To celebrate my birthday, which was a month ago, I wanted to bake about 3 cakes and 2 desserts. From there I narrowed it down to one type of cupcake, one inspired by an alcoholic drink, sort of like the car bomb cupcake. I’d been toying with the idea of making a cake with incorporating the flavors of a buttery nipple shooter, which is made with butterscotch schnapps and Baileys. I found a triple butterscotch cupcake recipe a while ago and figured I could just replace the butterscotch frosting with a Baileys buttercream, which is included in the car bomb cupcake. Though the cupcake itself didn’t include schnapps in the recipe, I figured a naturally butterscotch flavored cake would be sufficient.
I don’t remember the last time, if ever, I’d made cupcakes with brown sugar so I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out. Boy, were they buttery. I don’t think the cakes themselves had a butterscotch flavor necessarily, but they were tasty and complemented the frosting well. I do think the cake could’ve been a tad more moist, which may have been my error. I cut the recipe in half and used a whole egg plus a yolk, but using a whole 2 eggs probably wouldn’t hurt though. That’s really my only critique of the cake, though.
Baileys frosting is boozy and delicious. I modified it a bit so that the flavor of the Baileys was more prominent, but it was just as good as ever. The butterscotch sauce was a great topping. What’s even better, I can’t decorate cakes worth a darn but I thought the sauce made the cupcakes look more interesting than my usual sad frosting techniques or even sadder piping.
Alone the components of the cupcakes are pretty good, but I think together they form a pretty special cake. I enjoyed the cupcakes and they were a great treat on my birthday.
Butterscotch Cupcakes adapted from Annie’s Eats
Yield: 12 cupcakes
- 6 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
- ⅞ cups plus 1 tbsp. dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- 1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups cake flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup plus 1 tbsp. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons Baileys
- 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 to 2 cups of confectioners sugar
- 3 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
Butterscotch Sauce* also from Annie’s Eats
- 6 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- Pinch coarse salt
- ¼ cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place baking liners into cupcake pans. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add oil to butter and sugar and mix completely until it becomes a smooth consistency. Next, add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl periodically to make sure all of the batter gets blended together. Beat in rum and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour half of the flour mixture into the large bowl. Without overmixing, briefly beat together dry and wet ingredients on low speed. Then, add the Greek yogurt and mix. Finally, pour the rest of the flour mixture into the large bowl. Briefly mix again until just combined.
Spoon batter into the lined cupcake pan, making sure there is about an equal amount in each cup. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until slightly golden. After inserting a toothpick into the center of a cupcake, it should come out clean. Allow to cool in the pans for about 5 minutes. Place cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, cream butter until fluffy. Mix in Baileys. Then add confectioners sugar (for me, about 1 ½ cups) and beat on medium speed until the texture is the smooth. Beat in heavy cream until fluffy. Liberally frost cooled cupcakes.
For the butterscotch sauce, in a saucepan place butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely. Allow the sugar mixture to boil then cook for 2 minutes; continue stirring constantly. Remove the mixture from the heat and slowly add heavy cream, then whisk. The mixture may bubble up a bit. Put the saucepan back on the heat source, then cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and allow to cool until it becomes room temperature. Using a small spoon, drizzle the cooled butterscotch sauce carefully over the frosted cupcakes.
*Btw, I left the amounts for the butterscotch sauce as they were in the original recipe since I can’t remember if I cut this recipe in half or not. Worst case scenario, you’ll have sauce left over for topping ice cream or whatever; I found a teaspoon or two to be a nice addition to my coffee.