Yo Ho Ho and 2 Cups of Rum

Apparently today is National Rum Day!  I did not know this until an hour ago, yet this afternoon I made Rum and Coke cupcakes.  It must have been fate…

A friend wanted me to make these cupcakes for her son’s 21st birthday party.  I tried a test batch last month using a recipe I found for Cola Cake, and a rum buttercream frosting.  It was good, but it tasted nothing like Rum and Coke to me.  Then I discovered the existence of cola extract.  The sun burst through the clouds, the cupcake angels were singing… it was good stuff.

I used the cola extract in my frosting, and found a cupcake recipe that had enough rum in it to make a pirate proud.  For decoration, I used gummy cola bottles and lime wedges with coffee stirrer “straws”.  I used Key Limes – they were the perfect size for the cupcakes.  The resulting cupcake tastes SO MUCH like Rum and Coke that (to quote my boyfriend), “It’s kind of freaky.”

So, though it’s almost over, Happy National Rum Day!  Thankfully you don’t wait until next year to make these tastes-like-the-real-thing Rum and Coke cupcakes.

Rum Cupcake (recipe from Rum Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting on the Betty Crocker website)

1 Box Betty Crocker Supermoist yellow cake mix
1 cup dark rum (I used Meyer’s)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
3 eggs

Heat oven to 325°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 18 regular-size nonstick muffin cups. *I doubled the recipe and ended up with 30 cupcakes total.

In large bowl, mix cake mix, 1 cup rum, the water, oil and eggs with whisk until blended. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  *I ended up baking them for 25-26 minutes.  For a moment I was afraid they weren’t going to bake through (and REALLY pissed that I had just potentially wasted two whole cups of perfectly good rum!) but I left them in the oven and tested them with a toothpick every few minutes until they were finally done.*   Remove from muffin cups to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 45 minutes.

Rum Buttercream Frosting (adapted from Buttercream Frosting II on allrecipes.com)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 1/4 teaspoons cola extract (I bought mine on Amazon)

For frosting, cream butter and shortening in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add all other ingredients and beat well.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of the Perfect Cupcake

Sometimes you have an idea about a certain cupcake flavor in your head but it can be difficult to find the right recipe.  I don’t yet consider myself good enough to just completely whip something up on my own like the contestants on Cupcake Wars.  Once, when I was a teenager I wanted to make microwave brownies but I didn’t have the cocoa called for in the recipe.  I (mistakenly) thought I could use hot cocoa mix instead.  Instead of gooey, chocolaty brownies I created the most foul-smelling thing to have ever come out of a microwave.  So you can see why I don’t quite trust myself to just wing it.

A friend has asked that I make Rum and Coke cupcakes for her son’s 21st birthday coming up later in the month.  Having never made them before, I wanted research some recipes and do a test batch.  I found this recipe for Cola Cake, direct from the makers of Coca Cola themselves.  I figured that would be a good place to start.  I followed the recipe exactly, and then topped the cupcakes with a basic vanilla butter cream icing that I spiked with some Gosling’s Bermuda Black Rum.

I got to have some science experiment type fun, dissolving the baking soda in the buttermilk and watching it fizz up, and I ended up with a very tasty, slightly chewy around the edges cupcake that tasted NOTHING like Coke.  : /  The icing did taste like rum at least, but I was definitely not getting the Rum and Coke vibe.  Back to the drawing board…

I found a recipe on Betty Crocker‘s website for rum cupcakes which I think I will try, and then I purchase a bottle of cola extract online which I will try to incorporate into the icing.  I have never used cola extract before so if anyone has some experience with it and can offer some advice, I’m all ears!

As you can see, in the meantime I got my Rum and Non-Coke cupcakes all gussied up for the upcoming holiday!  I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th of July!  And here’s  just a little bit of humor for the road…