How was everyone’s Cinco de Mayo? Mine was fairly uneventful. My cuatro de Mayo, however, was excellent. Why? Because I got to eat these churro cupcakes with dulce de leche and whipped cream, that’s why!
I’m kind of crazy for both cinnamon and caramel-esque flavors, so I LOVE this cupcake. I love it so much that the first thing I did when I got home from running on Cinco de Mayo was eat an unadorned churro cupcake with a few spoonfuls of dulce de leche. Like I said, I’m kind of crazy.
I got the cupcake recipe from chockylit — and it’s fantastic. When she made these cupcakes, though, she dropped balls of chocolate ganache in the batter before baking, which I tried. But on tasting it, I decided that the chocolate was so rich it overpowered the cupcake. I loved the cake’s light and cinnamon-y flavor so much, I wanted to be able to taste it, and with the rich creamy chocolate in there, that just wasn’t happening.
So I decided to take a different tack: dulce de leche.
I’ve always made dulce de leche by boiling a can (yes, the actual can) of sweetened condensed milk, but I hear that’s dangerous. Also, it takes like four hours. That’s a long time to stand next to the stove salivating.
This recipe by David Lebovitz is a lot quicker, as well as safer: There’s no chance of explosion.
For the frosting, I wanted something light that wouldn’t compete too much with the cinnamon and dulce de leche, so I decided to use whipped cream. I swirled the whipped cream on top of the cupcakes, sprinkled a tiny bit of cinnamon-sugar on top, drizzled them with dulce de leche and then topped it all off with … mini churros!
Which, judging from the reactions I got, were the most impressive part of the whole cupcake.
To make the mini churros, you don’t need a mini frying pan, as one of my co-workers speculated, but you do need a pastry bag and a small star tip. IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t use a disposable plastic pastry bag unless you want the heat from the oil to soften the plastic so that when you squeeze it, dough gushes out all over. (Trust me, you don’t want that.)
Recipe: Dulce de leche
Recipe by David Lebovitz
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 425°F.
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a shallow baking dish; a glass or ceramic pie plate works great.
- Stir in just the tiniest bit of sea salt — a few grains will do it.
- Place the pie plate in the middle of a larger pan (I used a 12-inch round cake pan; you could also use a roasting pan) and carefully pour in hot water into the larger pan until the water level hits about halfway up the pie plate.
- Wrap the top of the pie plate with aluminum foil and put it in the oven. Let it bake for 1 to 1¼ hours, checking the water level occasionally (add more water if you need to). When the milk is carmelized, carefully take the pan out of the oven and let cool to room temperature, then whisk until smooth.
Recipe: Churro cupcakes
Adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop by chockylit
- 2 sticks butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 2¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoon ground extra fancy Vietnamese cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350˚F and line a muffin tin with baking cups.
- Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed. Once the butter is smooth and creamy, turn the mixer to low speed and slowly pour in the sugar. Keep beating the butter-and-sugar mixture until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time, making sure to mix well (about 20 seconds) after each addition.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- In a small bowl, stir the vanilla into the milk.
- Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the butter-and-sugar mixture. You’ll want to start and end with the flour, and mix just until incorporated after each addition.
- In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. It’ll be white and foamy. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
- Fill your lined muffin cups about ¾ full of batter. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a cake tester stuck in the middle comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely.
Recipe: Whipped cream
Recipe from “The Whimsical Bakehouse” by Kaye Hansen and Liv Hansen
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pour the cream, sugar and vanilla into the bowl of a standing mixer and whip until stiff peaks form.
Recipe: Mini churros
Recipe from Cupcake Bakeshop by chockylit
- ⅔ cup water
- 2⅔ ounces butter
- 1 pinch salt
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground extra fancy Vietnamese cinnamon
- vegetable oil, for frying
- Heat about an inch of oil in a wide, deep pan to 360˚F. (If you don’t have a deep-fry thermometer, here are three ways to tell whether the oil is hot enough.)
- In a medium saucepan, bring water, butter and salt to rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the flour, stirring until the mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Beat the eggs in a small bowl until blended and then pour in the saucepan as you stir.
- Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip and pipe the mini churros right into the oil. Use a butter knife to cut off the squeezed-out dough when it’s about an inch long.
- Fry the mini churros until they are golden brown. It should take about 2 minutes on each side.
- Scoop the churros out of the oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to absorb any extra oil.
- In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon, then dump onto the churros.
- Cut a small, cone-shaped hole in the center of each cupcake; this will be a well for the dulce de leche.
- Fill a pastry bag with dulce de leche and squeeze it into the center of the cupcakes. Wait a few minutes; some of the dulce de leche will soak into the cake. Then go back and squeeze more dulce de leche into the holes.
- Spread or pipe the whipped cream onto the cupcakes. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon-sugar, then drizzle with dulce de leche. Garnish with a couple of mini churros.
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