Alfajores Cupcakes

February 20, 2015


Author Notes: Though I've always rejected the cupcake hype, this recipe was born out of a potluck request for vanilla cupcakes. Never one to leave well enough alone, I opted for a spin on one of my favorite desserts, Alfajores. Light vanilla biscuits sandwiched together with dulce de leche/manjar blanco and rolled in coconut are here rendered as vanilla cupcakes stuffed with caramel and topped with cinnamon coconut buttercream. A search for similar cupcakes led me to a blog called "Cupcake Bakeshop", I give full credit to them for the method of assembly. The cupcake recipe on its own is a keeper, in terms of light and fluffy vanilla cupcakes. Excuse my poor photography skills!shortnsweet

Makes: 20 cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

Filling and Frosting

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (avoid the pull-top cans)
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups coconut, sweetened and flaked
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, or more or less to taste
In This Recipe

Directions

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
  4. Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  5. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
  6. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3’s full. Bake cupcakes at 350 degrees for about 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Filling and Frosting

  1. For the Manjar Blanco/Dulce de Leche: Boil a pot of water and immerse sealed can on its side. Keep water at a boil for 2 hours, refreshing the water as needed--it's ok if it goes down to a simmer as you add more water, just keep the can from getting dry. Let cool before opening--hot caramel can be messy!
  2. For the frosting: Beat butter briefly, then scrape down the bowl. Add the milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and powdered sugar, and beat until smooth. Add coconut and mix until combined, careful not to overmix.
  3. To assemble cupcakes: 1) Let them cool out of the pan for an hour. Then, using a small paring knife, cut a cone out of the top of the cupcake. Cut off the bottom of the cone, leaving behind the cupcake top (and the bottom of the cone, for a small snack/taste test...)
  4. 2) Fill the hole with caramel--I usually put a small spoonful in each one to ensure evenness, then go back and top up with the leftovers. Put the top back on the cupcake.
  5. 3) Frost the stuffed cupcake with the coconut buttercream, and sprinkle with cinnamon if you're feeling fancy.

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