I’ve been holding back on these cupcakes for a while now. I thought they were too bright and cheery to share in the middle of winter, and I didn’t want to rub it in that it’s been warm and sunny here the whole time.
Believe it or not, there are some drawbacks to living in a place with near perfect weather. You can never wear boots, a scarf, and a hat all on the same day. You never ever ever get a snow day. And you feel terribly guilty every time you want to stay indoors and just veg out in front of the TV. There’s so much pressure to engage in outdoor adventures at all times. It’s like, “Shut up and leave me alone, sun. I don’t want to go to the beach. I just want to watch 8 straight hours of Downton Abbey.” Those dudes never get sun guilt.
But no matter the weather on your part of the planet, now’s the time to make these slightly boozy, tangy, sweet Citrus Cocktail Cupcakes. There’s Triple Sec and coconut rum in the cake, and more Triple Sec in the custard filling and the frosting. There’s also plenty of fresh orange and lime zest. So sunny!
These cupcakes do have several “from scratch” elements. Each one is simple, but it can drag the process out, so make these when you’re not in a hurry. You deserve some time alone in your kitchen with some citrus. And if you want to make yourself an actual citrusy cocktail while this is all going on, you might be my new best friend.
Rain or shine, it’s time for Citrus Cocktail Cupcakes. So awesome.
Citrus Cocktail Cupcakes
Citrus Cocktail Cupcakes are bright and sunny and slightly boozy and perfect for an endless summer.
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 7/8 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 5/8 cup milk
- 1-1/2 tablespoons coconut rum
- 1 tablespoon Triple Sec
- 1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 2 egg yolks
- Zest of half an orange
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Triple Sec
- 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- Zest of one lime
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tablespoon Triple Sec
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Orange food coloring, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 and line your cupcake pan with 12 liners.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Cream together butter and sugar by mixing with an electric mixer on medium high speed for at least 3 minutes. Turn the mixer down to low and mix in the egg, milk, rum, and Triple Sec. Your mixture will look very curdled. Relax, it'll be fine.
- With your mixer on its lowest setting, slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Fill your cups about two thirds full with cake batter and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack after about 5 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
- Combine all ingredients except for almond extract in a small saucepan. Cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until it becomes thick like custard.
- Remove from heat and stir in almond extract.
- Pour the filling into a small bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Press it right down onto the top of the filling. Store this in the fridge until the filling and the cupcakes are cool.
- Make a big hole in the middle of your cupcake with chopstick or cut out the core if you like more filling. Transfer your cooled filling to a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Insert the tip right into the hole and squeeze in as much filling as you can.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in the lime zest and juice and the Triple Sec.
- Slowly add in the powdered sugar a half cup at a time until smooth. Turn your mixer up to high for about a minute to make sure everything's light and fluffy. You can also mix in some orange food coloring if you like a bit of color.
- Frost your cupcakes in your favorite way. I used a Wilton 1M tip.
- Store your leftover cupcakes in the fridge, if you have such a thing.
- It's probably obvious that I halved this recipe, so if you want more cupcakes, this recipe can be easily doubled.
Adapted from Gourmet with Me