She was a banker during California's high-tech boom. Then the dot-com bubble burst. Out of work and with time to think, Candace Nelson realized baking was her true passion. Fast-forward through pastry school and a home-based cake business to a cheerful Beverly Hills cupcake shop called Sprinkles. For customers, it was love at first bite. At home, sample her irresistible bourbon-spiked chocolate treats with strawberry icing.
Chocolate Bourbon Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting
As the liquor bakes off, it leaves behind scrumptious hints of vanilla, caramel, cinnamon and molasses.
Makes: 24 cupcakes
1 cup bourbon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 24 liners.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, simmer bourbon and butter.
- Slowly whisk cocoa powder into saucepan until mixture is creamy.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, whisk sugar, flour, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, beat eggs and sour cream with an electric mixer. Slowly add bourbon and cocoa mixture. Combine on low speed.
- Slowly add flour and sugar mixture, combining on low speed until completely incorporated.
- Fill baking cups three-fourths full. Bake for about 22 minutes. Cool.
1 cup whole fresh (or frozen, thawed) strawberries
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
Pinch of coarse salt
7 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Puree strawberries in bowl of a food processor.
- In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined.
- Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons of the strawberry puree (save remaining puree for another use). Mix until just blended. Do not overmix; consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.
Originally published in the June 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.