I agonized over this month's Cupcake Hero Contest. The theme ingredient is liquor, which we generally avoid in our house. But I really wanted to do an Apple-tini Cupcake with Caramel drizzle on top. I visited a couple of liquor stores to find an apple flavored liquor, but they all had scary artificial colors added to them and required buying a huge $16 bottle of booze that I'd never drink. Then I had to go out of town on Thursday, so I just gave up on this month's contest.
I was ecstatic to learn when I returned that the deadline was extended until today. I searched the liquor stores for some other ideas, but returned empty handed and uninspired. With only hours remaining I remembered the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie from "How it all Vegan" by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer. I bought a small bottle of Jack Daniels to make this pie about 3 years ago...and still had the leftover whiskey in the cabinet. Surely this heavenly combination of whiskey, pecans, and chocolate could make a winning cupcake...
Butter Pecan Cupcakes with Whiskey Buttercream and Chocolate Drizzle
1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1.5 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup Earth Balance, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. Jack Daniels
1/4 tsp molasses
3/4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground flax seeds
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, potato starch, xanthan, bkg powder, bkg soda, salt, pecans). In a separate bowl, mix together melted Earth Balance, vanilla, JD, molasses, sugar, and flax seeds. Then whisk together dry and wet ingredients and distribute in cupcake liners. I filled them pretty full and got 9 cupcakes, but I like a puffy rounded top to my cupcakes. It would make 12 smaller cupcakes.
Cool completely before frosting.
This doesn't make a ton of frosting because it's super rich and pretty potent-tasting. If you want a thick frosting, just double the recipe.
1/4 cup Earth Balance, softened
1 tsp whiskey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Cream together Earth Balance, whiskey and vanilla. Add 1/2 the powdered sugar and mix until no lumps remain. Add remaining sugar and mix until smooth.
3 Tbsp non-dairy milk
1/4 cup chocolate chips
Over a VERY low heat, heat milk until steaming. Then remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until completely melted and smooth. Refrigerate until thickened slightly, but still drizzle-able.
***I know that making my entry gluten free will greatly reduce my chances of winning and of many people making these cupcakes. But I figure that if I keep posting these recipes, eventually folks will realize that although gluten-free baking seems incredibly intimidating, it can be done (especially with a good recipe)! Plus, this is a Cupcake Hero contest and anyone who is gluten free will tell you you're a hero if you bake these.