Alright now we just have to make the icing! The tastiest part of any cupcake. Since this is caramel icing, we need to make the caramel. Combine 1/6 cup granulated sugar and 1 1/3 T. water in a small pan on the stove. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, and cook, without stirring, until it turns the colour of coffee and two creams, or a dark amber colour. Don’t worry if you burn it, just start over again, I burned two batches before I got it right. Caramel is tricky! Use hot water to clean the pot if you’re having trouble- sometimes I boil water and let it sit in the pan to dissolve the sugar. Slowly stir in the 1/6 cup heavy cream and 2/3 t. vanilla extract. Don’t worry if a few chunks form, just don’t put those chunks in the icing, but the slower you add it the less chunks will happen.

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Boiling the sugar water. Mmm.

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This is what it looked like after I added the cream and vanilla.

Congrats you  just made homemade caramel! Wasn’t that fun? Ok so let it chill until cool to the touch, in the fridge is fastest. Then with a mixer combine 8 T. butter and 1/3 t. salt on medium high speed and mix until fluffy. On low speed, slowly add the 2/3 cup powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Make sure the icing is mixed well, then add the caramel, beating on medium-high speed until thoroughly mixed.

Now time to put it all together! As usual, we’re going to fill these bad boys. Cut a cone out of the top of all the cupcakes, fill the hole with the butterscotch sauce, and put the top back on.

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Mmm filled with yummy butterscotch

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Just waiting patiently for the icing

Put the icing in a piping bag (or a plastic bag with a hole cut out the corner if you’re cheap and or do not have icing equipment) and pipe it on. Then drizzle the leftover butterscotch sauce. And there you have it! Beaming Butterscotch cupcakes, sure to make you smile all day 🙂

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“Eat me!”

Ingredients (Makes 15ish cupcakes)

Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 2/3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips, coursely chopped

Icing:

  • 1/6 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 tablespoon water
  • 1/6 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar

Butterscotch Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 2/3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt

Brief Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Then, mix together the dry ingredients (1 1/2 cup flour, 1 2/3 t. baking powder, 1/3 t. salt) together in the smaller of 2 bowls. In the larger bowl, whip up the 2/3 cup of softened butter. Add the 2/3 cup of granulate sugar. Then add the 2 eggs, one at a time and the 2/3 t. vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and the 1/2 cup milk to the wet ingredients, alternating (add dry, milk, dry, milk, dry). Mix it together really well, and then fold in the 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips.

Fill lined muffin wells 1/2-2/3 full of batter. It should make 12-15 cupcakes. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool before decorating.

For the butterscotch sauce: Put the 1/3 cup butter in a saucepan on the stove. Heat over medium heat to melt. Once melted, whisk in the brown sugar, whisk in cream, then let it bubble and thicken for 5 minutes, and do not stir. Once it turns a caramelly brown, remove from heat and whisk in 2 2/3 t. vanilla extract and 2/3 teaspoon salt. Let it cool either on the counter or in the fridge.

For the caramel icing: Combine 1/6 cup granulated sugar and 1 1/3 T. water in a small pan on the stove. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, and cook, without stirring, until it turns the colour of coffee and two creams, or a dark amber colour. Slowly stir in the 1/6 cup heavy cream and 2/3 t. vanilla extract. Let it chill until cool to the touch, in the fridge is fastest.

Then with a mixer combine 8 T. butter and 1/3 t. salt on medium high speed and mix until fluffy. On low speed, slowly add the 2/3 cup powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Make sure the icing is mixed well, then add the caramel, beating on medium-high speed until thoroughly mixed.

When the cupcakes are cool, cut cones out of the tops of each of them, fill the hole with butterscotch sauce, and replace the top. Then pipe on the icing and drizzle more butterscotch sauce on top of the icing. And, enjoy!

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