Wine Cake Cupcakes

It was my birthday this week, and that presented the issue of “Who bakes Cupcake a cupcake?!”. I did have some offers from friends, although they were all along the lines of “Well, I could make you something…but it probably won’t be that great”. So I took the opportunity to do some experimenting. One of my favorite types of cake is wine cake. I guess you could put it in the spice cake category, and there’s wine involved so of course I’m all for it. I was originally introduced to this lovely cake in college, when my fellow baking friend (whom I fondly call Skullcrusher) made it for one of our dinners. I obtained the recipe from her and added it to my collection immediately. The only problem was that is was based on a cake mix. Mind you, it still wasn’t a follow-the-box cake, but still…I always hated to admit that I had used a cake mix. SO I set out to make the same cake- but from scratch. And I believe I achieved it. I think ultimately I will have to get Miss Skullcrusher to try it for herself and decide, but I was rather satisfied with the results.

Birthday Celebration
Celebrating my birthday with some wine we picked up from the Biltmore last year

I did have one minor issue with these cupcakes- or rather, the cupcake wrappers. At first I was disappointed because being the perfectionist that I am, I couldn’t serve them…but they tasted so good! So I did the most logical thing/what most bakers would do- fixed it with frosting. I took the cupcakes out of the sassy zebra wrappers and into the cutesy flower wrappers my friend gave me a few weeks ago. Frosted them and ta-da! Good to go.

Wine Cake Batch #1
Before and After for Batch #1

Because I was experimenting, the first batch I made was rather small. I figured that way if I failed, I wouldn’t have to throw away TOO many cupcakes. I almost made the second batch the same as the first, but I figured as long as I was playing around, I might as well keep on experimenting. I made a few changes to the second batch- involving egg yolks, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. To all you scientists out there- be quiet, I know there’s too many variables in that to really see what made the difference. But I was feeling risky, and so what if this isn’t a controlled experiment. Second batch turned out fantastic!! The taste was pretty similar in both, but the texture and density differed some. While the first batch was good, the second batch was definitely lighter and fluffier.

Wine Cake Batch #2
Batch #2 = Success.

Normally I pair wine cake with cream cheese frosting, but this time (being in the experimental mood that I was in), I went for a mascarpone frosting. I had never used mascarpone before, but I figured now was as good as time as any! It was tasty, in case you’re wondering.

Wine Cake Cupcakes (~12)

  • 1 stick butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temp
  • 2 egg yolks, room temp
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. butter extract
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350*. Line muffin pan. Cream butter for several minutes with an electric mixer. While you are doing this, in a seperate bowl sift together flour, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda. Add sugar to butter, mix until creamy. Add the egg and egg yolks one at a time to the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and butter extract. Mix the sherry and milk together. Alternately add the flour mixture and sherry, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Divide batter between cups. Bake for about 20 minutes.

Mascarpone Frosting

  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Cream mascarpone and heavy cream. Add vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar. If you need to, add additional cream to reach the desired consistency.

Wine Cake Batch #2
Sassy Wine Cake Cupcakes
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