A few years ago I was turned on to Crown Royal Maple Whiskey – and I haven’t looked back! This particular whiskey still has the bite of a regular whiskey, but also a very smooth maple finish. This time of year, when the weather starts to change, like clockwork I head over to my neighborhood spirits store and pick up a bottle (or two!). It is the perfect aperitif to sip on a crisp Chicago evening while relaxing with Ryan. Although he isn’t a fan, he says that when I drink this elixir, I smell like spicy pancakes in the morning. I mean, things could be worse!
So in order to make him fall in love with this magical whiskey, I decided to use it as an ingredient in my Chocolate Maple Whiskey Cupcakes. The cake component is intensely chocolatey with a maple twist, while the frosting has much more of a maple whiskey zing. Have a giant glass of cold milk (or whiskey on the rocks!) at the ready – this could be your new “thing”, too!
Chocolate Maple Whiskey Cupcakes
Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)
Flour – 1 cup, all purpose
Cocoa Powder – 1/3 cup
Dark Brown Sugar – 1 cup, lightly packed
Baking Soda – 1 teaspoon
Baking Powder – ½ teaspoon
Fine Sea Salt – ¾ teaspoon
Eggs – 1 extra-large, at room temperature
Maple Whiskey – ¼ cup (Crown Royal Maple recommended)
Buttermilk – ¾ cup, at room temperature
Vegetable Oil – ¼ cup
Maple Syrup – 2 tablespoons, Grade A
Vanilla – ¾ teaspoon, pure extract
Butter – 1 stick, unsalted, at room temperature
Chocolate Syrup – 1 tablespoon
Maple Whiskey – 2 tablespoons (Crown Royal Maple recommended)
Confectioners’ Sugar – 2½ cups, sifted
Maple Syrup – 4 tablespoons, Grade A
Vanilla – ¼ teaspoon, pure extract
Chocolate Cookies – ½ cup, crushed, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a standard 12-well muffin pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift all of the dry ingredients.
In another large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
Next, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined and almost smooth.
Using a 1¼ -inch metal scoop, evenly scoop the batter into each well. The wells should be ¾ filled.
Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow the cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes inside the pan, then remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment set to low speed and cream together the butter, whiskey, vanilla, maple syrup, and chocolate syrup.
Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.
Frost each cupcake using a flat knife or piping bag fitted with a round tip. Garnish with crushed chocolate cookies.