Bourbon Spice Cupcakes with Cranberries

Bourbon Spice Cupcakes with Cranberries

I don’t skimp on spice during the spring and summer, but I definitely incorporate a lot more spice into my fall and winter baked goods. There is something about a really flavorful spice cake that just feels especially warm and satisfying when there is a chill in the air. These Bourbon Spice …

The post Bourbon Spice Cupcakes with Cranberries appeared first on Baking Bites.

Bourbon Spice Cupcakes with Cranberries

I don’t skimp on spice during the spring and summer, but I definitely incorporate a lot more spice into my fall and winter baked goods. There is something about a really flavorful spice cake that just feels especially warm and satisfying when there is a chill in the air. These Bourbon Spice Cupcakes with Cranberries are a great way to welcome in a change in the season, with a wonderful blend of flavors that is perfect for holidays from Thanksgiving through New Year’s.

The cupcakes are moist with a dense, tight crumb. You can really taste all the warm spices and the bourbon in the cake, but the cranberries are what take these from good to great. They add a sweet-tart pop of flavor that contrasts well with the spices, brightening up the cupcakes and making them downright addictive! Plus, they bring in a beautiful holiday pop of color!

Bourbon itself is slightly sweet and has distinct notes of oak, which tends to be a bit spicy itself. There are many recipes that include spirits where they don’t make much of an impact on the flavor of the recipe and that is simply not the case with these cupcakes. Here, the bourbon makes a difference and makes the overall flavor of the cupcakes richer and more complex. I also added a small splash of bourbon to the frosting to emphasize it a bit more.

You can use any kind of bourbon in these cupcakes. I happened to use Maker’s Mark in this batch. The alcohol from the bourbon is going to bake out as the cupcakes are in the oven, so you don’t need to worry about anyone getting a buzz off one one of these cupcakes. With 18 cupcakes in a batch, there is less than a teaspoon in each cupcake anyway. That said, if you really want to leave out the bourbon, there is no good nonalcoholic substitute for it flavor-wise. You’ll can replace it with milk, double the vanilla extra and enjoy a (still delicious!) simple spiced cranberry cupcake instead.

Bourbon Spice Cupcakes with Cranberries

Bourbon Spice Cupcakes with Cranberries
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup bourbon
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices.
In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until well combined.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine milk and bourbon.
Blend one third of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, followed by half of the milk mixture. Stir in another third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk. Stir in all of the remaining flour and mix just until all ingredients are combined and no streaks of flour remain. Fold in cranberries
Bake for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Makes 18 cupcakes

Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (4 oz) butter, room temperature
1 tbsp bourbon
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl, cream together bream cheese and butter until well-combined. Beat in bourbon, milk and vanilla extract, then gradually blend in the confectioners’ sugar until the frosting comes together to a thick, spreadable consistency. If you want to pipe your frosting out, you may need additional confectioners’ sugar to make it stiffer.

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Eggnog Pancakes

Eggnog Pancakes

If you haven’t stocked up on eggnog this holiday season, you might want to run to the store and pick up a container of your favorite brand so that you can whip up a batch of these fluffy Eggnog Pancakes for breakfast. They’re easy to make and a wonderful way to infuse …

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Eggnog Pancakes

If you haven’t stocked up on eggnog this holiday season, you might want to run to the store and pick up a container of your favorite brand so that you can whip up a batch of these fluffy Eggnog Pancakes for breakfast. They’re easy to make and a wonderful way to infuse a little holiday flavor into your mornings. I enjoy them throughout the holiday season – starting after Thanksgiving and going all the way through New Year’s Day.

The pancakes are light, fluffy and have a delicious eggnog flavor in every bite. This flavor comes from the eggnog in the batter, of course, but it is amplified by the addition of vanilla extract and freshly ground nutmeg. That combination of vanilla and nutmeg is always a component of eggnog, so including both of those ingredients makes these pancakes work beautifully.

The pancakes are not overly sweet on their own, but since eggnog is sweetened and contains a bit more sugar than the milk or buttermilk that you might typically put into your pancakes, the eggnog ‘cakes will brown a bit more easily than their plainer counterparts. This means that you might need to turn down the temperature on your cooktop between batches to prevent your pancakes from over-browning.

This recipe makes a batch that should serve 6-8 people, especially if you are serving up your pancakes with a side of eggs, bacon or sausage. If you’re serving a smaller crowd, feel free to halve the recipe. I drizzled mine with maple syrup, but if you don’t have quite as much of a sweet tooth, you could top them with a dollop of whipped cream and an extra sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg.

Eggnog Pancakes

Eggnog Pancakes
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 tbsp sugar
1 3/4 cups prepared eggnog
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sugar.
In a small bowl or a large measuring cup, whisk together eggnog, eggs and vanilla until well-combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the eggnog mixture and whisk until batter is smooth.
Preheat a nonstick griddle or a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. When a drop of water skips around on the surface of the pan, the pan is ready for you to dollop 1/4-cups of batter onto it (if the water evaporates, the pan is too hot). Reduce heat slightly and cook pancakes, turning once, until pancakes are golden on both sides.
Repeat with remaining batter.
Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

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