Monday, May 23, 2011

Birthday Boy's Request

When we celebrate birthdays, I usually ask the Birthday Person what kind of dessert he or she would like, or for any special requests.  Well, friend K usually gives me a specific thing that he wants, and his requests don't disappoint.  This year, even though the food we were having for his party was Pan-Asian, he requested Horchata Cupcakes. 

What's that? You don't know what Horchata is?  If you don't live in the Southwest, I am not surprised by this.  Horchata is a common beverage found in these parts in Mexican Food restaurants.  It is made from rice, almonds and cinnamon, and sometimes vanilla.  It is absolutely delicious.

Anywhoodle, K requested these, and I was happy to oblige.  Horchata cupcakes, like many other drink-flavored cupcakes, are basically a white cake where the milk has been all or partially replaced by the beverage of choice.  The recipe that I used actually gives you a recipe to make your own horchata.  I didn't really have the time to deal with that, and good, fresh horchata is easy to come by near me, so I just went down to my nearest Mexican food place and got a cup of it to go (no ice!) and used that.  If you feel so inclined, or can't get it already made where you are, feel free to make your own.  I have included the recipe.

I did, however, completely change the frosting.  The original recipe called for buttercream, and we all know it's not my favorite kind of frosting.  So, I made a mascarpone frosting and added to it this horchata drink mix (it's a powder) so that I could get the right flavor. The horchata drink mix was something I found by accident at the store, while I was looking for bottled horchata.  The frosting I made was amazing!  So fluffy and light, with just the right flavoring.  I'm not usually a huge fan of frosting, but I wanted to lick this stuff out of the bowl. 

So, onto the recipes!

Horchata Cupcakes
Source: Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit
This makes 24.  I halved it and made 12

1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh horchata (recipe follows, or if you can buy it premade, go ahead with that)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 large egg whites

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. Soften butter in mixer on high speed
  2. Drizzle the sugar mixture in with the butter and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. (fp note: please do this step. it makes a big difference in the lightness of your cake.)
  4. Mix the horchata and vanilla together.
  5. Add the flour mixture and horchata mixture to the butter/sugar in 3 parts alternating between flour and horchata and beating well after each addition.
  6. Set aside incorporated mixture
  7. In a clean mixer bowl (fp note: or you can use a hand mixer and another bowl.), beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  8. Fold egg whites into cake batter until incorporated
  9. Scoop batter into the prepared cupcake pans
  10. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Fresh Horchata
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups skinless almond slivers
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 cups water
  1. Wash and drain the rice
  2. Process rice in a food processor until fine and add to a bowl
  3. Add almonds and cinnamon to the rice
  4. Add 3 1/2 cups water and let sit overnight, covered
  5. Blend mixture using a blender (i had to do it in two batches)
  6. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and continue blending (again in two batches)
  7. Strain using a metal strainer
  8. Strain again using a double layer of cheesecloth

Mascarpone Horchata Frosting
Source: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
This made enough for 12 cupcakes with a little extra. If you are making 24, I recommend doubling this.

1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
About 2 tablespoons horchata drink mix
  1. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, whisk together the mascarpone and confectioners' sugar and horchata mix until smooth.  Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated. Use immediately.
  2. For extra garnish, sprinkle the frosted cuppies with cinnamon.

And, because I made you wait so long for this recipe, and I like you that much, I'm giving you a BONUS!

Rum Runners!!
Source: Delish .com
This makes 1.  We had 6 people over, and I ended up making two batches of what should have served 8.

Note: This recipe calls for Spiced Rum.  It's delicious that way, but if you want it to be even better (read: sweeter), try it with Coconut Rum!!! slurpees.....

3/4 ounces Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
1/4 ounces blackberry liqueur
1/4 ounces creme de banana liqueur
2 ounces orange juice
1/2 ounces grenadine
8 ounces crushed ice

Combine all ingredients and whiz it up in a blender until slushy.  Serve with little cocktail umbrellas!


  1. I concur. I wanted to eat all the frosting.

  2. Do you remember what brand of Horchata mix it was?