Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy National Cupcake Day!

Today is national cupcake day. I asked my boss if I could have the day off, seeing as it may as well be a religious holiday for me. She laughed. A lot. I was only halfway joking ;)

In celebration of the day, I made these gingerbread cupcakes that I found on The Rockstar Diaries.
I'm not thrilled with them. They're good, just not my favorite. It's not a taste thing - it's a texture thing. They're very dense, which is just not how I like my cupcakes. If that's your thing, this might be your new favorite recipe. Steph and I had a debate yesterday, partially sparked by this cupcake, about the difference between cupcakes and muffins. It's not just about the icing - an un-iced cupcake is clearly not a muffin. Google tells us the difference is in the ratio of fats, sugars and eggs. Google also said "If you threw a cupcake against the wall, you would hear something of a 'poof!' If you threw a muffin, you would hear a 'thud!'"... but I think it was joking. These little gingerbread guys are clearly in the grey area between cupcake and muffin. But I digress. Here's the recipe.

What you need:
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1 T. ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
Dash cloves
1 1/2 T. molasses

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. Add in the remaining ingredients and beat until just fully mixed (don't overbeat). Pour into cupcake liners and bake at 350 for about 18 minutes.
The original recipe calls for a buttermilk buttercream. But I decided to go a different direction and make up my own Eggnog buttercream. I didn't have a recipe, so I just kinda threw stuff in. Some of these measurements may be approximate - add or subtract as you wish.

What you need:
1 cup butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar
3 T. eggnog
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Cream butter until fluffy (2-3 minutes). Continue beating as you gradually add in powdered sugar. Mix in eggnog (you may need more or less, depending on how stiff you want the frosting). Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon and cloves and beat until combined.

Happy Cupcake Day, the happiest day of the year!

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