Toffee crunch cupcakes! I made these with a few special surprises. First off, I found TOFFEE ESSENCE! As in Georgetown Cupcakes-inspired toffee INFUSED cream cheese frosting, people. Ah! So delicious.
As for the cake, I went back through my vanilla cupcake archives and settled on this recipe, with a few small substitutions. I picked it almost 100% on the basis of buttermilk, because I bought a quart to make Melissa’s cupcakes on Saturday and I hate wasting food. But also it was part of the original list Rob and I came up with for the vanilla cupcake wars, and I had always wondered what a cupcake with baking soda would taste like.
As for the substitutions, first off, I used only 3/4 tsp vanilla (don’t ask me why, it just felt right). Then I supplemented with 1/4 tsp English toffee essence. It’s SUPER concentrated flavor, so you don’t need much.
I also added some homemade toffee candy to the batter, right before putting them in the cups. I used this recipe for the toffee, though I messed it up. As you can see, Chockylit lets her toffee get muy muy brown. Personally, I was concerned about the brittleness of the toffee (I’d baked with Heath bar “Bit O’ Brickle” toffee bits in the past and they almost ripped my teeth out), plus I was worried about a massive boil-over on the stove. So I kept the heat too low, and essentially ended up with completely sticky tooth-removing caramel. Which I covered with melted artisan milk chocolate (thanks, Mom!) then put in the fridge to harden anyway.
These were very tender cupcakes – almost too tender, truth be told. I didn’t read that last line about “let them sit for 10 minutes in the muffin pan” and completely destroyed the first one I pulled out because of it. So, LET THEM SIT. They need the time to get used to the separation anxiety.
The caramel melted into the cupcake, which was a delicious accident, but I neglected to toss the pieces of not-really “toffee” in flour beforehand, so they all sank to the bottom. No worries, just a little bit difficult to eat by hand. Nothing a spoon and a little elbow grease on the part of the consumer can’t fix. And honestly, I’m never opposed to eating cupcakes with a spoon. It just feels right. I can’t explain it. But it does.
As for the frosting, I used my go-to cream cheese one, which is a slight modification of the Georgetown Cupcake vanilla frosting (modified, that is, for the lazy and impatient who don’t have time to measure 6 oz. of cream cheese and who have no room in their lives for the random extra 2 oz. of cream cheese that recipe always leaves in its wake):
Lisa’s Lazy Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick (4 T) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 box powdered sugar (plus more if it looks like it needs it. Very scientific, I know)
This recipe is great because it’s so easy to add flavor to! Vanilla? Add a teaspoon. Lemon, lime, orange? Add a couple tablespoons of zest! Toffee? Add a few (very, very few) drops toffee essence.
I sprinkled a crushed up Heath bar on top after piping, just to copy Georgetown even more, and to push it just over the top. Crunch-ay. I could eat this frosting with a spoon. And did.
So there you have it! Toffee crunch cupcakes.
Happy happy Friday! Hope you’ve got some glorious plans going. Me, I’ll be packing for ETHIOPIA AND EUROPE! Finally! NO more ash clouds, please. Kthanksbye.