Cupcake Hero #9: [Baker’s Choice]

September 10, 2008 at 12:44 PM | Posted in Cupcake Hero, cupcakes | 59 Comments
Tags: , ,

I need to preface my entry by saying that I am crazy. I wouldn’t say “need-a-straitjacket” crazy but maybe “flew-over-the-cuckoo-nest” crazy. I am sure my friends are not surprised by this revelation, right?

Who else would waste spend hours (yes, plural) trying to come up with a creative catchy non-cheesy name for their cupcake?

Sadly… Me.

When I read that Laurie and staff had announced September’s Cupcake Hero ingredient as baker’s choice, I knew right away I would be choosing liquor as one of my ingredients. Lately I’ve been a little obsessed with liquor. I promise I am not going to an AA meeting anytime soon but baking with liquor is so fun! I have quite the collection on my wet bar – midori, vodka, rum, grand marnier, kahlua, chambord, wine…

After I closed my eyes and played eeny-meeny, I picked kahlua as my inspiration. My cupcake started coming together slowly but surely – Kahlua+coffee+cocoa. The only thing missing was a name. Let’s be real here. A name can make or break things. Are you really gonna eat something called “Chunky Puke Cupcakes” or “Bowel Movement Cupcakes”? No, I didn’t think so…

I guess my husband saw me staring at the bottle of kahlua and asked me what was on my mind. He always knows I am deep in thought when he sees me bite my upper lip, scrunch my forehead together and furrow my brow. I have a feeling its not a pretty picture. LOL.

T: You ok hun? You are concentrating way too hard on that bottle of Kahlua.
CB: Huh… what? *embarrassed laugh* No I am fine. I just can’t figure out what to name my newest cupcake.
T: Well… whats in it?
CB: Its a play on the commuter breakfast – coffee and donuts.
T: What were you thinking of calling it?
CB: Not sure. I was thinking it would be funny to play it off as a policeman’s favorite cupcake or something like that. But it sounds kinda cheesy. What do you think?
T: You’re the creative one. Hmmm… What about a Cop Cake? You know. Like “cup” cake but “cop”. Get it? Cop. Huh? Huh?
{uncomfortable silence}
CB: Omg. You are such a dork. [laughing hysterically]

Finally I settled for straight forward. I still gave my hubs his props though. Which cupcake name do you like better? If more readers like T’s suggestion, I’ll change it. I have to admit. The more I say it, the more it grows on me… I guess I am pretty dorky too. Like husband like wife.

Shot of Coffee & Donut Cupcakes
Cop Cakes

No spoon needed!
(Recipe adapted from Laura Rebecca’s Kitchen | photos from me!)

Makes 12 cupcakes


For donut cupcake
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt (I used Yoplait Light Vanilla)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp vanilla

For donut topping
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar (I used 1/8 cup granulated sugar+1/8 cup brown sugar)
1 tsp cinnamon

For kahlua mocha buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa (I used Hersheys)
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tsp instant coffee granules (I used Folgers Classic Roast)
1 tsp Kahlua


To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F. Line a standard muffin pan with paper cups.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix with light strokes until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Do not overmix; batter will not be smooth.

Divide batter among the muffin cups and bake until a toothpick inserted in one or two of the muffins come out clean, 12-15 minutes.

Look at my dome action! That 1 tbsp baking powder really did its job.

While the muffins are baking, melt butter and place in a bowl just large enough to hold a muffin. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small, shallow bowl. As soon as the muffins are done, dip them one at a time in the melted butter and then roll in the sugar mixture. Set on a rack to cool.

To make buttercream—
Beat butter, powdered sugar and cocoa at medium speed until fluffy.

Microwave whipping cream until warm (do not boil), about 15-20 secs. Stir together warm cream and coffee granules until dissolved; cool. Slowly add coffee-cream mixture in 1 tsp increments and liqueur to butter mixture, beating until smooth.

[NOTES: I didn’t use all of the coffee-cream mixture. I just added until I got the consistency I wanted, about 4-5 tsp. What did you do with the rest of the coffee? you ask? Hubs drank it!]


Husband rating: A+
He said the “donut” reminded him of monkey bread but not as sweet. Since he’s a Starbucks mocha freak, he was in love with that frosting. He had more than one shot. HAHA

Wifey rating: A+
I liked the donut but I LOVED it with the frosting. I am not a coffee person but I could have eaten all the frosting myself. It was SO goooooood.



