Sir D loves cocktails – both drinking them and making them. We have an ever-growing liquor cabinet at our place with god knows how many varieties of vodka and tequila. It seemed only fitting to make a boozy cake for his birthday – and so the mojito cupcakes were born.
If you had asked me a year ago, I would have told you that I don’t drink mojitos because I don’t like mint. The mint part still remains true, but after having a perfectly balanced mojito at La Bodeguita del Medio with just the right amount of fresh mint, zesty lime and sweet sugar syrup, I was a convert.
These cupcakes require you to cut the tops off after the cakes have cooled so you can soak the cake in some boozy syrup. I decided to make mini cupcakes so this proved a little difficult but with some patience and some careful pouring, you can get most of the syrup onto the cakes rather than all over the benchtop.
So how did they taste? Just like a mojito! I was worried that the rum and mint flavours wouldn’t come through but they both came through nicely. I think it could have done with a little more mint so I would perhaps put a few more mint leaves into the syrup or add some sliced fresh mint leaves to the top of the cupcakes. They were a hit at the party though so I’ll take that as a good sign!
Makes 12 standard or 24 mini cupcakes
For the cupcakes
150g icing sugar
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
120ml buttermilk or 120ml milk with a squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 tsp dark rum
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the syrup
100g caster sugar
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp dark rum
zest of 1 lime
a few mint leaves
For the icing
200g cream cheese at room temperature
icing sugar, to taste
2 tsp dark rum
lime zest to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line cupcake tin with cases. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, until well combined
2. Add dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the wet ingredients (buttermilk, rum and vanilla). Mix with a spatula until just combined.
3. Pour the batter into the cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and springy to the touch. Allow to cool.
4. While waiting for the cupcakes to cool, prepare the syrup by bringing the water and sugar to the boil in a small saucepan. When the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and add the rum, lime and mint leaves. Allow the zest and mint to steep for 5 minutes.
5. When the cupcakes are cool, use a knife to cut the tops off the cupcakes and set aside. Using a spoon, drizzle the syrup evenly into the cupcakes until it has all been absorbed. Replace the tops back on top of the cupcake. (Note: I found it best to put the top next to the cupcake that you cut it off so you can replace it back onto the correct cupcake easily.)
6. Prepare the icing by beating the cream cheese and butter until pale and creamy. Gradually add icing sugar to taste, and beat until well combined. Add the rum and beat again. Place the icing into a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes. Garnish with lime zest.