After my Thanksgiving success I really wanted to bake cupcakes for Christmas. I had also planned on making the Snickerdoodle Blondies I had baked last year. Unfortunately I was running low on cupcake inspiration and I didn't want to repeat myself with the blondies. When fate intervened and I read "Snickerdoodle Cupcakes" I knew that it was a sign. Surely this is how Arthur must have felt.
Now, at the risk of baking snickerdoodle cupcakes that didn't taste like snickerdoodles, I left well enough alone and decided not to make any changes to the cake portion of the cupcake. And other than making them mini, I didn't make any changes to the cup portion either. This may be the reason why it was the only recipe from my bake-a-thon that didn't go awry in some way. However, just because I didn't want to play with the cake didn't mean I wouldn't play with the frosting. I have never actually made a seven minute frosting (the original pairing for this recipe) but a quick search revealed that it's quite sweet. Instead, I felt this would be another wonderful opportunity to use my boiled brown sugar frosting but replace the vanilla with cinnamon.
These cupcakes really do taste (and smell) like snickerdoodles, only without the crunch; which I admit is a bit disconcerting at first. This is a phenomenon I have noted in the past with a “cookie muffin." It's a bit strange to have a familiar flavour with an alien texture. Kind of like those buttered popcorn flavoured Jelly Bellys. But once you get used to it (should you need to), these cupcakes are amazing. Soft and moist, perfectly spiced, and just lightly sweet as any good snickerdoodle should be. And once again the frosting is a complete and unadulterated (what a strange word, never thought about it before) WIN! It was so wonderfully creamy and light, and the added cinnamon helped to enhance the flavours in the cupcake. C'est Magnifique! (Six years of French and that's all I know, and I learned it from Miss. Piggy :)).
These cupcakes are fantastic, with both a wonderful flavour and texture. Everyone gave them rave reviews, and even oohed and awed when I brought them out, no doubt a result of my "fancy" decorating. And by fancy I mean, super simple. But even without the frosting these cupcakes are terrific. On that note and FYI, I didn't make enough frosting for the entire recipe, but I wasn't too concerned with frosting each cupcake either. So if you would like to frost all your cupcakes you will have to make about fifty percent more frosting. You could also double the recipe and use the leftover on some toast. If anyone asks, call it cinnamon toast and you should be in the clear :).
Mini Snickerdoodle Cupcakes w/ Boiled Brown Sugar Cinnamon Frosting
Adapted from Brown Eyed BakerYields approx 5 1/2 dozen mini cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (195g)
1 1/2 cups cake flour (120g)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (225g)
1 3/4 cups sugar (350g)
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups milk -- I used 1%
2 tsp vanilla
Adapted from meYields enough for approx 1 1/2 cups of frosting (you will likely need about 50% more if you plan on frosting the entire batch, given 1 tsp per cupcake)
1 1/2 tbsp tablespoons flour (13g)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113g)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar (120g)
Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a mini muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl sift together both flours, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of a mixer cream together butter and sugar until pale, fluffy, smooth.
Reduce mixer speed and beat in eggs one at a time until each egg is just incorporated. Beat in vanilla.
Reduce mixer speed to low and in three batches slowly add the dry ingredients, adding the milk between each batch, starting and ending with the dry ingredients (dry-milk-dry-milk-dry), and mixing until just incorporated.
Evenly distribute batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each until 2/3 of the way full.
Bake for 11 to 12 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (this took me 12 minutes).
Allow to cool in pan on rack for two minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely.
In a small saucepan add flour, salt and 1/4 cup of milk and mix until combined. Add remaining milk and salt, and turn burner to medium heat, whisking continuously until a paste is formed.
Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
In the small bowl of a mixer add butter and brown sugar and beat on medium until fluffy. Add the flour mixture and beat until light, fluffy and smooth ---don't worry if it doesn't look like anything is happening, it takes a while and will at least double in volume when ready.
Add cinnamon and continue to beat until completely incorporated.
Frost cupcakes once completely cooled.