Away from the usual chocolate, vanilla or red velvet cupcakes, today’s feature will be Mojito Cupcakes. This is also not your regular Mojito because I will be substituting the traditional Mint leaves with Cilantro!
Yup, that’s right. Cilantro.
Cilantro is a herb with delicate lacy green leaves and a pungent flavor. Some countries may refer to Cilantro as Coriander (fresh coriander or coriander leaves) but generally, Coriander is known as the seed and Cilantro as the plant/leaf. Their flavors are very different therefore they can’t be used as a substitute for each other.
Cilantro is native to the Mediterranean but it’s usage quickly spread throughout the world. Other than its culinary benefits, Cilantro also has its health benefits. Cilantro is a powerful cleansing agent that specifically targets toxic metals. It gets rid of the toxic metals by supporting the body’s natural detoxification processes. Besides its cleansing powers, Cilantro may also help prevent cardiovascular damage, fight harmful organisms, improve sleep quality, and a lot more.
In baking, there are two types of formulas for cakes– high fat and low fat. Cupcakes are under the high fat category so I’m gonna be using the creaming method.
Mojito is one of my favorite alcoholic drinks to order so I just really had to try this recipe out: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/mojito-cupcakes-recipe/
Of course, since I’ll be changing the Mint leaves to Cilantro, I modified the original recipe a bit and added a few kicks to it.
Here’s my take on the Mojito Cupcakes:
Yield – 36 cupcakes (I used 1 oz cupcake liners)
Prep – 45 minutes
Cook – 25 minutes
For the Cupcakes:
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup cilantro
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
½ lemon juice
1½ tablespoons lime liqueur
2 tablespoons white rum
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons white rum
1 cup cilantro
For the Frosting:
1½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
4¼ cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lime liqueur
3 tablespoons white rum
Combine the buttermilk and the ½ cup cilantro in a small saucepan over medium heat. Warm until just starting to steam (do not simmer), then remove from the heat and cover. Let steep for 15 to 30 minutes. Once finished, strain the milk into a bowl using a fine mesh sieve. Press on any milk solids and cilantro to extract all the liquid possible. Give the milk a quick stir to smooth it out and set aside.
While the cilantro is steeping in the milk, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line your cupcake tin with cupcake liners and set aside. I used the smallest cupcake tin with 1oz liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Sift into a parchment paper (for an easier and no-mess addition later); set aside.
In an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5-10 minutes).
Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla extract, lemon juice, lime liqueur and white rum. Mix until combined. The mixture will look curdled but don’t worry. It’s meant to be that way and it will come back together later on.
Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.
Divide the batter between the cupcake liners. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just slightly golden and a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached.
While the cupcakes are baking, combine the rum and cilantro in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat until the rum is heated through (don’t t let it simmer). Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let steep until ready to use.
Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes and then move to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the cilantro-infused rum. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.
To make the frosting:
Whip the butter on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment for 5-10 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Give it a mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the lime liqueur and rum and mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached.