Wednesday, December 17, 2008

egg nog cupcakes

Egg Nog Cupcakes 01

Just a quick post today because Mom and I are about to leave for a little road trip to my second favorite place in the whole world -- Notre Dame! Most alumni make their annual pilgrimage back to the University during football season. Not me, though. Don't get me wrong -- I love Notre Dame football weekends -- but my favorite time to visit is when classes are finished, the students have gone home, and the casual visitors are few and far between. Perhaps that seems odd since all of these things are part and parcel of a bustling college campus. But when the campus empties out and I can wander down the quad without a single other person in sight, I can pretend that the Notre Dame of today is still my Notre Dame. Nothing has changed. I haven't gotten older. And I still feel right at home.

So here's the thing about egg nog cupcakes. They taste strikingly similar to a spice cake. And why shouldn't they? Spice cake = some sort of milk + vanilla + spices. Egg nog = some sort of milk/cream + vanilla + spices. Still good, though, and still worth making for a holiday treat. The pastry cream really makes the cupcake seem egg noggy, mostly due to its texture I think. One word of caution, though: these cupcakes inflate quite a bit in the oven and then shrink back a little as they cool, so don't make them in paper souffle cups (or you'll end up trying to hide the shrinkage with frosting, as I did).

Egg Nog Cupcakes
Yields 24 cupcakes

A recipe by Cheryl at The Cupcake Bakeshop
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temp
3 eggs, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup eggnog
1/4 cup bourbon/dark rum (all of one or a mix)
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon each baking powder and soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Egg Nog Pastry Cream
A recipe by Cheryl at The Cupcake Bakeshop
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup eggnog
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Adapted from a recipe by Cheryl at The Cupcake Bakeshop
1 cup butter, room temperature
6-8 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup egg nog

To Make the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium-size bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy.Beat in the eggs one at a time until blended.

In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, mix together eggnog, bourbon, and vanilla.

Add the flour mixture to the batter in three additions, alternating with the egg nog mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Fill your cupcake containers of choice 2/3 full and bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling or frosting as desired.

To Make the Pastry Cream Filling:
Place flour in a heavy sauce pan, gradually whisk in eggnog until blended and smooth. Add egg yolks, one at a time, whisking until just combined after each addition.

Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, removing from the heat occasionally to avoid lumps, until thickened. If necessary, strain through a metal sieve to remove lumps.

Remove from heat, stir in butter, rum, and vanilla. Transfer pastry cream to a bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming on the surface. Refrigerate until ready to use.

[To fill the cupcakes like I did, cut a cone shape out of the top of the cupcake, add about a teaspoon of the filling, and replace the cone "hat."]

To Make the Frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium-high speed until creamy. Add half of the sifted sugar, the vanilla, and the egg nog. Beat until combined. Gradually add the remaining sugar until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.


  1. Can I just tell you, that these were fabulous- I got soooo many compliments!!
    One quick, silly question, I love the little paper cups you use! My problem arose when I tried to get the cupcake out of the wrapper- is there an easy way to do it??

  2. Hi Cori -- I usually snip the rolled edge of each cup with a small pair of wire cutters. This makes it easy to peel the cup away from the cupcake.

    (Scissors will also work, but they are bulky and more likely to poke into the frosting in the process.)