Every year, I try hard to wait until it’s at least December to really immerse myself in the holiday spirit. This is becoming increasingly difficult as Christmas decor begins to appear in stores the day after Halloween and by the time Thanksgiving rolls around it’s not surprising to find Christmas lights ablaze around the neighborhood. Luckily my Christmas decorations are safely stored at my parents house some 50 miles away from me where they remain until I can convince them to deliver them to me or I make the drive myself. This inhibits me from premature decorating and allows me to enjoy my autumn-inspired decorations for a bit longer.
But no matter, because now it is time. My decorations have been unearthed from my parent’s basement and the next few days will be solely dedicated to tree trimming, garland hanging, and present wrapping. All of this taking place while various holiday movies play in the background and I sip hot cocoa.
Speaking of hot cocoa, who likes to spike theirs? Let me rephrase that. Does anyone not like to spike theirs? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? No? Okay good, because I’ve got a recipe for you.
Ugh don’t even get me started as to how long it’s been since I’ve created a cupcake. Long enough for my fellow co-workers to start having withdrawals and wonder why I haven’t brought any in for so long. So after a brief hiatus – I am back…with vengeance. I have created a cupcake so indulgent and boozy that I should require an ID check before disbursement. Hot cocoa cupcakes made with creme de cocoa, filled with a Bailey’s ganache and topped with a marshmallow vodka frosting. Oh Yeah.
For the Cupcakes:
- ½ cup crème de cocoa
- ½ cup milk (I used almond)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 Tablespoons cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup sour cream
For the filling:
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 Tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Creme
For the frosting:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 ounces marshmallow fluff
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2.5 Shots marshmallow flavored Vodka
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Bring the crème de cocoa and milk to a simmer over medium heat.
- Add butter and cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- In another large bowl, combine the eggs and sour cream with an electric mixer.
- While mixing (so the egg doesn’t cook) add in the cooled cocoa and milk/butter mixture and beat until combined.
- Reduce speed to low and add in the flour mixture until just combined then use a spatula to fold the mixture until completely combined.
- Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full with the batter.
- Bake about 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.
For the filling:
- Finely chop the chocolate and transfer to a heat proof bowl
- Heat the cream until simmering and pour over the chocolate.
- Allow the mixture to stand one minute and then stir until smooth using a rubber spatula.
- Add in the butter and Bailey’s – stir to combine.
- Allow the ganache to cool until it’s thick, but still soft enough to pipe
To fill the cupcakes:
- Using the bottom of a large decorating tip (if you don’t have one, use a knife, no one is going to see the hole so it doesn’t have to be pretty) cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes going about 2/3 of the way down (better tutorial here). You can do as I did and coerce helpers by offering them the opportunity to eat the middles…
For the Marshmallow Vodka frosting:
- Cream the butter and sugar together
- Add in the marshmallow fluff and mix
- Add the shots of vodka one at a time, mixing the frosting between shots
- I put the bowl in the freezer for about 5 or ten minutes just to get the frosting to harden up a bit.
- Pipe atop cooled cupcakes.
- I wanted to give the cupcakes the look of being topped with whipped cream (like an actual mug of hot cocoa) so I did it a bit messy with a ridgity tip (technical term, I know…)