Sunday, February 14, 2010

Decadence in a bite: Elvis Cupcakes

For anyone living under a rock, last Sunday was the Super Bowl. Having received an invite to friend Pas' Super Bowl party (at his outright amazing apartment in downtown Manhattan), I knew almost immediately what I wanted to make.

Peanut butter. Banana. Bacon. Cupcakes.

Otherwise known as Elvis Cupcakes. Oh yes, baby, they are as delicious as they sound. Well, at least my recipe is. Surprise, surprise, these recipes came from inspiration and combination of a few Smitten Kitchen recipes. I went with mini cupcakes because these are decadent, and I recommend giving these miniatures a try. I also really really wanted to debunk the dry mini cupcake myth. Even day-old cake doesn't have to dry out! Thus, I packed the cake with tons of banana and the next day, before frosting, I brushed the tops of the cake with Jack Daniels. My goal was to create a moist, banana-rich, peanut buttery, salty bacon dessert bite, a worthy tribute to The King, and I think these are winners.

My frosting did not want to pipe out, so they were sloppily frosted with a knife. Ignore the ugly, embrace the tasty.

Elvis Mini Cupcakes

Banana cake
[This makes 54 mini cupcakes or probably around two dozen regular cupcakes.]

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3.5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 large eggs
1.5 - 2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (4 large)
3 tablespoons greek yogurt or sour cream
1 tablespoon whiskey (Jack Daniels), plus 1/4 cup [for topping the baked cupcakes]
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift first 5 ingredients into bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until creamed. Beat in eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, rum, and vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients in 2 additions just until combined.

Line your mini cupcake with liners. Spoon no more than one tablespoon of batter into each liner, filling the cup 2/3 full max. Bake for 10-13 minutes max. [A toothpick may not come out "clean" because it's a very moist cake.] Remove cake from pan immediately and put on a cooling rack. Repeat process until batter is gone, it will take 2-3 batches of baking.

Directly before frosting, use a pastry brush (or new, clean paint brush) and brush the top of each cupcake with Jack Daniels.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups (which is more than you need for said cupcakes. Feel free to 3/4 the recipe, or give the frosting to a baker friend.)

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, commercial brand

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1/2-1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

The frosting will be quite thick and a bit difficult to pipe out because of the peanut butter. If possible, use a ziploc bag to frost the banana, Jack Daniels soaked cupcakes. If not, use a knife or small offset spatula and spread on.

Baked Bacon
10 slices high quality bacon

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place the bacon in a single layer on the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping 10 minutes into the process. You want the bacon crispy but not burnt, and it will continue to crisp as it cools.

Place cooked bacon on a paper towel lined plate, and once cooled, cut slices into fifths. Top each cupcake with a generous piece of bacon.

Put the cupcakes out on a nice platter and enjoy the questions. "Bacon? On a cupcake?" "Wait, what are these called?" And then enjoy the happy smiles and mouthgasms around the room.


Freud'sCigar said...


TJB said...

That sounds so friggin' yummy, but to time consuming for my lazy behind.

Ahem, if you ever make them again and you need a taste tester - give me a ring PLEASE!!!

emily said...

Haha, TJ, the cake is so easy to throw together. The bacon can bake while the frosting is whipped up, and voila, frost it up.

I bet you could do the cake gluten free, for sure. ;)