Mojito Cupcakes

GUYS.  Guys.  Here it is, the first proof of boozy baking that I’ve done since having the blog.  This intro will be short, as this recipe is dark and full of terrors (actually, I just can’t pass up the opportunity to make a Game of Thrones reference.  I have come across several mojito cake recipes in my internet travels but this one from Brown Eyed Baker is my favorite to work off of!)  This was part of my big huge bake for Saturday – which will have its own follow up post, for your reading pleasure – but I’ve been wanting to get this recipe out there for a while now.  It is hard, no bones about it – a very labor intensive recipe, but well worth the effort.  The first time I made it, I used peppermint extract instead of fresh mint which lent it a bit of a boozy toothpaste vibe – I highly, HIGHLY recommend using the fresh mint.  Also, make sure it’s peppermint and not spearmint because spearmint is a one-way ticket to Listerine city.

I live in South Florida (Fort Lauderdale, if you must know) but lived in Miami before I moved in with Fiancébot.  Our very first date in college involved “mojitos”, which were really just cups of white rum with mint leaves floating in them – the mojito holds a special place in my heart which is made even more special when they become edible and appropriate for work.

Here.  We.  Go!

Mojito Cupcakes

  • Difficulty: medium to kinda hard
  • Print

CUPCAKES:

  • ½ cup buttermilk (store bought, not a homemade milk/vinegar or milk/lemon juice substitute.  Important!)
  • ½ cup mint leaves, bruised
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • Zest and juice of 1½ limes
  • 2 tbsp white rum
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

GLAZE:

  • 3 tbsp white rum
  • 2 sprigs fresh mint

FROSTING:

  • 1½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1½ tbsp lime juice
  • 3-4 tbsp white rum

    So much work, for so much payoff.
    So much work, for so much payoff.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine the buttermilk and the ½ cup mint leaves in a small saucepan over medium heat, warming until the milk starts to steam.  Once steaming, remove from heat and let steep for 15 to 30 minutes.

IMG_0237
I know, I know. It seems weird, and will be even weirder shortly, but it is so, so worth the work

Once finished, strain the milk into a bowl using a fine mesh sieve. The milk will probably appear curdled – this is okay. Press on any milk solids and mint leaves to extract all the liquid possible, then give the milk a quick stir to smooth it out and set aside.

This is the final product of your buttermilk alchemy.  Do not be alarmed.
This is the final product of your buttermilk alchemy. Do not be alarmed.

2. While the mint is steeping, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

4. In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy (about 5 minutes).

5. Reduce speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

6. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest and juice, vanilla and rum. Mix until combined. The mixture will probably look curdled – this is okay! It gets better, I promise.

IMG_0236
Kind of like this, bowl-of-cottage-cheese-esque. I promise you it comes around in the next step.

7. Reduce the mixer speed low. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk in halves. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.

IMG_0239
See! Regular-lookin’ batter.

8. Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes (rotating halfway through) or until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out only with moist crumbs on it.

9. While the cupcakes are baking, make the glaze!  Combine the rum and mint sprigs in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat until the rum is hot (do not let it simmer). Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let steep until ready to use.

10. Allow cupcakes to cool for 5-10 minutes and then move to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the mint-infused rum. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.

11. To make the frosting, beat the butter on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment for 5 minutes, until creamed. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until incorporated. Add the lime juice and rum and mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached. I like my frosting to be noticeably boozy, so you may have to do some fiddling to find the right ratio of lime, rum and sugar that works well for you!

IMG_0222
Yes. Yyyyeeeesssssss.

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