Last October I traveled to Istanbul on a whim (kind of). And it was amazing. We made it our goal to eat and drink our way through the city. I’d say we were pretty successful. Istanbul is a gorgeous city full of history and culture- definitely a great place to visit.
One day we stopped at a Turkish bakery and decided to have one of our meals there. That is when I fell in love with Turkish pastries and more importantly, baklava.
Ever since then I have wanted to try my hand at Turkish pastries. Their desserts are just different than ours- but very delicious. My friend found a baklava cupcake on pinterest, but when I investigated it I couldn’t find a recipe. Minor set back. Then I realized I had no idea how to make baklava, let alone how to bake it in a cupcake. Another set back. I did some research and found what seemed like a reliable baklava recipe, and also a honey vanilla cupcake recipe to pair with it (honey vanilla seemed like a natural pairing).
I’m not going to go into detail about making the baklava- you can go here and figure it out for yourself. I will say that I would probably make more syrup than what it calls for if I was serving it as just baklava. For my purposes though it worked just fine as is. Make sure you cut your pieces into tiny squares- remember they are going into a cupcake!! When you are done with the baklava…freeze it.
Now for cupcakes. I went with a honey vanilla cupcake. I came across this same recipe on several sites, and most of them gave credit to the White House chef for it. I, however, do not know the White House chef and could not find any links or sites to confirm this. So theoretically, that’s where this recipe came from.
Honey Vanilla Cupcakes (makes ~24 cupcakes)
- 1/2 c. butter
- 1/2 c.sugar
- 1 1/2 c. honey
- 4 eggs
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 4 c. flour
- 2 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350*. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. In your mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and honey. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
Okay go grab your baklava now (from the freezer, remember!). I use a cookie dough scoop gadget to scoop batter into the cups and it usually takes 2 scoops per cupcake. So this time I did one scoop for each wrapper, placed the piece of baklava in, and then covered the baklava with another scoop of batter. Baklava is rather delicate so I figured this was the best way to do it. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
While these nuggets are baking, you can start on the frosting. I decided to go with a spiced buttercream frosting, that way both the cupcake and frosting present different flavors of the baklava. Ahhhhh. So just pick your favorite buttercream frosting and add a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon to it. You should know by now that I don’t use recipes for frosting!
Once your cupcakes are cool frost them however your heart desires, sprinkle some chopped pistachios on top, and admire what you have just created. Absolutely delicious. Heavenly. Most likely will send you into a sugar coma. But oh, it’s so worth it!!