Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cake for Breakfast - French Toast Cupcakes

Breakfast is one of my all time favorite meals.  There are so many ways to mix it up and keep it fresh.  There's pancakes, eggs, omelets, crepes, and french toast. 

French toast is probably a favorite out of the bunch.   It can be jazzed up with different flavors such as vanilla, hazelnut, and peanut butter, to name a few.  It also is delicious just as it originally is, without any added bells or whistles.

That being said, I really love dessert.  Dessert is my favorite meal of the day.  My husband always gives me a hard time about the order in which I eat my meals, insisting I set a 'good' example by eating my dessert after I eat the actual meal.  Picky, picky.

With that being said,  I thought the only logical thing would be to make a dessert that (at least flavor wise) would fit into the meal category. 

After scouring the Internet for different breakfast flavored recipes, I settled on French Toast cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.  I actually used two different sources for the recipes for the cupcake and the frosting, the original sources are noted by the recipes.  They turned out magnificent.  The kids liked them, and I really enjoyed them.  They were so delicious!  While we (we being my children) won't be actually eating these little cakes for breakfast, they certainly remind me of breakfast and the tasty french toast we often enjoy at our house.

French Toast Cupcakes
recipe from Life Is Better With Cake Blog

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 lg. eggs, separated
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting - recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a muffin pan with paper cupcake liners (the original recipe says approx. 12 cupcakes for are produced from the recipe, I ended up with about 21).

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar.  Mix on low until it is just incorporated, and then raise the speed to high and mix for about 10 minutes until the butter and sugar mixture is nice and fluffy.

While the butter and sugar is mixing, combine the rest of the dry ingredients into a bowl.  Whisk them together and then set aside.  In a separate bowl, combine the milk and vanilla, and then set aside.

Add the egg yolks one at a time to the butter mixture, waiting until the yolk is completely mixed in before adding the next one.

Next, reduce the speed of the mixer and alternately add the flour mixture (3 additions) and the milk mixture (2 additions).  Add just a little of each at a time, waiting until it is fully incorporated before adding the next.  Once all the milk and flour have been added, speed up the mixer until the batter is smooth.  Transfer the batter into a separate bowl.

Clean the mixer bowl out and then put the egg whites inside.  With the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed.

Fold the egg whites into the batter until just incorporated. 

Pour the batter into the lined muffin pan.  Fill each cup about 3/4 full. 

Bake until the cupcakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean (I baked ours for about 30 minutes, but I think 27 would have been sufficient).

Remove the cupcakes from the oven, cool completely, then frost.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
slightly adapted from The Cupcakery Blog

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. maple extract, more or less to taste
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and salt until creamy.  (I actually softened my cream cheese and butter in the microwave for a few seconds as I forgot to set it on the counter prior to making the frosting.  I also forgot to add the salt as the original recipe suggests, and the frosting still tasted delicious, in my opinion).  Add in the maple syrup and maple extract (again, here, I actually didn't use maple syrup, I used Mrs. Buttersworth.  Not sure if this makes a huge difference, but my family thinks real maple syrup is too sweet and I didn't want to purchase a whole bottle for just one recipe).  Beat this mixture until the extract and syrup is fully incorporated.

Add in the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until all of the sugar has been add in.  Mix the frosting on high in between additions.  Mix until the frosting has a light and fluffy consistency.

Frost cupcakes.

When I made these cupcakes, I simply garnished them with some edible grayish pearls.  They also are delicious when garnished with bacon "sprinkles."  I just wasn't in the mood to cook up any bacon when I made these though.


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