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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Carrot Rum Cupcakes with Coconut Rum Cream Cheese Frosting

 I've wanted to make a booze-infused goodie using one of the cake mixes I have squirreled away in my cupboard.  I generally don't get a chance to use mixes much anymore, but I'm a fan of their great flavor, ease of use, consistent results, texture, and adaptability.  They are the foundation of my Kahlua Cake and Jacqueline's Chocolate Orange Cupcakes.  So, here is my first attempt to take a basic box cake mix and add some booze.  EASY!  I think the result is one of my favorites.  And, this frosting is a coconut lover's dream!

I wasn't sure about the addition of rum in place of all the water in this recipe.  The original Betty Crocker recipe called for water (or orange juice) and oil.  I switched it up in true BIWB-substitution-fashion and used Myers Dark Rum and buttermilk, the fullest fat version you can find.  I'm on a mission to find a perfectly moist buttermilk cupcake recipe.  I think full-fat buttermilk is part of that secret code.  And, believe it or not, these cupcakes have less fat using the buttermilk than using oil.  So, feel good about this!

These cupcakes were moist and full of flavor.  Not too sweet, either.  And, I got to use my orange cupcake liners and sprinkles...Yay!!!
Dump all the cake ingredients, except the coconut, nuts and raisins, in a large bowl.  Mix as directed, being careful not to over mix.  Did I say EASY?!
Fold in the coconut, nuts and raisins.  I didn't use nuts or raisins.  I made these for my friend, Simone, and her family for her one year old twins' baptism.  Not everyone likes nuts and I am not a huge fan of raisins.  And, if the truth be told, I have a 3 raisin quotient in all baked goods...Any more, and I have to pick them out.  Eww!
The happy baptism family and recipients of these cupcakes.  A happy day!
Fill your liners and bake for about 20 minutes until they are springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean, or with just a few crumbs.  Look how pretty, just out of the oven.
Remove from the pan and let cool completely on a rack until you are ready to frost these beauties.
In the frosting, I used this really cool coconut milk powder that a friend brought back from Jamaica for me years ago.  I've never really known what to do with it and it is now part of the BIWB secret ingredients arsenal to amp-up any coconut flavor.  Amazing stuff...I have my fingers crossed that I will be able to find it in the U.S.
My pretties after frosting and sprinkles and sugar!

Carrot Rum Cupcakes with Coconut Rum Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Betty Crocker's Ultimate Carrot Cake , makes 20-24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® carrot cake mix
1/2 cup Myers Dark Rum
1/2 cup buttermilk (use the full fat version)
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
4 eggs
1/2 cup coconut (I used sweetened flaked)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup chopped raisins (optional)

For the Frosting
1/2 cup butter, room temp* (1 stick, I use salted)
1-8 oz pkg of cream cheese, room temp*
2 tbsp Myers Dark Rum
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 2 tsp good vanilla extract)
5 cups confectioners sugar
1 tbsp coconut milk powder
1/4 cup coconut (sweetened flaked)
Corn syrup, if needed
* room temp is 68 degrees, so still cool to the touch and firm

For the cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.  In large bowl, beat cake mix, rum, buttermilk, pineapple, and eggs on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Stir in coconut, nuts and raisins. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. 

Bake for 18-20 minutes, checking a few minutes before, until a toothpick comes out clean (a few crumbs are okay).  Cool for 5 minutes in the pan.  Remove to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting. 

Note:  According to Betty, you can also bake this cake in 2, 8- or 9-inch rounds (sprayed with cooking spray) for 30 to 35 minutes, or a 13x9-inch pan 37 to 43 minutes.  Check with a toothpick. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Run knife around side of pans to loosen cakes; remove rounds from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

For the frosting
Beat butter and cream cheese for 30 seconds on medium. Add rum, milk and vanilla bean paste and beat for about a minute on medium until just incorporated and smooth.  Do not over beat or the heat of the beaters will make your mixture too runny! 

Mix the confectioners’ sugar and coconut milk powder.  Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar mixture on low until incorporated.  Beat on medium for 30 seconds.  Add the coconut and beat just to incorporate.  Check for consistency and add corn syrup in 1 tbsp increments until you achieve your desired consistency.  Or, you can use a bit of milk to do the same.  Once you have the consistency that you like, beat on medium high for a minute.  Pipe or frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with something fun. 
I think Betty Crocker would approve of my booze-infused creation inspired by her legendary cake mix.
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  1. Those look like some happy cupcakes! My oldest daughter is a carrot cake fan and I bet she'd love these for her birthday!
    Happy New Year, dear friend...XOXO

  2. Yum! Booze in food is awesome! Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesday!

  3. yummy! I have made a few boozy treats too,and love it. Althought I got really tipsy on my holiday cake, but it made for a much happier day LOL.

  4. I love carrot cake...but carrot cake with rum? Sounds divine! Very pretty cupcakes, my friend!

  5. Love the recipe, this one is a keeper. If you are still interested in buying that Powdered coconut milk, you can purchase it online at
    The actual store is based in NY, where the items are shipped from.

  6. Thanks and so glad you loved the recipe! I fell in love with the frosting, but don't tell anyone. Mmmkay? And, thanks for the link for more coconut milk powder. I may be getting some from my friend. I also found it on amazon (of course). Enjoy!

    P.S. Springfield?


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