I am no stranger to desserts with alcohol or even cupcakes with booze inside. This isn’t even my first time making a bourbon pastry cream. Why do I need so many boozy cupcake recipes? Why not? Boozy cupcakes are delicious, everyone loves them, and they signal the start of a party!
These cupcakes were made for Ron’s birthday. Last year Irene and I were jerks and we both forgot to bake for Ron’s birthday. We bake for everyone’s birthday but sadly he was left out. This year I made sure to remember, but I was still a week late, whoops. Better luck next year I guess!
For the past few years Ron has gotten a box of the chocolate bottles with liquor inside from one of his students. Many afternoons we would go have a little “pick-me-up” during our preps. Honestly, there is more sugar in those things than anything else. Good times up on the fourth floor!
I wanted to try to recreate that memory in cupcake form. These aren’t the prettiest cupcakes but they sure do taste good! I made the pastry cream a little thicker than usual and divided it among four bowls with a different liquor added to each bowl and mixed in. You could use any liquor you want. I went through my liquor cupboard and thought about what sounded good with chocolate. I came up with marshmallow vodka, amaretto (Disaronno), Godiva liqueur, and bourbon. All excellent choices!
The chocolate cupcake is moist and tender. The pastry cream is delightfully creamy and has a strong boozy flavor. The frosting is nice and chocolatey. This cupcake may not be high on the cuteness factor, but it is high on the fun and delicious scale!
Yield – 16 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup whole milk
2/3 cup hot water
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the cupcake pan with liners, it’s easiest to use four different liners, one for each flavor.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, soda, powder, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix together on low with the paddle attachment.
- Beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk in a small bowl and add to the dry ingredients.
- Mix until just combined and then scrape down the sides. Turn on the mixer and add the hot water slowly until well combined.
- Use a standard ice cream scoop to generously fill each liner
- Bake 15-18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Boozy Pastry Cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 ounces sugar
1 ounce cornstarch
2 tablespoons each of Disaronno, marshmallow vodka, bourbon, Godiva liqueur, or liquors of your choice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Heat the milk until it reaches scalding in a medium saucepan.
- Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and eggs in a medium bowl.
- Add 1/2 cup of the hot milk to the sugar mixture and whisk continually. Add a little more hot milk while you keep whisking.
- Once the eggs are warmed add to the rest of the milk on the stove and heat until the mixture thickens to the consistency of pancake batter. Stir the entire time.
- Once thicken, add in the butter and stir to combine.
- Push the pastry cream through a fine sieve into another bowl.
- Divide the pastry cream into 4 different bowls. Add 2 tablespoons of liquor to each bowl and stir to combine.
- Cover each bowl with plastic wrap touching the cream. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Chocolate Whipped Frosting
Yield – Generously frosts 36-40 cupcakes (refrigerate or freeze for later use, just let thaw and then re-whip to piping consistency)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
7 1/2 tablespoons flour
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
generous pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk and flour. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes smooth and thick resembling pancake batter.
- Remove from the heat and add in the chocolate chips. Give them a few minutes to melt and then mix until well combined.
- Stir in the vanilla and salt and allow to cool completely.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – beat for 8 minutes
- Add in the cooled flour/milk/chocolate mixture and beat until the entire frosting is light and fluffy, about another 5-8 minutes. This is a softer frosting, don’t be discouraged!
Melted candy melts of a contrasting color
- Cut a deep cone out of each cupcake. Cut off the pointy end of the cone so you just have a lid to put back on the cupcake after you fill it with pastry cream.
- Add a generous spoonful of pastry cream to each cupcake, make sure to coordinate fillings with liners.
- Place the lid on the cupcake.
- Pipe frosting over the top to cover up the lid.
- With melted candy melts or anything really, pipe a symbol so you know what flavor liquor is in each cupcake.
- Refrigerate to help the cupcake firm up and hold its shape.