When we don’t have the time to sip on our Unicorn frappuccinos, sometimes when we’re at home we like to add a little kick of Kahlua to our cup of Joe. Kahlua, coffee and,… what is it missing? Oh yes! Chocolate!
This recipe may look familiar. I have posted it before but I wanted to bring it to you again in a much easier to read format. It is also so delicious that it needed to be brought back into my kitchen this week.
We often see Kahlua added into mixed drinks at a bar but not often added into our brownie or cupcake recipes. It really is a shame. I think Kahlua adds the perfect coffee flavor to enhance all the chocolate recipes. This one is no exception.
Feel free to have a Kahlua mixed drink while baking. Just drink and bake responsibly of course.
First, we will start with a basic rich chocolate cupcake recipe but add a twist. I promise there is nothing basic about it especially after adding a good helping of Kahlua.
Similar to many cupcake recipes, the ingredients are divided into two groups: the wet ones and the dry ones. For the most part anyway.
When I am exploring a new recipe one of the first things I try to do is determine which bowl should be my mixer bowl and which is not. I can not stand putting my eggs in the wrong bowl and having to switch to my stand mixer later.
I know, I’m sure the professionals out there are saying I should thoroughly read through a recipe before I start mixing. Who has time for that? I barely make it through the ingredient list. Ha!
To clarify, go ahead and put your eggs, sugar, and vegetable oil in your stand mixer bowl and that will from hence forth be your Wet Ingredients. In your other mixing bowl, whisk together the Dry Ingredients.
Alternate mixing in the Dry Ingredients first into the Wet Ingredients and then adding the buttermilk. You will do this two to three times both starting and ending with the Dry Ingredients.
I save the coffee, Kahlua and vanilla extract for last. Mix in the coffee and Kahlua while still using the mixer on low to medium speed. Everything should be well blended to make that magical cupcake chemistry happen.
You can remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the vanilla extract. I find that the vanilla extract tends to get lost in the batter if it is over mixed.
Once your cakes are good and liquored with that Kahlua tastiness, you will want to bake them at 350° for about 15-20 minutes. A toothpick poked into the middle may not come out completely clean. Don’t worry. A few crumbles attached to the toothpick are completely okay. Just make sure it doesn’t come out with wet batter attached because that would not be tasty.
Keep an eye on those cupcakes though because the cake for this recipe will come out like brownies with a crispy outer edge and gooey center. The perfect consistency if you ask me. Though absolutely delicious (especially for us brownie lovers), a little refrigeration helps firm the cupcakes up in order to help with adding our surprise centers.
That’s right! A sweet and slightly tart surprise to balance all of that rich chocolate. This is where the cherry pie filling comes in to play.
After chilling, it is time to cut holes in your beautiful cakes. Oh no! It will be okay. The taste is worth the price of beauty on this one. There are plunger type utensils that will core your cupcakes for you. Using this utensil would probably make my job a whole lot easier. But, you know me, I like to take the extra difficult route and then tell you all about it.
I just take my handy-dandy kitchen knife and do my best to cut a round pocket into the cake. Be careful not to cut too low to the bottom of your cupcake. We don’t want the cherry falling out! It also doesn’t need to be huge, just large enough to hold one cherry and a little bit of the pie filling jelly.
If you do it my way, this can certainly be a time-consuming process but it is worth it. After spooning a cherry into each pocket, just replace the cake hole over top. It doesn’t matter if it is pretty or even the cake hole from the same cake. Icing will cover up the imperfections and no one will notice when they are sinking their teeth into decadence.
I have been making quite a few butter creams lately and maybe you thought they were my favorite. They’re not! Sure a Butter Cream has its place but the star of the show is usually a light fluffy creamy cream cheese icing. Think about it. Your favorite cake? Probably Red Velvet. Why? The cream cheese frosting!
I’m kidding. I have no idea which is your favorite cake. However, that Red Velvet is a favorite to many so just keep that in mind here.
The magic of the cream cheese icing is that it provides that balance for your taste buds. Of course we all have our sweet tooths (teeth) and we love indulging in those deep rich chocolate flavors but we need that life raft of cream cheese icing to bring us back to our senses.
A sweet cake, I feel, deserves a milder icing so as not to give you a toothache. With all the overly sweet elements of this cake, it can become heavily sweet very quickly. The cream cheese icing moderates that sweetness and adds a bit of pep with the coffee grounds that complement the Kahlua flavor in the cake.
Much like those frappuccinos from our favorite coffee shop, I like more sugar and cream than I do actual coffee. Even my coffee grounds are flavored. I prefer light and flavored coffee like vanilla or French vanilla and that is usually what I have on hand. You are certainly welcome to switch out the type of coffee grounds for any that you prefer. Those flavors are already flavors you enjoy so there is no harm done in adding them to your icing. I would love to know what you think of the icing with a more robust coffee used in the icing.
After icing, your cakes are perfect the way they are.
I wanted to add to that sentence but really they are perfect. But, if you insist on beautiful presentation, adding a cherry to the top is the perfect detail. It provides the perfect preview of what is to come inside.
The can of pie filling from earlier still has half a can of cherries left. We are not wasteful. We use those cherries and call them decoration. Just plop one of those babies on top and now you have a picture perfect dessert that all of your chocolate lovers will enjoy. Your coffee lovers will it enjoy it too. So will your Kahlua lovers. Also, your cherry lovers. I bet they’d enjoy this recipe as well.
Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments below. I am always curious to know how yours turned out and if you made any changes. Let me know down below!