I saw the idea for Mojito cupcakes a couple of months ago on Slashfood, and was intrigued immediately, but didn’t have time to bake anything back then. A friend’s birthday a few weekends back seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out the idea, so I took a look again at VeganYumYum’s original page on the subject.
There were a couple of problems with just following the recipe, though. Firstly, VeganYumYum’s page wasn’t so much a recipe as a suggested modification to a recipe – specifically one from the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, which I don’t have. In any case, trying to follow a recipe whilst also following suggested modifications is kinda tricky (as we discovered). The original recipe was also vegan. Now, I have no real problem with vegan food, but I find Soy Milk to be kinda revolting, and on the rare occasions that I like to bake, I’m a bit of a traditionalist about it. I may try the vegan cupcake thing in future, but not this time around.
So the end result was that we found a “Full fat” Vanilla cupcake recipe and set about modifying it according to the Mojito idea.
What follows is a single recipe which (eventually) worked.
Since this is a recipe involving lime juice and a lot of dairy, there’s an important caveat: in general, combine dairy ingredients (milk, butter) with as many other ingredients as possible before adding lime juice as flavouring. This is because citrus will cause the milk to very rapidly curdle into a useless and disgusting-looking mess. Mixing the dairy product with everything else before introducing the acid helps to eliminate this effect.
The Boring Bits
- Serves 6-12
- Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
- Cooking time: approx. 20 minutes
- 1/2 cup (113g) Unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
- 2 tsp Dried Spearmint
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (about half a lime’s worth)
- 2/3 cup (130g) Granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- zest of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups (230 grams) confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted
- 2 tablespoons milk or light cream
- 2 tsp Dark Rum
- 1 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
Throwing it all together
For the Cupcakes
Prepare a muffin tin with paper inserts, and go ahead and pre-heat your oven to 350F (175C).
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. An electric whisk is slightly less work than a hand-whisk or fork, but any will works fine.
Add the eggs and beat well so that the mixture is combined.
In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt).
This next step captures the essence of the original vegan recipe, sounds really odd, but works pretty well. Bring the milk gently to boil in a small saucepan, add the spearmint and remove the heat. Let it stand to infuse for 5 minutes. Minty milk is not a pleasant thing on its own, but it’ll work well as part of these cupcakes.
You should now have 3 separate items – butter mixture, dry ingredients and milk. Now add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, a handful at a time, whisking after each addition to combine the ingredients. Finally, add the milk and whisk again until the mixture is smooth.
There’s no lime – an essential part of a mojito – yet! The reason (curdling) for waiting was outlined above, but you should be okay now, so go ahead and beat in the lime juice and zest.
Distribute the batter amongst your paper insert cups, and shove them in the oven for about 20 minutes. When I tried these they didn’t particularly brown, but you can test for done-ness with a skewer or a knife inserted into one of the cakes – if it comes out clean, you’re good.
Leave the finished cakes to cool completely before you top them with the frosting (because warm cupcakes melt butter-based frostings, leading to an unappeitising mess).
For the Frosting
Cream the butter, either with an electric whisk, hand-whisk or fork until it’s smooth and creamy.
Beat in the sugar in small amounts, stirring constantly, so that the mixture stiffens. Once all the sugar is well-blended with the butter, add the milk or cream and combine it well, continuing to beat for another 5 minutes or so, so that the topping becomes almost fluffy.
Finally, add the rum followed by the Lime Juice. Beat immediately and well (again, mitigating any curdling effect).