Best Use of Biscuits: Strawberry Shortcupcakes

It was sweltering in southern Minnesota, 98 degrees Fahrenheit with fifty percent humidity. I was put in charge of bringing dessert to a Fourth of July barbeque held by my best friend, his weirdo roommates and a handful of townies that I could never decide if I even liked, yet constantly yearned for their acceptance. Red white and blue cake seemed too obvious. Jell-O cake too lowbrow. I toyed with the idea of making lemonade cake, but quickly decided that would be a sticky mess in the July heat.

What could be more quintessentially American or summer than strawberry shortcake? I started pulling ingredients out of my cupboard and refrigerator. I sprayed a no-stick baking spray on some cupcake pans and quickly set to work mixing the ingredients for the shortcake biscuits. After baking, I removed the biscuits from the cupcake pans and let them cool on a rack. While the biscuits were cooling, I sliced some strawberries and set out to whip up some cream.

When I went to add powdered sugar to my chilled heavy whipping cream, I noticed that the container was crawling with ants—but not just any ants, SUPER ants. These were the ants that give you nightmares. The ones you envision carrying off an entire human body to their underground home. Then I realized they weren’t exactly moving. Did they suffocate in powdered sugar? If there was such a lack of oxygen, how did they even get inside the container? Were they smaller before gorging themselves to death on powdery confection? Did they OD on this fine, white, powdery substance?

I pulled myself together, calmed by the fact that they didn’t seem to be moving, and considered my next move.

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Cinco de Baking: Loaded Corona Cupcakes

Editor’s Note:  Snebbu will be bringing you more of his 100 ways to use beer in food and drinks shortly, but first: a brief holiday interruption. With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, longtime ES reader Pyrles joins us with a holiday recipe that combines two of our favorite things: cupcakes…and beer!

When people think about beers to include in baked treats, I’m guessing Corona doesn’t often come to mind. In fact, I cannot myself explain why I thought this was a good idea in the first place. Even making the batter, I had my doubts. The first whiff of what a friend deemed “skunk beer” when I opened the bottle nearly made me scrap the idea entirely. But for whatever reason — in this case, love of a good challenge and desire to turn a favorite drink into a dessert — I made the cupcakes. And they are wonderful.

As I’ve come to expect from throwing beer into my cake batter, the cupcakes’ texture is fantastic: moist, but not dense. The Corona flavor comes through, but it is muted enough under the citrus. I may not have identified the beer if I didn’t bake these myself! The Bacardi Limon in the frosting compliments the cupcakes well and undercuts the sweetness of the buttercream.

This recipe is modified from Ellie Delancey’s Blue Moon Cupcakes. Enjoy!

Corona Cupcakes

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Coconut Limoncello Cupcakes

I know there are a lot of you cupcake haters here on ES, and yes, I am still trying to convert you. Can I offer you a cupcake with a boozy limoncello curd center that will drip, pour and ooze its way into likeability?

Come on, check out that money shot, begging you to take a bite and taste its tartness. Actually, it was really tart when I first made it so instead of adding more sugar to the mix to even it out, I decided to step it up with some limoncello. Booze is, after all, the grand equalizer in food — alright, that’s just my personal philosophy. It works more often than not to even out a too-strong flavor, and as expected here, it didn’t fail.

So, my dear cupcake haters, brace your tastebuds and take in a rich lemon cupcake body filled with a limoncello curd that’s then been stacked with piles of coconut sweet buttercream frosting, then covered in sweetened coconut.

And trust me when I say the lemon and coconut pairing is quite damntastic!

Coconut Limoncello Cupcakes

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Is That a Banana in Your Cupcake?

After all the chocolate and beer desserts of last few posts, I thought I would lighten it up some and make something non-chocolate. You know, get back to basics like pie or cupcakes — better yet let’s just fuse the two for some banana cream pie cupcakes.

Let me say, it’s like finding nirvana between the pleats! On your way, you’ll find a vanilla cupcake stuffed with some banana cream filing and topped with some good ol’ fashion whip cream. To round it all out I rimmed the whip cream with some crumbled coconut and pecan graham cracker crust and then drizzled it with some caramel sauce — and done! Enjoy.

Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes

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Bacon Streusel Maple Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Stats, spreads, percentages…um, let’s talk about what really matters during the Super Bowl. Commercials, the half-time show and of course — food! All the other stuff is extraneous, unless of course you win the pool, in which case football is great.

As for the food, the Super Bowl calls for a dessert sophisticated enough to bring to an event, but crowd-pleasing enough to…well, please a crowd. Enter the Super Bowl Cupcake.

The streusel on top framing that thick cloud of maple cream cheese frosting is not your everyday streusel. That my friends, is crushed bacon wrapped in some cayenne and brown sugar for a sweet and spicy flavoring, then paired up with some crushed almonds for added nutty goodness. This is the kind of killer combination that will make you glad you publicly declared to eat better for your New Year’s resolution.

Bacon Streusel Maple Cream Cheese Cupcakes

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Strawberry Ice Cream Funfetti Cake

Burns My Bacon: This is Not a Cupcake, It is a Cake

Jumbo cupcake!
King size cupcake!
Tiny cupcakes won’t do, but 25 times bigger feeds the whole crew!

Cupcakes are tiny cakes, yes? But for some reason, the logic doesn’t feel right the other way around. There’s no such thing as a giant cupcake. There’s just not. It’s a fucking cake.

Have Your Cocktail and Eat It Too: Mudslide Cupcakes

Mudslide Cupcake

Editor’s Note: It’s been a minute since we’ve had a baker here in our midst at ES, but Sweet Fiend (a.k.a. Naomi of drool-worthy dessert blog Bakers Royale) has stepped up to the plate. She’ll be joining us here occasionally to share killer dessert recipes and more. Please welcome Sweet Fiend.

This past Sunday morning, while everyone else was buying their Starbucks, I was in a liquor store that reeked of old spilled milk buying a flask size worth of Jameson. The look on the cashier’s face was better than my husband’s—what was someone who is barely tall enough to bully a toddler doing purchasing whiskey on a Sunday?

Don’t judge me Dude, it’s for the love of cupcakes. These Mudslide cupcakes are rich, sweet and decadently full of all the stuff your mama warned you against. Personally, I eat them for breakfast—hey, they have coffee in them. By revelry or rebellion take a bite and enjoy. A few notes:

•  I made my own Bailey’s, but you can use the store-bought stuff to shave some time off the recipe. The cupcakes will taste the same. This recipe just gave me a good excuse to make my own home brew.

• For the instant coffee portion, I used Starbucks Via Bold. I find it tastier and stronger than most espresso powder made for baking.

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