Alright. So I’ve seen the regulation flood of green cupcakes appearing in time for our country’s favourite ‘everybody go out and drink enough to make friends with the floor’ day. A lot of them look damn good – and I was even considering making my own take on green cake as a comment on the day.
But then perverse instincts kicked in and I went off on a massive cocktail-inspired cake quest instead – hey, alcohol-inspired treats are still appropriate, right? I like to call ’em CupTails. I’m sure somebody has likely already thought of that, but I like it. It’s all catchy and stuff.
This was the first CupTail project I tried, and damn did it turn out good. I adapted a recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery’s book, Home Sweet Home. When I say adapted, I really mean I just added Crema di Limoncello to the batter and the frosting, because a) it’s alcohol and b) it’s delicious. Also c) I should really make a lemon-strawberry cream cocktail. Why haven’t I done that already? Keep watching future posts…
The batter is fluffy, sweet and rewards you with hits of strawberry milkshake and mellow lemon at each bite. The icing? “best I’ve ever tasted” was one comment; “Where is the leftover icing” another. When I got around to trying it myself, I was ecstatic, because it was brilliant. Sugary, shake-sweet, hugely nostalgic hits of cool creamy milkshake with a very mild edge of cream liqueur. Fantastic. Everyone should have this.
CupTail Ingredients (makes twelve):
70g Butter, softened
210g Plain Flour
250g Caster Sugar
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
100 ml Whole Milk
110 ml Crema Di Limoncello
2 Large Eggs
40g Strawberry Milkshake Powder (I used Nesquik)
500g Icing Sugar plus up to 100g extra in reserve
160g Butter, softened
50ml Whole Milk
40g Strawberry Milkshake Powder
25 – 50 ml Crema Di Limoncello (to taste)
1. Preheat that oven – 170 for non-fan, about 150 for pro-fan. Line muffin trays – I got ridiculously pretty liners for my birthday (thanks to my deadly mum) and used the hell out of them for these. They came from Kitchen Complements, in packs of fifty, economically priced and awesome. Highly recommended shop for Dublin cake fanatics.
2. Using your hand and a spoon or an electric mixer (depending on your energy!), blend butter, flour, sugar and baking powder together. You’ll end up with an even, crumb like consistency. This feels like a Katy Perry playlist kind of cupcake.
3. In a bowl, combine milk, eggs and milkshake powder by hand til even. Add half of this wet mix to your dry crumb mix and beat to combine evenly. When the mix is even, add the rest of the wet stuff and re-blend til even.
4. Save yourself a lot of angst and pour that batter into a measuring jug with a well defined pouring tip. Drop pours of batter into each muffin liner, ensuring they’re relatively even (it took me a couple of rounds). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (mine were 21 on the dot). Ready cakes will bounce back at a touch! Straight out of the oven, and out of those pans. Leave to cool on wire racks, til cool to touch.
5. Cream the butter for the frosting with an electric whisk until it’s really soft and yielding, than gradually dose it up with about 150g of icing sugar at a time (I use estimate pours, please don’t go crazy measuring that out exactly!) til 500g of icing sugar is evenly combined with the butter – it will look very dry, the point is to eliminate any large lumps in the mix! Now, add the milkshake powder to your measured milk, mix and pour into the frosting together with a dose of limoncello to your taste. Beat through til light and fluffy – I recommended additional icing sugar in reserve in case the frosting gets a bit too liquid with the additional alcohol (mine certainly did, but then I’m a bit heavy handed on my pours…)
6. Frost to level of desired cuteness, time and patience dependent – I used a rose effect swirl nib inside a piping bag out of sheer curiosity. I sprinkled over some pretty gold sprinkles to finish, and then watched these disappear as soon as I put them on the table.
(I posed ’em with the other CupTail experiment I completed that day – mmm, Rum…)