Hi Folks, I hope you’re all doing great and not overly disappointed that winter is here…especially after such a relatively mild, dry Fall (at least here in Ontario). Just when I was hopin’ for a green winter…curses! 🙂
The snow has, at the very least, thrown me right into holiday baking mode. Okay, okay I’m always in baking mode but—right now it’s ALL about the cinnamon, the peppermint, all those fun cookie shapes and, of course.. the Egg Nog!
How about one of these to make your holiday season Merry & Bright? Spiced Rum & Eggnog Cupcakes with a whipped eggnog buttercream…
This doesn’t look like a bad way to drink all that Holiday ‘Nog, right?
This year will be my first Christmas with my baking biz so I’m pretty excited. I’ve gotten a couple orders already (woohoo!) but now that I’ve got my holiday menu out, I’m hoping to be baking non-stop ’til Christmas Eve. Since this blog is moving toward baking & food, I thought I’d share some of my favourite holiday recipes with you guys. This is the first recipe of my 12 Treats of Christmas!
As many of you know, I bake exclusively gluten-free these days. I love creating copycats of all the classic faves and coming up with new creations, too. Many folks who have tried my goodies tell me they can’t tell the difference (from regular gluten ones) so I’m taking that as a sign that I’m on the right track. Regardless, I’m having fun creating and taste-testing. If you don’t need to avoid gluten, just swap regular flour for the GF flour in any my recipes. I always try to come up with very versatile, allergy or diet-friendly recipes and give as many options/substitutions as possible.
Today I’m sharing these fun cupcakes that will defintely put you in the Christmas spirit. Add a bit of booze to the eggnog buttercream as well (for adults only, of course) and you’ll REALLY start feeling the Christmas spirit 🙂
It just ain’t the holidays without copious amounts of eggnog, at least for me anyway. Even if you can’t have dairy, there are several great dairy-free options (homemade or store bought) these days so you never have to go Nog-less. I generally don’t drink a lot of dairy myself so I’ve tried quite a few of them. My absolute new favourite is the So Delicious Coconut Nog. It tastes just like regular eggnog (and not coconut-y, either–surprisingly) and it’s absolutely delish. I don’t care for the soy milk ones (good thing because I usually avoid soy like the plague) and the almond milk nogs I’ve tried aren’t amazing, but not bad either. But don’t worry, you can add any eggnog to these festive cupcakes and they’ll still be amazing!
Here’s a funny story about when I was a kid and spent a few months drinking eggnog as meal replacements because I wouldn’t eat real food (just scroll down if you want to jump right to the recipe):
When I was about 8 years-old, I suddenly started worrying that I was going to choke on my food. It would take me hours to eat a meal, especially if it was something chewy like meat. My mom would sometimes have to put my food in the blender (Ugh!) and she also made me fresh eggnog when I wouldn’t eat breakfast or lunch. I wasn’t eating a whole lot (and I was super skinny to begin with) so she really wanted to make sure I got enough protein/nourishment. The eggnog was quick and easy to make and there was no chewing involved whatsoever.
My parents were still worried though, so I eventually saw the doctor who thought maybe I was anorexic (I wasn’t). If that had been the case, though, I would have made history as the youngest person ever (at 8 years old!!!) to have an eating disorder. I didn’t have one, fortunately, but I went to see a counsellor anyway so we could figure out what was going on. Shortly after, my whole paranoia somehow passed and I was back to eating normally again.
I eventually figured out why I was so paranoid and it had to do with a story my brother had told me awhile back: One of his friend’s had almost died from choking whilst eating a hot dog!!! I guess at the time I didn’t realize how much it freaked me out, but that explains the panic I was feeling each time I ate anything (except for chocolate or cookies—for some mysterious reason). I must have just forgotten this story or somehow didn’t attribute it to my fear—until I put two & two together (much, much later).
People were actually quite surprised I was afraid of choking because I used to partake in food-inhaling contests with my friends (stuff like ‘who could eat a bag of marshmallows the quickest? yikes!). We’d barely chew our food so we could get it down fast to win the race. So clearly I wasn’t always afraid of choking on food, else I wouldn’t have been swallowing marshmallows whole….at lightening speed, even!
Aside from this brief episode of weird paranoia, I have always been a pretty happy eater.
