Cookie Butter Cupcakes

Even stronger than the lure of eating Nutella with a spoon is my gravitational pull towards cookie butter.  Despite the odds, if you have the patience to wait it out and bake some cookie butter cupcakes, you won’t be disappointed.

The cookie butter you know and love is made from European Speculoos, or holiday spice cookies.  Apparently we have the airline Delta to thank for first introducing the cookie to U.S. markets.  And as for the genesis of cookie butter, apparently back in the day it was common in Belgium to create butter sandwiches with cookie crumbles inside, until the handy invention that is cookie butter came to be.

In the future, I want to experiment by making different flavors of homemade cookie butter.  If it isn’t made with Speculoos cookies, will it still be cookie butter?  I intend to find out.  Chocolate chip oatmeal cookie butter on your pancakes, anyone?

This cupcake project rekindled my somewhat dormant cake-for-breakfast habits.

Scroll down for the recipe!

Cookie Butter Cupcakes

(Borrowed from Tastemade. Makes about two dozen cupcakes.)

Ingredients:

  • 429 grams all-purpose flour

  • 265 grams sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 375 milliliters of milk

  • 125 milliliters vegetable oil

  • 125 grams unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 large eggs

  • 250 grams melted (not hot) cookie butter

Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and salt. Sift ingredients together. Add the softened butter and let it mix until it resembles a fine sand like texture.

  2. Next, add milk, eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla extract in a large bowl and whisk well.

  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in a slow and steady stream until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl, add 1/2 cup cookie butter and mix until just combined.

  4. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way. Bake for 20-25 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.

    Post-baking thoughts: In the original Tastemade recipe, these cupcakes are cored and then filled with cookie butter frosting.  I tried the recipe without coring each cupcake, and found the result to be on the drier, crumbly side.  I liked them this way, but I suggest the coring approach if you’re hankering after a moister cupcake.

Cookie Butter Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup cookie butter, plus extra for decoration
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions:

  1. Beat butter on high with a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Add cookie butter and milk and continue to mix.
  3. Add powdered sugar in stages and continue beating until you reach your desired frosting consistency.
  4. Pipe frosting onto cool cupcakes.  If desired, put extra cookie butter into a small piping or ziplock bag, and decorate.

Pineapple Rightside-Up Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down cake is so last summer… make my Pineapple Rightside-Up Cake instead!  If you’re in need of a summer-y dessert recipe just in time for Father’s Day, look no further.

This ombré style cake contains three layers of thick pineapple cake, two layers of caramelized pineapple, and a light vanilla buttercream frosting.  The cake is tangy with a satisfying chewiness; I wanted to mimic the toothsome decadence of biting into a Taiwanese pineapple cake.

To accompany my shoot, I found an African mini pineapple at my local supermarket.  I couldn’t separate it from its cake mother… don’t they look cute together?

Scroll down for the recipe!

Pineapple Rightside-Up Cake

For the cake (from She Wears Many Hats):

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/4 cup crushed pineapple with juice (canned)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, whites and yolks separated

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 5 inch cake pans.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream together butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg yolks.  Beat until smooth.
  4. Add vanilla extract to pineapple mixture.
  5. Alternate adding the sifted ingredients and the pineapple to the butter/sugar mixture until fully incorporated.  Beat until smooth.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.  Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cups of sugar, and beat until fully combined.
  7. Fold beaten egg whites into batter.
  8. Divide cake batter between the two pans.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool before cutting or frosting.

For the caramelized pineapple:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canned pineapple
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir mixture until it begins to brown.  Take off heat immediately.

For the buttercream frosting:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • yellow food coloring

Instructions:

  1. Beat the butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Sift the powdered sugar.  Gradually incorporate into butter mixture.
  3. Add vanilla extract.  Separate frosting into three bowls.
  4. Add 3 drops of yellow food coloring to one bowl.  Add one drop to another bowl.

To Assemble: Torte the two pineapple cakes into four equal rounds.  Use three of these rounds to build the cake.  Spread a thin layer of caramelized pineapple between each layer.  Frost with buttercream.  Apply dark yellow buttercream to the bottom of the cake, light yellow to the middle of the cake, and white to the top of the cake.  Achieve a smooth finish by using a bench scraper tool to blend the colors.