Mudslide Cupcakes

I’m not the kind of person who freaks out when a weather system approaches.  You won’t find me at the grocery store grabbing milk and bread at the first report of a blizzard in January.  Now butter and sugar?  That’s an entirely different story – how else am I going to spend the long snowy days if not in my kitchen working on baking projects?  Anyway, as news of Hurricane Irene first began to spread, I pretty much ignored it.  Since weather forecasts can change so much over the course of a few days, I don’t tend to pay much attention until storms get close.  Reports in the past 24 hours, however, have me thinking it might at least be wise to grab some water and a flashlight (and brownie baking supplies).  As of now, the eye of the storm is projected to pass slightly west of us, but close enough that we’ll definitely have some severe weather, and if we do lose power, I’ll be kicking myself for not being at least a little prepared.

Mudslide Cupcakes

None of that has too much to do with these cupcakes.  Unless you think a drink would calm your nerves in the wake of an approaching hurricane.  In that case, these cupcakes will be right up your alley.  Chocolate and coffee flavored cupcakes topped with both Kahlua buttercream and Bailey’s buttercream – sounds good, right?  They are quite boozy, definitely more so than any cupcake I’ve made in the past (even the margarita cupcakes).  I was nervous to send them to work with Shane because, frankly, I wasn’t sure it was appropriate :)  He did take them, though, and they were a hit.  The Kahlua buttercream was my favorite part of the recipe for sure.  I’m not a huge fan of Bailey’s and it’s pretty strong here so I would probably play with the recipe next time to mute that flavor a bit.

Quick note – I shared quick instructions below for swirling the two frostings on the cupcakes, but if you guys want more detailed instructions with accompanying photos, let me know and I’ll put together a tutorial in a separate post soon.

Mudslide Cupcakes

Mudslide Cupcakes
adapted from The Curvy Carrot (cupcakes and Kahlua buttercream originally from Worth the Whisk)

Cupcakes
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup coffee, at room temperature
3/4 cup Kahlua
3 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar

Kahlua Buttercream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
4 tablespoons Kahlua
2 tablespoons coffee, at room temperature

Bailey’s Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

Whisk the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Combine the coffee and Kahlua in a measuring cup.

Add the egg whites to the the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-low speed until foamy. With the mixer still running, gradually add the granulated sugar. Once incorporated, increase the mixer to medium-high speed and continue beating until stiff peaks form – the egg whites should be glossy, not dry.

Transfer the egg whites to another bowl and clean out your mixer bowl (or use a second bowl if you have one). Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, and cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the coffee/Kahlua mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the egg whites.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes then remove them to the rack to cool completely.

To make the Kahlua buttercream: Beat the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (it will look almost sandy). Add the cocoa powder, Kahlua and coffee and beat to incorporate. Once the frosting comes together, increase the mixer to medium-high speed and beat until smooth and fluffy.

To make the Bailey’s buttercream: Beat the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (it will look almost sandy). Add the vanilla extract and Bailey’s and beat to incorporate. Once the frosting comes together, increase the mixer to medium-high speed and beat until smooth and fluffy.

Pipe the buttercream* onto the cupcakes and garnish with chocolate curls, if desired.

*To achieve the swirled frosting: I added the Kahlua buttercream to one disposable pastry bag and the Bailey’s buttercream to another.  I snipped the bottoms from each of them, then inserted them in a 3rd disposable pastry bag that was fitted with the tip I wanted to use for piping.

Makes 20-24 cupcakes