Sunday, June 3, 2012

"Old Fashioned" Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes quite a while ago for Tim's birthday, and they were a big hit.  I knew I wanted to bake him something from the Butch Bakery Cookbook, so I sent him a list of all the different options and these are the cupcakes he picked!  The flavors are based on the 'old fashioned' cocktail.

The cupcakes are nice and moist with a delicate texture and great orange flavor from a triple threat of juice, zest, and extract.  For extra whiskey flavor, you can add an extra step of soaking the cupcakes in whiskey - Tim loved this, but I found it a little too intense, so try one out and see what you think.  Finally, the cupcakes are topped off with an 'old fashioned' frosting combining orange, whiskey, and bitters.  We had quite an adventure finding bitters - after trying a couple of liquor stores, we eventually begged some from a very kind bartender near Tim's old apartment (she did get paid in cupcake form later on in the afternoon!). 

"Old Fashioned" Cupcakes (adapted from the Butch Bakery Cookbook)
Makes 18 cupcakes

For the cupcakes
1 1/2 cups plus 2 T cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 T unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, broken into a small bowl
1/4 cup plus 2 T freshly squeezed orange juice, from 3 large oranges
1 T orange zest, from 1 large orange
1/4 tsp orange extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup full-fat sour cream

For the frosting
12 T unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted through a strainer
1/4 cup plus 2 T whiskey
9 dashes Angostura bitters
3/4 tsp orange extract
1/2 tsp orange zest

Optional whiskey for soaking cupcakes before frosting

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 18 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
2. Make the cupcakes. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.  In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the eggs, beating until combined.  Add the flour mixture, orange juice, orange zest, orange extract, and vanilla, and beat on low speed until just incorporated.  Add the sour cream and beat to incorporate.
3. Fill each cupcake tin about 3/4 full of batter.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
4. Make the frosting.  Beat the butter with an electric mixer until it is light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to medium, and add half the confectioners' sugar along with the whiskey, bitters, orange extract, and orange zest.  Beat well to incorporate.  Add the remaining sugar as needed to get the texture and taste you like.  Beat 2-3 minutes until very smooth and creamy. 
5. Once the cupcakes are cooled, you can put everything together.  If you want some extra whiskey flavor, poke the top of each cupcake several times with a wooden skewer and then brush whiskey over.  (You can also skip this step if you like.)  Then frost each cupcake with the frosting.


  1. These cupcakes sound really interesting, I'm just gonna have to try them out sometime ...

    I'm hosting a giveaway over at my blog and would love for you to stop by and participate.

    Looking forward to seeing you there.

  2. I'm definitely going to give this a try and bake up a batch of these old fashioned beauties. It's a great idea for a special celebratory kind of treat. My hubby's returning home from a business trip in the UK today, so I'd best get going on getting all the ingredients together to make this a welcome home sweet treat for him. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Gah! I could've used this recipe last night. Definitely making them tonight!

  4. Cupcakes instead of birthday cakes are becomming quite trend! Happy belated to Tim! :D

  5. Ha - turns out I can't spell! "Becoming!" :D