Some of the season’s best flavors are crammed into this cupcake—chocolate, cranberry, and hot buttered rum.While my buttercream didn’t contain any actual rum, you’re more than welcome to throw in a splash (or more) when you make these. It’d make your holiday dinners even more festive! This recipe will make about 18 cupcakes (with cranberry sauce left over, maybe—yum!).
For the cranberry filling you’ll need:
12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
1/2 c. water
3/4 c. sugar
For the cupcakes you’ll need:
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/3 c. whole milk
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
For the buttercream you’ll need:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
about 2 c. powdered sugar
5 oz. of your favorite hot buttered rum batter (I used Trader Vic’s, but you could also do homemade)
a splash of rum or rum extract (optional, it’s delicious without it)
For the cranberry sauce filling, first rinse the cranberries in a strainer and pick out any bad berries. Put them in a medium saucepan with the water and the sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the water starts to boil and the berries start to pop (it will take only a few minutes, probably), turn down the heat and constantly stir the mixture. Watch out for popping berry debris—it’ll be hot and it could splatter on your hand. I learned this the hard way.
Once all of the berries have popped and the mixture has thickened (about five minutes), remove from heat and allow to cool while you make the cupcake batter. (You could transfer the berries to a bowl and stick ‘em in the fridge, if you’d like—it’ll speed up the cooling process so they’re ready to use sooner).
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
Cream together the butter and the sugar in a mixing bowl, until it’s all fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is getting all mixed up evenly. With the mixer on low, add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Turn the mixer up to medium high and beat for 45 seconds or so, until it’s good and creamy. Then add the flour and milk, alternating between the two ingredients a half cup or so at a time (if you add all of one at once, the mixture will get gummy and you could end up with flour lumps—ew!). Finally, once the batter is smooth and the milk and flour are all added, pour in the melted chocolate. Make sure it isn’t too hot, though—it’ll melt the butter and turn into a mess. Mix until it’s combined.
Scoop a heaping tablespoon of batter into paper-lined cupcake tins. Using the back of a small spoon, carve out a little crater in the center of the batter (without going all the way to the bottom of the tin) and drop in a heaping teaspoon of the cooled cranberry mixture. Cover with more batter, so the tins are about 3/4 of the way full.
Bake for about 22 minutes, until the cake is set. It will bounce back if you gently press your finger into the top of the cake.
Allow to cool, then make the buttercream.
Put the butter in a mixing bowl and beat for about 30 seconds to get it all creamy. Add the hot buttered batter and beat for another 30 seconds or so, until creamy. Add the powdered sugar, a half cup of a time, and a splash of milk if the mixture is getting too thick. (Or rum. You could always add rum.) Taste a couple times along the way to make sure you don’t need to add more hot buttered batter, sugar, or rum (or milk, if you aren’t a drinker). Once the mixture is smooth, and has the flavor you want, frost the cupcakes!
I topped mine with some dried cranberries. A sprinkle of nutmeg would be good, too.
This recipe was created by Megan Seling for Bakeitinacake.com. See more things baked inside other things here!