White Russian Cupcakes

I first made this recipe for my 22nd Birthday Party. The theme was “In Soviet Russia, Party Throw You!” These White Russian cupcakes were the perfect complement to an evening of “Leninade” and “Pin the Mustache on the Stalin.” Though they would also be most appropriate for a screening of The Big Lebowski. For the birthday party I went all out by making a crowd of mustachioed comrades surrounding a large central cupcake with an extremely accurate (if I do say so myself) rendition of Stalin’s facial hair (most people only focus on the mustache, but the eyebrows are equally important!)

I will only make a cupcake if it has at least one of the following: fruit or alcohol. And if you find a recipe that has both, jack pot! Cupcakes have a tendency to become cloyingly sweet. Few people have the capacity to stomach pure sugar with more whipped sugar on top. Through rigorous testing, I have determined that the aforementioned ingredients provide the perfect cut of flavor to make your cupcakes irresistible. Using alcohol is your recipes, or “boozy baking”, does not require an expert hand, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

1. You can’t rely on your taste buds: Normally I advise people to taste as they go to avoid any missed ingredients or avert a baking  disaster (like the time I accidentally 1 TBSP of salt instead of 1 tsp… #nasty,) however, the batter will taste different before the alcohol bakes out. This is less important when using rum or beer, but vodka and other spirits will have a dramatic taste difference. Therefore, simply be careful with your measurements and trust the proportions in the recipe.

2. Alcohol affects baking time and texture: Boozy baked goods can go from perfection to dry in a short amount of time. With this recipe, you should keep a close eye on the oven and regularly check for “done-ness.”

White Russian Cupcake

cupcake recipe adapted from How to Eat a Cupcake, makes 12 cupcakes
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 large egg and 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 cup Vodka
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua, divided into 2, 1/8 cups
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until combined. Add egg and egg white, one at a time. Then add the vanilla, Vodka, and 1/8 cup of Kahlua. Gradually add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk in two additions, ending with the flour mixture.
3. Bake 17 -20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcakes comes out clean. While the cupcakes are still warm, brush the tops with the remaining 1/8 cup Kahlua. Remove from pan and cool completely before frosting.
Kahlua Buttercream
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter*, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons Kahlua
Beat butter until creamy. Add salt. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined. Add Kahlua 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.
*A note on butter selection: When making a butter cream frosting, DO NOT USE INFERIOR BUTTER or you’ll be left with a bland pile of creamed powered sugar. I recommend Kerrygold Irish Butter. It’s slightly more expensive, but it makes all the difference.

3 thoughts on “White Russian Cupcakes

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