Sunday, August 4, 2013

White Russian Cupcakes and Family Reunions

I've always gotten along better with people older than myself. During the reunion, this picture surfaced and it brought a tear to my eye. When I was younger I was pen pals with several of my relatives, two of whom, my Aunt Charlotte and my cousin Dawn are pictured above. My Aunt Charlotte passed away quite some time ago and it has been many years since I've seen Dawn. I didn't even know this picture existed, so this was definitely the highlight of the picnic for me. 

Due to the fact that I've always been more of a baker than a cook, I usually get asked to make some sort of dessert for the reunion, so I opted to try out an idea for a recipe I had several months ago: White Russian cupcakes. Because what could be better than alcohol and dessert in one?

The recipe calls for Kahlua in the batter and Bailey's in the frosting. The alcohol bakes off in the batter, so for a kid-friendly version I used the same cupcakes but bought jarred vanilla frosting and topped the cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles. The cake itself is moist and a wonderful combination of flavors: chocolate-y with a bit of a coffee tone in the background. My 3 year old niece ate the virgin version and loved it.

The cupcakes came out wonderful and they offered a bit of a variety from the normal smorgasbord of potluck desserts: chocolate chip cookies, brownies, etc. Enjoy!

White Russian Cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Kahlua
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup black coffee
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
5 teaspoons Bailey's
4 teaspoons milk

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add oil, Kahlua, milk, and coffee. Mix at medium speed until ingredients are incorporated (about 2 minutes). Add eggs and vanilla and beat for 2 more minutes.
  3. Pour batter into cupcake pan with liners until about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
  4. While cupcakes are cooling, combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, Bailey's and milk in a medium mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until ingredients are incorporated. Add more milk if frosting is too thick.
  5. Frost cupcakes. Garnish with extra cocoa powder if desired.

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