Eggnog Cupcakes

Eggnog is one of those things that I pass on most of the time. Something about the thick, spicy, fat-laden cream just doesn’t seem like something I want to drink, and it most certainly doesn’t seem like it will quench my thirst. I do have friends that like it though. One friend in particular which has a birthday at the end of December, when eggnog is in abundance at the grocery store. I could feel it coming when he starts mentioning things that are eggnog flavored, I take the hint, and start thinking of how I can get creative with his bond to this creamy drink. Last year I made him an eggnog cheesecake, and this year it was eggnog cupcakes. I have to admit, these were good enough to change my mind and reconsider eggnog, but probably only in cupcake form. Had you seen me bake these, you’d find me licking raw batter, constantly sticking my finger in the pastry cream, and even piping leftover frosting in my mouth.

Here they are naked. The cake part itself had eggnog in it as well, and the rum extract I added in gave that liquor-flavored kick, which was nice. Using the c0ne method, I filled it with eggnog custard. Filled cupcakes are awesome because people never expect it, and when they bite in, the look on their face says it all as I sit back with a “I knew they were filled” look on my face.

I didn’t get to take a picture of a cupcake cut in half to show the inside, since the recipe made exactly the right amount for my cupcake holder, and I was afraid it’d look funny if it was missing one. After I loaded them all into my cupcake caddy, it was off to the dinner party, and the birthday boy was eggnogedly thrilled.

Eggnog Cupcakes with Eggnog Buttercream
Cake and frosting adapted from An Edible Mosaic
Pastry Cream is from Chockylit

Eggnog Cupcakes:
3 large eggs
1 1/4 c white sugar
1/2 c canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp rum extract
1 c eggnog
2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350F. Beat together the egg, sugar, oil, vanilla, rum, and eggnog until thoroughly mixed. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring until just combined (there will still be a few lumps; be careful not to over-mix, or the cupcakes won’t be fluffy and light). Line the muffin tray with paper liners and very lightly spray the inside of each paper liner with cooking spray. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before filling.

Eggnog Pastry Cream:
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup eggnog
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon dark rum (I used rum extract)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place flour in a heavy sauce pan, gradually whisk in eggnog until blended and smooth. Add egg yolks, one at a time, whisking until just combined after each addition. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, removing from the heat occasionally to avoid lumps, until thickened. If necessary strain through a metal sieve to remove lumps. Remove from heat, stir in butter, rum and vanilla. Transfer pastry cream to a bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap, chill.

Eggnog Buttercream:
1 stick (1/4 lb) salted butter
1 lb powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp rum extract
About 6 Tbsp eggnog (more or less to achieve your desired consistency)

Cream together the butter, sugar, rum, and vanilla. While still mixing, add the eggnog 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

Putting it all together: Using the cone method, cut out a cone from the top of each cupcake and fill with a generous tablespoon of eggnog pastry cream. Then replace lid. Fill pastry bag with buttercream and pipe on, and top with a Whopper, or just sprinkles.

Enjoy!

-Ai

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