Today I’m bringing together two of my favorite things – whiskey and cupcakes! During these winter months, nothing warms me up better than a hot toddy. It’s a warm cocktail of whiskey, honey, and lemon juice (sometimes made with tea.) It’s delicious and warms the soul. I presonally also think it’s a great home remedy for sore throats and colds. 😉
These Hot Toddy Cupcakes may not have the exact same effect but they’ll definitely satisfy a sweet tooth!
A SPOONFUL OF HONEY + OTHER INGREDIENTS
I baked these Hot Toddy Cupcakes as a Friday treat for my officemates. As members of our ad agency, we’re “Drink Marketing Specialists” so a cocktail themed cupcake seemed appropriate – and fun! But as a busy working gal, I also had to be realistic about how elaborate these were going to be. I love a good recipe that requires very little additional grocery shopping. For this, you’ll most likely have most of these ingredients in your kitchen (and bar cart) already!
I love the honey lemon cake base from this Hot Toddy Cupcakes recipe. It’s wonderfully light and fluffy with just the right amount of sweetness and zest. But, my favorite part of this cupcake is hands down, the whiskey sauce. I originally was just going to put it in the center of the cupcakes but it was so good that I also used it as a drizzle. Heck, I was eating some of it by the spoonful!
Since I’m a whiskey gal, this recipe also asks you to spike your cream cheese frosting. I was eating that by the spoonful too!
The most common way to make cupcakes is the creaming method. Cream room temperature butter and sugar together first and then add in eggs. Then you alternate between the rest of the dry and wet ingredients until everything is incorporated. Creaming the butter and sugar traps in air to create that light and fluffy texture we all love. Alternating the ingredients ensures the liquid is thoroughly absorbed into the batter and helps the formulation of gluten to hold everything together.
When a recipe calls for butter to be creamed with sugar, it’s actually best to not make the butter too warm. Take the butter out, cut it into pieces, and by the time you get everything else set up, it should be just soft enough to cream. Please, please not use the microwave!
WHISKEY MAKES MY BABY, FEEL A LITTLE FRISKY
(You may or may not know this about me, but I’m a Jersey Girl who loves me some country music 😁.)
Hot Toddy Cupcakes can’t be Hot Toddy Cupcakes without the whiskey. The whiskey in the cream cheese frosting is just enough for aromatics. The whiskey sauce isn’t very thick so the cake actually soaks up all that goodness. Taste as you go though and feel free to add more or less whiskey depending on your palate! Don’t worry, the whiskey becomes fairly tame when mixed in and tastes kind of like caramel.
I know this looks like a really long recipe but it actually isn’t too complicated. The most ‘difficult’ part was probably all the dishes I had to do in the end 😛. I’d tell you that you can skip the whiskey sauce to make this simplier…but I promise it is so worth it! Though, you can also just cut to the chase and enjoy this cupcake with the whiskey on the side!
Hot Toddy Cupcakes
FOR HONEY LEMON CUPCAKE
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1-1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
FOR WHISKEY SAUCE
- 4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg, beatened
- 4 Tbsp whiskey, or to taste
FOR HONEY WHISKEY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 1 (8oz) package cream cheese
- 4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) butter, softened
- 4 Tbsp whiskey, plus more to taste
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1-2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake tin with baking cups.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar with a stand/hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, until just combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, mix together the remaining wet ingredients: milk, honey, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- Alternate mixing in the dry and wet mixtures into the butter mixture, starting and ending with the dry (i.e. dry, wet, dry). Mix after each addition until just combined.
- Scoop batter into the baking cups to about 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely.
To Make Whiskey Sauce
- Cream butter and sugar together and then blend in the beaten egg.
- Transfer mix into a double boiler or into a steel bowl over a pot of boiling water. Stir until all the sugar is melted and the sauce thickens a bit. Remove from heat and stir in the whiskey.
- Core out each cupcake, about half way down. Spoon in the whiskey sauce, letting the cake soak it up. Brush some over the top of the cupcake too!
To Make the Honey Whiskey Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth and fluffy. Add in the whiskey, mixing until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar, half a cup at a time, adding more or less to taste. If frosting is too thick, add water or more whiskey until desired consistency.
- Frost each cupcake. Drizzle whiskey sauce on top and add optional garnish with a lemon slice or lemon zest!