Let’s Talk About Cocktail-Inspired Cupcakes

Remember when Sookie from Gilmore Girls was named the Frog Girl? What? You can’t remember every detail from the eight seasons of this girl-power dramedy?

Totally understandable, here’s a refresher: When Sookie and Jackson first started dating, she told him she loved frogs to break the ice when he wore a frog t-shirt.  Then everything snow balled and Jackson created a menagerie of frog figurines for Sookie — thus she became “Frog Girl.”

Well, similarly, I became the Cupcake Girl.

When I first started baking, I asked for aprons and baking supplies for birthdays, Christmas, gift-giving occasions, etc. But, my family equated “baking” with trendy cupcake items.

For said occasions, I have received a plethora of cupcake-shaped or cupcake-emblazoned things—from books, to magnets, to ornaments, to even soap.

At first, I didn’t like being the Cupcake Girl. But, I have since Leaned In and lived up to my title.  Now, after baking batches of cinnamon, Nutella and even jalapeño flavors, I decided to add a little twist to my cupcake confections: booze.

That’s right, I’m talking cocktail-inspired cupcakes.

To kick off a series of frosted fun, I decided to go with a new take on a summer staple …

Introducing the Mojito Cupcake

What you will need

•   2 ¾ cups sifted flour (1 ¼ cups cake flour and 1 ½ cups all purpose flour)

•   4 teaspoons baking powder, just a tad less is good. Do Not Exceed 4 teaspoons.

•   ½  teaspoon salt, just a tad less is good. Do Not Exceed ½ teaspoon.

•   4 egg whites

•   ½  teaspoon cream of tartar

•   1 ½  cups sugar ( ¾ cup granulated, ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar)

•   ¾ cup butter, softened

•   1 cup milk

•   1 teaspoon vanilla extract

•   ½ teaspoon peppermint extract (This stuff is strong. Do not exceed 1 teaspoon.)

•   1 tablespoon rum, and 2 tablespoons to set aside

•   Zest and juice of one lime

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

Beat egg whites until foamy with cream of tartar. Gradually add ¼ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar.

In a separate bowl, cream butter and add remaining 1 cup sugar.  Blend egg mixture into this bowl.

Add sifted ingredients alternately with milk, a small amount at a time.

Blend in extracts, lime parts and rum.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes.

Use the 2 tablespoons of rum you set aside to lightly brush the tops of cupcakes.

Now for the buttercream lime frosting!

1 cup unsalted butter, softened  

3 cups confectioners’ (AKA powdered) sugar

¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3½ tablespoons lime juice

Optional: 1 tablespoon rum, or rum to taste

Optional: 2 drops green gel food coloring

Mix it up. (If icing is too runny, add more sugar. If too thick, add a splash of milk.)

Apply frosting.

Garnish with lime and fresh mint leaves.