Fruitcake is delicious again! Especially when baked into a tasty vanilla cupcake and topped with rum buttercream. Happy holidays, indeed! You can use your favorite fruitcake recipe or pick up an already baked cake at your local bakery or grocery store (which is what I did). They’re easy to find this time of year, and it’ll save you some time in the kitchen. This recipe will make about 20-24 cupcakes.
For the cupcakes you’ll need:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
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
1 fruitcake, cut up into about 24 chunks (about 1.5” cubes or so—small enough to fit in cupcake tins, but big enough to be a good mouthful)
For the buttercream you’ll need:
3 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 t. rum extract (or use the real stuff, boozehound!)
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees (F).
Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Mix for about a minute, until creamy (be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice, to ensure everything is getting worked in). Then add the milk and flour, alternating between the two ingredients (to avoid lumps) until the batter is smooth and everything is well combined.
Plop a heaping tablespoon of batter into paper-lined cupcake tins. Press one hunk of fruitcake into each tin (they should be small enough to fit in the tins with some room around the edges and on top).
Spoon another heaping tablespoon of batter over the fruitcake, completely covering the sides and top of it. The tins will be pretty full, but not quite to the top (otherwise they’ll overflow and make a mess).
Bake for about 24 minutes, until the cake starts to turn golden brown and springs back when gently touched.
Cool! And then make the buttercream.
Whip together the butter and the powdered sugar. I usually add the powdered sugar about a cup a time—makes it fluffier. Then add your rum or rum extract, and whip until fluffy and smooth. Give it a taste to make sure you don’t need more rum or sugar, and then frost your cupcakes and top with some candied fruit and chunky sugar crystals!