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! :)
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
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 milk + vinegar)
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
for the mini cupcakes:
- preheat oven to 350°f
- 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.
- in a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. add in the earl grey tea bag and stir until combined.
- whisk sugar, oil and vinegar 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.
- 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.
- transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
for the frosting:
- melt brown butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
- 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.
- transfer browned butter and brown sugar mixture into the bowl of a mixer (or a medium size bowl if using a hand mixer).
- 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! :)