Friday, February 1, 2013

earl grey mini cupcakes with brown butter toffee frosting

Earl Grey Mini Cupcakes with Brown Butter Toffee Frosting via design. bake. run.

in honor of the san francisco 49ers being in the super bowl this super bowl sunday, i decided why not make some mini cupcakes. it's the perfect excuse to finally bake again, after taking a little break. the last time i made anything was for m's birthday party and those macarons for that contest and that was a couple of weekends ago, at least. i have to admit, i was a little burnt out from all the holiday baking.

alright, so back to these delicious looking cupcakes. yes, i knew i wanted to make some mini cupcakes, just wasn't sure which ones exactly. i didn't want to make the usual (chocolate or vanilla cupcakes), and after some time looking through the pantry i settled on some earl grey tea bags. so there you have it. why not?! earl grey mini cupcakes. either that or maybe some mini red velvets? well, i decided on the earl grey instead and i'm very glad i did because both recipes (the cake & frosting) turned out fabulous. one mini bonus is, the cake recipe is egg-free so it's great for anyone with an egg allergy! they are really the perfect bite.

i am in love with the brown butter toffee buttercream. i told m i will have to make it again and use it as a filling for whenever i make macarons. so glad i stumbled upon it... and all thanks to a crappy microwave at the moment. yes, i believe our microwave needs replacing. i couldn't even microwave the stick of butter to get it soften for just a few seconds that i decided to brown the butter instead. i'd never done a brown butter frosting before because i couldn't be bothered with cleaning another piece of equipment. but now that i've made it and tried it, i am for sure willing to go through the hassle of it all just for this delicious frosting. it is really THAT good!

below's the recipe for these delicious little one-bite (okay, maybe two from some?!) cupcakes. feel free to try them out and let me know how you like it. enjoy and happy baking! :)

Earl Grey Mini Cupcakes with Brown Butter Toffee Buttercream Frosting via design. bake. run.
i am in love with this buttercream frosting. the brown butter smells so good and the bits of toffee adds that perfect little crunch when biting into this mini cupcake. it's for sure a happy yummy bite!

earl grey mini cupcakes with brown butter toffee buttercream frosting

ingredients:

mini cupcakes:

1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda
1 earl grey tea bag

pinch of salt

1 cup buttermilk (you can use 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp distilled vinegar)


1/4 cup oil
brown butter toffee buttercream:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

3-3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

milk or cream, as needed

directions:

for the mini cupcakes:
  1. preheat oven to 350°f
  2. if using milk + vinegar as substitute buttermilk, combine milk and vinegar and stir to combine. set aside for 5 minutes. mixture will curdle. otherwise, if you're using buttermilk you can skip this step.
  3. in a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. add in the earl grey tea bag and stir until combined.
  4. whisk sugar and oil into buttermilk (or curdled milk mixture). make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. mix until relatively smooth.
  5. fill mini cupcake liners with a scant tablespoon of batter (cups should be just under 2/3 of the way full). bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden, and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.


for the frosting:
  1. melt brown butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. once butter melts, let it simmer for a minute or two (or until it gets to that yummy golden color and smells wonderful!). add in the 1/4 cup of brown sugar. mix until incorporated (about 30-60 seconds maybe?), then remove from heat. if you go beyond, you may get burnt sugar and that's not so good.
  3. transfer browned butter and brown sugar mixture into the bowl of a mixer (or a medium size bowl if using a hand mixer).
  4. add in the confectioners' sugar, a couple tablespoons of milk or cream, and mix on low until everything is somewhat combined. at this point you'll notice that you have hard bits. those are what i'm calling it "toffee" in this frosting recipe. those sugar bits are so yummy and crunchy when you bite into them. okay, once the mixture is combined, turn the mixer to medium-high and mix until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). add cream or more sugar as necessary to achieve proper consistency. pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

makes 36 mini cupcakes. enjoy and happy eating! :)

16 comments:

  1. Woo, go niners! :) These cupcakes look so tasty...great flavors! :)

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    1. Thanks! Just too bad the 49ers lost. Better luck next season I guess. :)

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  2. I totally love your cupcake cups. And those sound amazing. Soooooo many delicious flavors in one little cake!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! And yes, I absolutely love this frosting with this cake. One very delicious bite.

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  3. Silly question, are you emptying the contents of the earl grey teabag into the dry mixture?

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Sorry if I wasn't too clear on that, but yes, you just empty the tea bag and put the tea leaves mixture in with the dry ingredients.

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  4. what if we are making 12 normal size cupcakes should the backing time be double

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    Replies
    1. No. For normal size cupcakes, you should bake them for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden and the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Typically I bake the regular size ones for 18 minutes. But every oven is different. Just to be safe I would side on the 18 minutes and leave it for another minute or two if it doesn't look done yet.

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  5. Brown sugar added to melted butter did not dissolve at all, on the contrary it turned to pieces of hard caramel like substance. Do you have to take the butter off the stove to melt brown sugar? what happened?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Magdalena. I thought the brown sugar melted in my original attempt at making this recipe. When I saw your comment I tried it again and you are right. The brown sugar doesn't really dissolve. And yes, instead it turns into a caramel-like form -- which is actually what you want. You just don't want the brown sugar in the pan too long or it becomes burnt. Once you take it off the stove and throw in the powdered sugar, you'll notices those little bits. That's why I call it toffee (because it reminds me of toffee bits). I'm sorry this recipe did not turn out but hope you don't get discouraged from trying the many others here. And thank you for letting me know.

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  6. Hi, when substituting milk and vinegar for buttermilk, how much milk and vinegar do you use?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Merion. Sorry, I wasn't too clear on my ingredients above. I've since updated it. You would use 1 cup milk and 1 tbsp vinegar for the buttermilk substitute. Otherwise, 1 cup buttermilk will do. Thanks so much for stopping by! Lmk how you like this recipe if you make them. :)

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  7. Hi,how much of the flour do I need to add in for 36 cupcakes?

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    Replies
    1. Hi there. I didn't include it in the recipe write-up but the above recipe makes 12 regular size cupcakes or 36 mini ones. So if you want to make 36 regular ones, you'll have to triple the ingredients or make 3 separate batches. I have never made that much before so I can't tell you if by tripling everything if it'll will come out fine or if you could use less of some ingredients. Let me know what you decide to do. Have fun baking and thanks for stopping by!

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  8. These sound lovely! One question, in #4 of the directions you say to "whisk the sugar, oil & vinegar into the buttermilk" but wouldn't you only be using the vinegar if you weren't using the buttermilk?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jen. Yes, you are correct. I've updated step 4 to not have the vinegar in there if you're using buttermilk. Thanks for pointing that out.

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