May 4, 2013

Churro Cupcakes for Cinco de Mayo

Cinnamon Cupcakes Filled with Salted Dulce de Leche and Topped with a Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and a Churro Tortilla Crisp.

cinnamon cupcakes with dulce de leche

Let me begin this post with saying that these cupcakes are sooo good!  You don't need to make them for Cinco de Mayo only, they are a big hit all year round!  The description of these treats may seem a little complicated, but I've created lots of shortcuts with disguises so that no one will ever know! Really the hardest part is trying not to eat all of the cupcake centers before you are done filling the batch with dulce de leche!

cinnamon cupcakes filled with dulce de leche

I did not make the Dulce de Leche from scratch, but this stuff is so good I couldn't resist licking the whisk.  It is made simple by baking sweetened condensed milk in a water bath in the oven.  It really couldn't be easier!  Now, I've seen this done multiple ways, but the way I chose turned out to be very easy.  Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk into a shallow dish, cover with a layer of foil, place that dish into a larger one and fill it with about an inch of water.  Bake at 400 degrees for a little over an hour and "Voila!", you have dulce de leche so good you can eat it with a spoon!

dulce de leche
salted caramel
For the cupcakes, you can use your own favorite white cake recipe and add some cinnamon.  Or just do what I did and doctor up your boxed cake mix so it tastes like it was made from scratch! The tops of the cupcakes are dipped into cinnamon sugar while still hot from the oven. I think that I ate every single one of those cupcake centers by the end of my afternoon of baking, they were so tasty! 

churro cupcakescinnamon sugar churro cupcakes
For the frosting I chose to do a cream cheese frosting because this cupcake is pretty sweet already, and I love the combination of cinnamon and cream cheese.  I can also admit that a few days after making these cupcakes I had a few of the baked cinnamon sugar tortillas left over and I ate them with a small wedge of cream cheese! To be honest, I'll dip anything in cream cheese! 

cinnamon cupcakes filled with dulce de leche
baked cinnamon sugar tortilla crisps
However you celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year, these cupcakes will make a perfect ending to a fun day!  I know ours will probably be filled with a little more guacamole, tacos and cervezas than a typical day!  Have fun!

Churro Cupcakes filled with Salted Dulce de Leche


Inspired by The Curvy Carrot

For the Salted Dulce de Leche:

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Pour the contents of the can of sweetened condensed milk into a shallow baking dish and cover tightly with foil.  Place that dish into a larger baking dish and fill it with about an inch of water.  Bake in the oven for about 70-90 minutes.  Be sure to add more water to the water bath about halfway through the baking time.  The longer you bake it, the darker and thicker it will become.  If you want to use it as a sauce or drizzle, cook it less, and if you would it thicker for a filling go a little bit longer.
When you first uncover the pan, the dulce will not look very smooth and creamy.  Add the salt and whisk until smooth.  Cool in the refrigerator.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. 


For the Cupcakes:

Makes 24
1 box of white cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
For Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all the ingredients for the cupcakes and mix with an electric mixer with the paddle attachment for on med-low for 1 minute and then med-high for 2 minutes.  Be careful not to go any longer than this!  If you over beat your batter your cupcakes are subject to falling. 
Fill your lined cupcake pans about 2/3 full of batter.  Immediately after placing the pans in the oven turn it down to 325 degrees and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. 
Cool for a couple minutes and while they are still warm press the tops into the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Allow them to cool completely on a cooling rack. 


For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp heavy cream or milk
With an electric stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on high for 2-3 minutes.  Add the vanilla and cinnamon and beat on high for 2 more minutes.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the powdered sugar, stopping after about each cup to scrape the sides of the bowl.  Depending on whether you want to spread this frosting or pipe it, you may want to adjust the consistency with the heavy cream, milk, or even a little more powdered sugar until the desired consistency is reached. 


For the Baked Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Crisps:

2-3 small or medium flour tortillas, cut into triangles or any other shapes
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a medium sized bowl and set aside. 
Brush both sides of the cut tortillas with butter and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until they are crispy and the edges begin to turn golden brown.  As soon as they come out of the oven, toss the warm tortillas in the cinnamon sugar mixture and allow to cool on a cooling rack. 


To Assemble the Cupcakes:

Using a small paring knife or a cupcake corer, remove the cores of all of the cupcakes. 
Fill a piping bag or ziplock bag with the dulce de leche and cut off the corner and use it to fill the cupcakes.  The filling will settle a little bit, so don't hesitate to pack it in there!
Using a pastry bag and piping tip, swirl frosting on top of cupcakes.  Feel free to spread it on with a knife or spatula as well. 
Top each cupcake off with a cinnamon sugar crisp. 

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