Coffee cupcakes with spiced vanilla frosting

I love this cupcake decorating technique! Unfortunately I didn’t have the correct size petal tip so I had to modify the technique slightly. The result is not as neat, but I still had a lot of fun and like how it turned out. This technique also creates a thin layer of frosting. Therefore it is perfect for people who dislike too much frosting, or when you want the cupcake flavor to shine and not be overpowered by overly-sweet frosting. I’m sharing the tutorial for the actual method below, but if you only own a tiny petal tip like me, pipe the edges accordingly, but smear the edges inward with a spoon or small spatula. Would love to give it a try with the correct petal tip next time though.
One decorating tip – to pipe the innermost layer of petals, increase the angle of your tip to the cupcake to create a full circle of petals, and overlap the edges slightly. Avoid piping a round blob for the center. As you can see in the example above, it turned out too clumsy and unrealistic. In hindsight I should have sprinkled some chopped pistachios or cocoa nibs to hide that blob.
I used the same coffee cupcake recipe as my Hydrangea Cupcakes. I love how versatile coffee is – it enhances chocolate flavor, adds depth and balance to baked goods, and goes great with a variety of spices and mix-ins. (That’s why Starbucks has so many yummy flavors). Cardamom is one of my favorite flavors and I thought that a spiced cardamom-vanilla frosting would give the coffee notes an interesting kick. If you like cardamom as well, this buttercream is seriously addicting.
Coffee Cupcakes with Spiced Vanilla Filling
makes 12

Coffee Cupcakes adapted from MissTamChiak

125 g unsalted butter
125 g light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
125 g all purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp strong brewed coffee

Spiced Vanilla Frosting adapted from Martha Stewart Cupcakes

120g butter, room temperature
160g icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp milk
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cardamom

To make coffee cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius. Line muffin tray with cupcake liners.

Cream butter in an electric mixer for a few minutes. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combines. Add eggs and beat until mixture is well blended, light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and mix well.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add half the dry ingredients and beat on low speed. Add coffee and the remaining dry ingredients and beat until combined. Do not over beat, stop immediately once the flour and coffee are well mixed into the batter.

Spoon batter into cupcake liners until three-quarters full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of cakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make spiced cardamom-vanilla frosting:

Beat butter at medium speed for 2 minutes. Reduce speed and add the icing sugar a little at a time. Beat well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and adjust to your desired consistency using the milk. Add salt and ground cardamom to taste.

To assemble:

Core out the center of the cupcakes and fill it by piping in the spiced vanilla buttercream.

Fit your piping bag with a Wilton #104 Petal Decorating tip. With the thin side of the tip facing the outer edge of the cupcake, pipe several layers of ruffles around the cupcake. The more pressure you apply and the slower you pipe, the more ruffled the petals will be. For a detailed tutorial watch this video by MyCupcakeAddiction.

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