The eggnog that my mom made did help during that time and I always enjoyed it as it was always fresh, homemade and super tasty (I’m glad we didn’t worry about raw eggs back then or I wouldn’t have had the eggnog, either).
Moral of this story (besides never listening to your brother, or at least the scary stories) is that I was introduced to FRESH EGGNOG at a fairly young age. Sure the store-bought ones are pretty tasty, they just can’t really hold a candle to homemade ‘Nog. If you haven’t made homemade Egg Nog before, you are missing out and maybe you should add that to your list of fun things to do this Christmas.
If you like Eggnog (and rum), you’ll love these cupcakes. Even gluten-free, they’re moist and very delicious. Don’t worry, you won’t get tipsy after eating one of these because the alcohol in the rum cooks off during the baking process and it leaves just a hint of tropical flavour behind. You can use any spiced rum you like or just leave it out (gasp!), if you prefer.
The buttercream is a cooked frosting with a splash of eggnog. If you prefer, just use your favourite recipe and use a bit of eggnog for some of the milk or maybe try my yummy vanilla buttercream I posted awhile back that goes with my coconut cupcakes (just sub ‘nog for some of the coconut milk and use all butter). This frosting (below) is incredibly tasty, less sweet than a typical frosting, and has a wonderful whip cream-like texture. It’s similar to an Italian buttercream, but since I don’t like eating egg whites, I find this an awesome alternative. It takes a bit more work than your standard buttercream but it’s soooooo worth it. There are plenty of versions of this type of buttercream…just google ‘flour frosting’ and you’re bound to find tons of great recipes.
Hope you are all having a wonderful start to the holiday season! Happy ‘Nogging and let me know if you like the cupcakes. It’s not Santa that you have to worry about stealing these…you’d better hope Captain Jack Sparrow doesn’t find them first. Arrrrr 😀
Spiked Rum & Eggnog Cupcakes with a Whipped Eggnog Buttercream
Makes 12 Cupcakes
Note: if using my buttercream recipe below, make the frosting first before the cupcakes as the cooked frosting needs to cool completely (about 1 hour in freezer or a couple hours in fridge) and then it needs to sit at room temperature for awhile before mixing in butter & whipping. If you’re making a standard buttercream, no need to make the frosting first.
1 ¼ cups GF flour (this is a good one..or reg All-Purpose flour)
1 cup sugar (any dry sugar is fine, including coconut sugar)
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (dried is fine, too) + more for sprinkling on
1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 large eggs, room temp
½ cup eggnog (regular or dairy-free)
2 Tablespoons Spiced Rum (optional)
1 Tablespoon vanilla bean extract (or reg vanilla)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. 2. In medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside 3. In large bowl beat butter for a couple minutes and then add sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. 4. Add in eggs, one at a time…scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula if necessary. 5. Add half of the flour mix, stir gently and then add eggnog and rum. 6. Pour in remaining flour and mix just until combined. 7. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling each to about 2/3 full 8. Bake about 18-20 minutes or until tops are slightly golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.
Whipped Eggnog Buttercream
1 cup sugar (regular granulated, not the icing/powdered kind)
¾ cup milk (regular or dairy-free)
¼ cup eggnog
2 Tablespoons GF flour (I often use white or brown rice flour)
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 teaspoons vanilla bean extract,
1 cup butter, slightly softened
1. In a medium saucepan combine sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Add milk and eggnog and whisk mixture together until it’s fairly smooth.
2. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the milk mixture starts to thicken and becomes almost like a cupcake batter in texture. It usually takes about 5-8 minutes. When it starts to get to thick and hard to mix easily, it’s ready.
3. Take off heat & stir in vanilla extract. Cover and immediately put in freezer to cool.
4. After about 40 minutes, or a little longer, your mix should be cool enough to use. Make sure it’s not warm at all, or the butter will melt and it won’t whip up properly. At the same time, you need to leave it at room temperature for a little bit so that it’s not too cold or the butter won’t absorb properly into the mix.
5. Gradually add the butter (I like to add it in a few pieces at a time), and beat at low-speed with hand mixer. As it starts to get whipped, you can increase the mixing speed a little. Mix for about 2 minutes until it resembles whip-cream. I usually put it in the fridge for a few minutes before adding it to cooled cupcakes so that it keeps its shape (especially if you use it for piping). Garnish with fresh nutmeg & enjoy 😀 ARRRRRR!