Monday, March 12, 2012

Jack and Coke Cupcakes!

A little over a month ago I made Blue Moon Cupcakes for a Superbowl party. They were good, but a friend at the party who shares our preference for Jack and Coke over beer said "you should figure out how to make Jack Daniels cupcakes next" little did he know the power of pinterest. I was on pinterest a day or two later when this recipe for Jack and Coke cupcakes came up! SHUT UP!!! Seriously? I pinned the receipe and planned to make them for next year's party. But then, this same friend had a baby and we planned to go visit and take dinner... what better for desert for new parents than cupcakes with alcohol? Yeah, I couldn't think of anything either so I whipped up a batch.

Of course when I say whipped up, it wasn't quite that simple... first there was shopping for the ingredients. I did a quick scan of the list and made a mental note of what I didn't already have and planned to go to the store later that day. Ran a few errands and found I had more time than I thought so figured I'd go to the store and surely I'd remember everything... not sure why I thought that, my memory is horrible... I guess I forgot. Got some wrong stuff, forgot other stuff, went home and realized back to the store it was.

This time I made sure I had the whole list with me. And while that helped a lot I think my general lack of cooking (particularly when it comes to things from scratch) hurt me a little bit. For example, unsalted butter? Never heard of it... the closest I could find was unsalted sweet butter, is that the same? If not it makes a good substitute because it's what I bought and used. Next up, preferably Dutch-process cocoa powder? Does Hershey have a cocoa powder plant in Holland? If not I'd say they make something pretty darned close, because that's what I used. Heavy cream... heard of that, figured easy enough... hm... the closest options I could find were organic heavy whipping cream, and whipping cream. I went with whipping cream, if that's not right it seemed to be a good substitute.

I made the cupcakes, filling and icing all in the same day. I had enough time, so not a big deal, but it wasn't a quick process. Well worth the effort though, they turned out AWESOME!!! The coke added to the cupcake batter gave a nice hint of coke flavor, the whiskey in the chocolate ganache was just enough for a little nip... and then there's the icing... shazam! A little powdered sugar, a little butter and a boat load of Jack Daniel's! It's like having a shot with every cupcake. A delicious, delicious shot... enjoy!!!

Jack and Coke Cupcakes - Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes.

Coca-Cola Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup cola
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
at room temperature
2/3 cup sour cream at room temperature

Ganache Filling

8 ½ ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Jack Daniel's (I suggest 2 - in this case more is more)

Whiskey Buttercream Frosting

6 cups confections sugar
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperatue
6 tablespoons Jack Daniel's


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup cola and 2 sticks butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Allow to cool for at least fifteen minutes.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, whisk eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add the sugar and whisk to combine. With the mixer on, pour in the cola-chocolate mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Be really careful about not overfilling them – this cake rises and will spill over. I put the batter in a plastic bag and pipe it into the papers. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Ganache Filling

Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.

Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.
Meanwhile, using a 1-inch round cookie cutter, an apple corer, or a paring knife, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes.

Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.


Whisk the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. It does make a difference. The frosting will be less grainy, and require less sugar to thicken them up.

When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the whiskey and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin, beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar. Don’t worry about trying to use all 6 cups, just use your intuition and stop when it seems thick enough.

Ice and the cupcakes and top them with Wilton’s white sparkling sugar and Haribo gummy colas.

EDIT: I made these again for my brother in law's birthday but decided to take a little short cut. I bought cake mix and substituted the water with coke... much faster and just as good! Here's a pic of how they turned out!

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