I’m sharing these cupcakes because I do think they’re beautiful, and the flavors are great. The frosting and the caramel are perfect, but both were salvaged only after first following a recipe that yielded soupy caramel liquid and a meringue buttercream that ended up in the trash. I’m still not happy with the cake layer– it was too dense and a little “gummy.” Not inedible by any means, and the other components saved it, but next time I’ll just stick to my reworkings of the toppings, and pick a more trusted cupcake recipe.
I’m not sure exactly what went wrong with the cupcakes. I was skeptical about the instructions to simply add all the wet ingredients to the dry at once, but I followed them anyway. They didn’t seem to rise as much as I thought they would while baking. Maybe I shouldn’t have added all the rum and coke syrup called for while they were cooling. I don’t yet have a go-to cupcake recipe for baking with alcohol, but maybe I could have turned my Honey Whiskey Cake into cupcakes. Perhaps I’ll try that next time. That might still not be as light as a typical cupcake, but it also might hold up to the syrup better. Anybody have any recipe or other suggestions?
Overall, the cake has a nice cola flavor (with a hint of cherry), and the frosting is heavenly. It almost has a “fizz” to it and has good notes of rum and cola. The caramel is also amazing! It’s got a stronger cola flavor than the other components. I would love to cook it a little longer and make some caramel candies sometime.
I’ll just share a link to the original recipe here. I quartered everything to make 10 medium cupcakes. The only thing I changed for the cake was to use cherry cola and then to add about 6-8 drops of Lorann cola, rum, and cherry flavorings to the batter with the wet ingredients. I did follow the caramel recipe, but I guess “deep amber” is much darker than I imagined. I was able to fix the caramel by simply cooking the entire mixture longer, until about 212 degrees on the candy thermometer I pulled out. I also added a few drops of cola extract to the caramel.
I ended up with just my standard whipped cream frosting (about 3/4 cup whipped cream, a few heaping tablespoons of powdered sugar, and a few drops each of cola and rum flavorings).
I probably had twice as much frosting as I needed, so I whipped up a half batch of ginger molasses cookies (see my holiday baking post here) and topped them with the extra frosting and caramel. I might have enjoyed the cookies even more than the cupcakes (but that might just have been after all the frustration with the cupcakes). People at work still seemed to really like the cupcakes though, so I do think with change to the cake recipe and/or syrup amount, these would be perfect for a cocktail-themed party, or just a friend who really loves rum and cokes (rums and coke?). Party on 🙂