It is a benefit and a downfall to having three of the four members of my immediate family possessing birthdays that fall within two weeks of each other. Categorized under both is the unlimited supply of cupcakes, cakes, ice cream, and assorted birthday treats that accompany such celebrations. July, in my family, is not the time to be dieting.
So when my parents informed me that they would be “stopping in” for my father’s birthday yesterday, I knew cupcakes were in order. No mom, I am not going to go out and buy a damn cake from Kroger – I can make something quicker, cheaper, and I’m fairly certain my buttercream will beat their artificially flavored wallpaper paste any day. (Actually grocery store frosting is friggin’ delicious I really just longed for an excuse to bake.)
Anyway, Papa Swan (and I’ve been calling him that long before this blog was started) loves himself some malted milk. I’m confident that this stems from his childhood spent growing up in the 50’s when soda jerks bedazzled him with chocolate malts down at the local drugstore, or something. I don’t know – what I do know, is the man loves his Whoppers. He’ll happily eat an entire faux milk carton (sweet marketing ploy Hershy, the easier they are to pour out, the faster you eat ’em) while tilted horizontal in his leather chair watching the ball game. keepin’ it classy, Pops.
It was a no-brainer to do Whopper cupcakes but I didn’t have a lot of time, and frankly, I still haven’t gone to the grocery store since returning home from Charleston. A box mix would be utilized and I would work off another fantastic and similarly-minded blogger’s recipe. I was happy to find this recipe from Food Family Finds – tweaking the ingredients only slightly with what I had on hand. I only wish I had a camera upon presenting my father with his birthday treat. Believe me, the proud look in my his eyes as he munched away rivaled that of my college graduation day. His daughter can bake! And to his standards! I am not a lost cause after all! Oh the way to a man’s heart…
Chocolate Malt Cupcakes with Chocolate Malt Buttercream
Yields: 2 dozen
Difficulty: Fairly Easy
For the cupcakes
- 1 box chocolate cake mix
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream mixed with 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 cup malted milk powder
For the buttercream
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco) at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup malted milk powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk (I actually used water and it turned out fine so if you are out no worries)
- A box-o-Whoppers for garnish
For the cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350
- Combine box mix, malted milk powder, cream/water mixture, and butter together in a bowl following the mixing guidelines on the box.
- Lining a muffin pan, fill the tins 1/2 full with batter
- bake for about 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Remove the pan from the oven and once cool enough to handle remove the cupcakes from the pan, transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the buttercream
- Cream the butter and shortening together using a mixer
- Add the malted milk powder and mix*
- Add the cocoa powder and mix
- add the milk (or water) and mix
- Add the sugar, one cup at a time, mixing between cups
- From here, you can pipe the frosting on using a piping bag and tip (as I did) or just smear it on, it’s your choice. Was in not your choice is to include the piece de resistance – a whopper in the middle. They will not be whopping whopper cupcakes without the whopper. Also, I liked the idea of sprinkling chopped Whoppers on before serving just for a little extra crunch.
*I mix each ingredient in separately to lessen the chance of lumps and to avoid a powdery flair-ups.