Thursday, 14 October 2010


To mix it up a little we ran a cupcake stall at an "arts, crafts and oddities fair" recently. We joked that our Cocktail cupcakes must have fallen into the 'oddity' section. As this was held in the function space of a local pub, we felt a cocktail theme might be a fun way to entice more sales. It worked rather well as it turns out - the drinking crowd adored them. Of all our sales, only one slightly baffled mother and wide eyed small child were left scratching their heads at the choices.

My personal favorite on the day would have had to been the Pina colada cupcake. Rum, pineapple and coconut flavours are great in a glass together turns our they get on great in cake form as well. A moist rum cake base with a pieces of fresh pineapple in the centre, coconut icing hat and cocktail umbrella were like little bursts of sunshine on a dreary London afternoon.

As with nearly all of our cupcakes we find baking a treat in the centre not only keeps the cupcake moist but also ensures an extra little surprise and delight whilst devouring. One of the bar tenders who tried a Pina Colada asked "How do you get them so moist?". Well there's your answer... secret surprise inside for the win!

Oh and we sold the young lad a mini-white russian which was the least alcoholic of the three flavours, but still in all likelihood the most alcoholic thing he's probably ever consumed in his short life. Start em young I say...

We used a recipe from All recipes as a starter but customised it for our needs. In particular we shortened the suggested baking time to ensure maximum moistness and added more rum (of course) to the batter. We found the initial amount suggested barely gave a hint of a taste of rum. We were going for stronger flavoured cupcakes as we were in a pub setting - so you might like to try making the base batter then progressively adding more and doing a single cupcake test bake until you get the result you wanted.

300g flour
240g soft butter
230g sugar
4 eggs
200ml milk
2 teaspoons of baking powder
80ml dark rum
250g of pineapple, cut into small pieces
230g soft butter
580g icing sugar
115ml milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
100g of desiccated coconut + more for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.

2. Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl. Combine the milk and rum in a measuring jug.

3. Cream the butter with an electric mixer till in a large bowl. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating for 3 mins. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk mixture. Don't add in all the milk mixture - reserve a small bit. Use your eye to ensure the batter is slightly thick - then taste. Add more rum to milk and add gradually until desired strength is reached*

5. To bake place a few pineapple pieces in each muffin case, and fill 2/3 full with the cake mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 - 16 minutes depending on size of cupcake and your oven (might stretch to 20 in a more mellow oven). Do skewer test to be sure.

6. To make the icing: With an electric mixer, beat the butter, milk and 1/2 of the icing sugar on medium speed for 3 to 5 mins. Gradually add remaining sugar, still beating. Continue beating for 2 minutes, then stir in the coconut. Ice the cupcakes after they've cooled completely, and sprinkle with additional coconut and a cocktail umbrella for decoration.

* When tasting your batter if you think its a hint and lovely tasting then in all likelihood the rum flavour wont even feature once it is baked. Depending on what you want out of your cocktail cupcake, my tip is to ensure the rum has quite a firm flavour (but not totally dominating) in the batter form  - which will mellow once it is baked. To do this - add all of the dry mixture and most of the milk mixture. Taste. If its still rather mild then add another shot of rum to the reserved milk and slowly add that to the batter. Stop when you reach desired batter thickness.You want it a medium thickness - not too runny, not too thick.

So there you have it. Incidentally Bex and I do rather like Pina coladas but getting caught in the rain?... not so much...


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