One of the things I love most about our Progressive Eats group is the variety of themes that our members choose. Trying to work our culinary point of view into someone else theme is a challenge and the challenges are what make it fun. So this month, I tried to wrangle the theme of ‘Anything Baked in a Muffin Cup’ from Liz at That Skinny Chick Can Bake into something boozy. Not that I am all booze all the time (seriously!) but you can’t deny I find a way to include it in a lot of recipes. I had some ideas and some great suggestions from the peanut gallery but in the end I caved and went old school…a cupcake with a cocktail connection. Trust me, no one at my Memorial Day Party complained about these Pina Colada Cupcakes with Rum Buttercream!
The most perfect suggestions included jello shots and I have some mini muffin cups that would have been perfect but there was only one problem…I’m not a big fan of jello. Or jelly. Something about that wiggly business and that ‘firm but not really’ mouthfeel has always given me the heebie jeebies so thank you one and all for your suggestions but I just couldn’t. Beyond that I think my friends would have loved the idea but their kids might have been disappointed. Because despite the booze in these cupcakes I still served them to kids; the amount in the batter was a non issue due to baking burning it off and the small dose in the frosting was too insignificant to matter (though I did get parental approval!). You couldn’t have kept these from those kids; they spied them first thing and rushed through their hot dogs to get their hands on dessert!
One of the MOST popular posts on this blog are for these Jack Daniels Cupcakes with a Boozy Drizzle and we love them SO much that my biggest struggle was wondering which way to go with another cocktail cupcake. As often happens in my kitchen, choices are made for me…on the counter sat a pineapple whose time had come and it was either use it or lose it. So I cut it open and it was ripe and juicy and perfect. I had just finished repairing my grill and couldn’t help myself from testing it out with some pineapple slices. Some for me, some for cupcakes!
I had a friend come visit this weekend; Priscilla was a neighbor on my old street so it’s not like she had to come far but she’s gone back to school and had a big project to work on so she sent her hubs and daughter Lena packing to the in-laws and was going to spend the weekend dedicated to her studies. She is from Bolivia and while her English is great, she still can struggle with composition and when she asked if I would help her this weekend and check her work before she sent it, I suggested she just come on down and stay here and I could cook for her and help her with her work too. It was fun to visit a bit but as we agreed; I would go about my business as usual and she hers. That did not mean she couldn’t test cupcakes though and now I think I might get hired for Lena’s 8th birthday party!!
It’s funny, I had shared with Priscilla about how many kids are on the street and how I seem to be the pied piper of them all but Saturday was relatively quiet. Sunday? Whole different story. At one point there were 8 (EIGHT!!) kids who were here and in various stages of watching ‘Happy Feet’ or playing outside and two dads, one my buddy Sam who was helping me change out a light switch since I wanted to have a dimmer installed (I can do the actual change but sorely needed someone to help me test which circuit they were on) and another who showed up I think to help me finish installing a curtain rod but it got so crazy that never happened.
Priscilla stayed on task…not sure how but at least she got a glimmer of my street and why I love it here so much. I miss her, I miss the big trees and I miss my old garden but I wouldn’t go back; I’ve never had a band of neighbors like this and I just love them. We all convened again yesterday for a barbecue here and those kids finally got to have the Pina Colada Cupcakes with Rum Buttercream that they had eyed greedily the day before. It’s a good thing they weren’t overly boozy, I would have disappointed my crew and we can’t have that!
So my muffin tin project was a success and I can see from the roundup from friends that we have many more that have done the same. Need some of your own inspiration? Take a peek at the wonderful Muffin Tin ideas after the recipe. If you’re like me, you’ll be pulling that utensil out for way more than cupcakes!
Pina Colada Cupcakes with Rum Buttercream
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup dairy sour cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup rum
- 1 cup toasted coconut
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds
For Rum Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons white rum
- 2-4 tablespoons half and half
- 1/4 cup Toasted coconut
- Grilled Pineapple chunks
- Maraschino Cherries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line twenty-four 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, milk and rum. Alternately add flour mixture and sour cream mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.
- Stir in coconut and almonds. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes.
- Remove cupcakes from pans; cool completely on wire racks. .
Prepare Rum Buttercream Frosting:
- To make the frosting, beat the butter until it’s light and fluffy. Then add in the sugar 1 cup at time and beat until fully incorporated, making sure to scrape down the bowl between each cup.
- Add the rum and enough half and half until preferred consistency is achieved. and generously spread the frosting onto tops of cupcakes. Sprinkle edges with toasted coconut. Garnish with grilled pineapple chunk and maraschino cherry.
- Cheesy Sloppy Joe Tamale Cups from The Heritage Cook
- Ham and Greens Corn Muffins from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
- Ham Mashed Potato Breakfast Cups from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
- Spicy Pepperoni Pinwheels from Pastry Chef Online
- Vegetarian Meatballs with Spicy Moroccan Sauce from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes from Spiceroots
- Vanilla Buttercream Topped Cocoa Cupcakes from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Vanilla Pear Brioche Bread Pudding from The Redhead Baker
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month we’re featuring dishes made in a muffin tin ranging from individual desserts to savory entrees and/or appetizers. Our event is hosted by Liz Berg who blogs at That Skinny Chick Can Bake. With built in portion control, these recipes are perfect, lighter-fare for your summer dining. You’ll certainly find a delicious recipe to add to your repertoire!
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.