  1. I love this concept! But..I have to go with him on this one…”Copcake” is cheesy, but it is perfect!

  2. I vote for “Copcake” too! I’m a sucker for clever names.

  3. you are so creative!!! these are adorable. i also vote for “cop cakes”… it’s catchy ;)

  4. ^ Darn! 3 votes for CopCakes already! I guess T is not the only dork out there. HAHA

  5. Yeah, I like “CopCake,” too. I think it’s cute. By the way, that is a GREAT entry! I love how you did the frosting on the side in the Starbucks cup. All of this sounds delicious and that frosting is gorgeous. Bravo!

  6. I think you are getting to know me too well and that knowledge is assisting you in the quest to be CH. Jaos is gunna love these as well. Well done CB, well done.

  7. OMG I love Cop Cake! I must be a dork too :)

  8. can i suggest a totally different name? If not, I vote Copcake.

  9. SLUSH, Muhahaha. But I wasn’t even thinking of Mr. Cupcake Hero when I thought of these… honest. ::looking innocent::

    BB, takes one to know one right? haha.

    RACHEYPOO, You can totally give me another suggestion! Bring it!

  10. OK – This is what I got.


  11. RP, Commuter Crunkcake is fanFREAKINGtastic! Way less cheesy than CopCakes. hehe

  12. Copcake!

  13. These are too awesome for a name. Just give ’em to me to gobble up before anyone thinks of the name and we’re all good :D.

  14. […] CB aka Clara Your blog name: I♥cuppycakes! Link to your Cupcake Hero entry: Shot of Coffee & Donut Cupcakes Ingredients: Liquor, Cocoa & […]

  15. MARSHA, another vote for CopCake. Damn. My hubs is totally gloating now…

    SOPHIE, Thanks! I would give you some but… um… they magically disappeared? *shrugs

  16. YUM! This looks incredible.

    And I like both names, actually. Where did you get the little Starbucks cup?

  17. LETSTHINK, Finally! Someone that appreciates my name. The starbucks cup? Oh oh oh. I made it! The “cup” is a 2oz souffle cup or party nut cup (depending what your store calls it). I printed the starbucks logo on my computer, cut it out and glued it to the cup. Funny, no?

  18. Sorry T wins. Cop cake all the wayyyyyyyyyyyyy

  19. NIKKI, …and you call yourself MY friend. Huummrrph!

  20. my keyboard is now covered in drool…thanks C! Those look DIVINE!
    I think the name ‘cop cake’ is really cute…way to go T!

  21. SUZE, LOL. Gotta love keyboard drool.

  22. I think copcake is really cute. :) Not that your suggested name isn’t, but copcake is short and sweet and it just sort of rolls of the tongue. Also, these look AMAZING! I may have to give them a try. :)

  23. JULIE, I guess I agree. It does roll off the tongue. Definitely let me know if you make them!

  24. hahah with all your talk about frosting shots I was wondering when you’d pull that one out!! YUMMM these look so good!!! Awesome job girl!!

  25. STEPH, Oh yeah. Its been on the must make list for a while. I love me some frosting shots. Now thats my kind of bar. HAHA

  26. these look nice with a coffee . Just what i need now :-)

  27. SNOOKY, So true. I am dragging today. I wish I had some frosting left to pep me up! haha.

  28. how cute is that?! omg i have to try these!

  29. SARA, Thanks! If you try it, let me know what you think, k? :)

  30. I went home last night and made these cupcakes… They are so yummy and the frosting is to die for!! What tip did you use?? Also for anyone else that makes these I would frost the cupcake first then sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar on top. My frosting did not stick doing it the other way.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas with everyone.

  31. MELISSA, So glad you liked it! Did you blog about it? I’d love to see! I used a 1M star tip to make my frosting shots. Its my favorite tip! Thanks for the tip about frosting the cupcake first. I think if were to make them again I would probably use the frosting as a filling (using the cone method) and then do the sugar/cinnamon topping. That crunchy sugar on the cupcake was my favorite part.

  32. I used that tip also but mine does not look like yours. I will have to try again.

  33. great idea, looks fantastic! x

  34. AMANDA, thanky!

  35. I love these! They look soooo cool! And seriously how do u pipe like that?!?! I seriously need piping lessons cos my cupcakes never look that great!

