Bourbon Chocolate Cupcakes with Bourbon Ganache and Cinnamon Buttercream

Cupcake adapted via: Half Baked Harvest
Serves: 18 to 20

For the cupcakes:
♦ 1 cup bourbon*
♦ 1 cup canola oil
♦ 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
♦ 2 cups all-purpose flour
♦ 1 1/4 cups sugar
♦ 3/4 teaspoon salt
♦ 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
♦ 2 large eggs
♦ 2/3 cup Greek yogurt

For the ganache
♦ 2/3 cup heavy cream
♦ 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
♦ 1 to 2 tbsp bourbon (depending on how strong you like it!)

For the buttercream:
♦ 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
♦ 2 tsp cinnamon
♦ 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
♦ milk (as needed)

Prepare the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 18 liners. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside. In a second bowl whisk together the bourbon, canola oil and cocoa powder until smooth and creamy; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and greek yogurt with an electric mixer. Add the sugar, and mix briefly until just combined. Working in shifts, add part of the flour mixture followed by the bourbon mixture. Continue to add the two in parts until the batter is silky and smooth.

Fill baking cups three-fourths full. Bake for about 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before filling, at least 2 hours or covered overnight.

Make the ganache: Place the chocolate chips into a medium heatproof glass bowl, and set aside. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat – just before it comes to a boil (you will see some steam coming off the surface), remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Allow to sit for 1 minute, then slowly begin to whisk, starting from the center and gradually widening the circle until the chocolate is fully melted. Set into the refrigerator, and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes (whisk every 5 minutes or so to keep the mixture smooth).

Once cool, pipe about 1 tablespoon of ganache into each cupcake – use a knife to flatten the tops as needed.

Make the buttercream: in a standing mixer, beat the butter until fluffy (about 2 to 3 minutes). Lower the speed, and slowly add the powdered sugar – scraping down the sides in between additions. Add the cinnamon, and a dash of milk if the consistency is too thick.

Pipe buttercream onto the cupcakes, and top with a crushed cinnamon stick for garnish. Enjoy!

*you can easily substitute buttermilk and/or coffee for the bourbon – be sure the replacement adds up to 1 cup.

Read more about these treats and my musical pairing by clicking HERE.

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