  36. It all looks very luscious…
    Your pictures are beautiful…what camera do you use?
    Oh yeah, Copcakes…definitely

  37. Forgot to mention…Thank you so much for the recipe and for setting it up with the pictures and all…there is absolutley no excuse for not baking these beauties….

  38. HAYLEY, Thanks for the sweet compliments! I am kinda giddy about how they turned out. Pretty much how I pictured in my head. I use a 1M star piping tip. I love the ridges and swirls that the tip makes. I think it just takes practice. I can’t take too much credit. The tip does all the work! haha.

    GINNYPA, Thank you! I use a Sony DSC-S700. Its a nice camera for a photography newb like me but I am hoping to upgrade to a bigger and better one soon. I hope you do make them! Definitely let me know what you think if you do.

  39. CopCake!

  40. LISA, haha. another copcake lover.

  41. […] Clara of I Heart Cuppycakes with Shot of Coffee & Donut Cupcakes […]

  42. Congrats on the win CB!

  43. JEN, I WON I WON I WON! I am so stoked and on the anniversary no less. There were so many amazing cuptestants this round too. Wow. I am still in shock…

  44. Hey there!
    Congratulations on your Cupcake Hero Win! I am a fellow Iron cupcake baker and I have to say I love your stuff. Great job and I’m glad there are people who love cupcakes as much as me.

  45. VANESSA, Hello fellow IC baker! Nice to “meet” ya! Always great meeting another fellow cupcake-er :)

  46. congratulations on the CH win!!

  47. STEPH, Thank you! I am in great company with past Cupcake Hero winners like yourself ;)

  48. I’m a big time Starbucks fanatic.. I know I’m responding super late but I just saw these… YUMMY Cop Cakes!!!! ;)

  49. MICHI, No worries about late comment. I appreciate all comments! Thanks for stopping by :)

  50. These are so delicious! I made them for my ceramic class for our final critique and figured they’d go good with coffee (as we’re all coffee fiends.) I did add chocolate to them with more cinnamon. They’re just great!

  51. MEGAN, Awesome! I bet adding chocolate and cinnamon were amazing! Do you have the adapted recipe in your blog? I’ll have to give your changes a try! Glad you enjoyed the recipe :)

  52. ome ome ome! this looks so damn perfect! I’m walking trough my walls because I really want to eat them all! this copcakes are a sin! you make me a sinner hehehe

    I have a question.. If I don’t have kahlua.. I just omit it? or put more coffee?


  53. CALABAZA, LOL @ sinner. You can omit the kahlua if you want. I am sure a mocha buttercream (sans kahlua) would be still very tasty! If you like coffee, you can definitely add to taste. Let me know what you think, k?

  54. i’m glad you laughed hehehe of course I’ll let you know.. I’m planing of baking this for my grandma’s birthday :D I was thinking about using another licuour.. amaretto for example. or simply vanilla essent. but I just can’t find when to put in the licour into the frosting mix. I mean.. I just add it with the tsp of coffee? or should I wait for it to cool? :/

  55. CALABAZA, Lucky grandma! Mmmm… I bet amaretto would be quite tasty! Let the coffee mixture cool before adding to the frosting, mix to combine. Then add amaretto (or vanilla essence) and mix well. Looking forward to hearing your review :)

  56. I just happened on your blog yesterday and let me tell you that I’m hooked!!! I’ve been secretly looking at your blog all day… thank goodness for Window key + D to minimize my screens!! I’m a coffee addict and need to try these. I’m fairly new at baking cupcakes (started with tarts, pies, etc.), so I’m trying to figure out the best way to fill these with the frosting. Can you help?

  57. CB, Whoa! Your name’s like my name?! Thats gonna be confusing! haha. Thanks for all the sweet compliments. You want to use the frosting as a filling instead? I usually do it by the cone method but I know some other cupcake-ers use a piping tip and just plunge into the center of the cupcake. Hope that helps!

  58. I’ve never gotten around to commenting, but I saw these months ago and thought they looked delicious… so I made them! Everyone in my family tried and loved them, and I brought them to a friend’s house where they soon started disappearing. They were sooooo good and I’m so making them again… hopefully this time with the coffee icing! :D

  59. Z, You didn’t try the buttercream? Oh that’s the best part (in my opinion). haha. Glad you enjoyed the cupcakes :)

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