May 16, 2010

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cupcakes With Vanilla Frosting

I like people, and my friends and family will tell you I love talking so much so that I occasionally forget that I need to listen too. Yet one thing I’m terrible at, and do not enjoy, is networking of any sort. I would rather keep quite than say things I do not mean and find it very difficult to make empty talk for the sake of socializing. So it’s not surprising that I’m not very active on social networking sites.

I only signed up for Facebook because a large part of my family are on it and they all said that being there meant it would be easier to stay connected. Frankly speaking, I still don’t get it. If I wanted to say anything to any one of them, I would rather talk to them on the phone or send them a mail!
Maybe there are some new tricks that are difficult for an old dog to learn!!

I joined Twitter at Shaheen’s suggestion, and have finally got the hang of it. Funnily enough, despite my misgivings about joining such a site, I have to say I thoroughly enjoy it now. It is surprising how much one can say in 140 characters! Of course, I don’t consider “tweeting” to be “networking” but if it is, then I’m guilty of it now.
Twitter has ensured that I have made lots of good friends and I’ve found conversations there can be the beginning of many things, small and big.

So it happened that last week, I mentioned to Shellyfish (that’s not her real name) that I had baked some chocolate cupcakes. That made her want to bake some too, and before long, we had decided to celebrate a “Cupcake Wednesday” by baking some cupcakes this week. So this past Wednesday she baked some yummy Buttery Vanilla Cupcakes With Speculoos Icing for her daughter’s friends while I baked some for us at home here.

It was just a couple of weeks back that I saw these “Churros cupcakes filled with dulche de leche and topped with vanilla frosting" in Dessertsmag. Churros are a sort of Spanish doughnut, deep fried dough coated with cinnamon sugar, and who doesn’t like doughnuts?
I had been planning to make them and decided to do them this last Wednesday. I halved the original recipe, reduced the butter a bit, used only 1 egg, and also reduced the butter a bit in the frosting.

The other thing I did was to leave out the dulche leche altogether. Both the frosting and the cake seem to have been adjusted sugar-wise to make allowances for the sweet dulche de leche in the original recipe. This meant that my frosted cupcakes turned out to be just the right amount of sweet and not too much butter, either.
While this frosting recipe uses egg whites, they’re cooked so this recipe is safe.

Here’s my adapted non-dulche de leche version.


1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted and then measured

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp powdered cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

100 gm butter, softened

3/4 cup demerara (or light brown) sugar, packed

1 egg, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cups milk, at room temperature


Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter, cinnamon and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.

Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of milk. Beat after each addition, just enough to combine the ingredients and do not overmix. After all the additions, beat for just one minute.

Divide the batter equally between 8 to 10 paper lined cupcake tins (depending on the size of your tins) so that each one is 2/3rds full.

Bake the cupcakes at 180C for 20 to 25 minutes till done or a skewer inserted in them comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then turn out and cool completely. Frost the cupcakes with the vanilla frosting given below.

This recipe makes 8 to 10 cupcakes.

Vanilla Frosting


2 egg whites

1/4 cup fine granulated sugar

pinch of salt

75 gm butter, cut into cubes, softened

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Put the egg whites, sugar and salt in a heat-proof bowl. Place this bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.

Constantly, whisk the mixture by hand till the sugar has dissolved and the temperature on an instant thermometer reads 70C (160F).
I don’t have a thermometer, and dipped my finger into the mixture to gauge how hot it was!

Remove the bowl from the heat, and using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed till they’re glossy and fluffy and the bottom of the bowl feels cool to touch.

Turn down the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tbsps at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add all the butter this way and the vanilla and beat on high speed till smooth. This frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 days if necessary. Just beat it again till smooth.
The minute these cupcakes were baking, my daughter wanted to know what “that heavenly” smell was! And they were so good that the last cupcake was fought over!!

These cinnamon cupcakes are very soft and light in texture, and I’m making them again, for sure. If you’re looking for cupcakes and frosting that’s not too sweet, give these cupcakes a chance.

As for the wonderful chocolate cupcakes I baked the week before, I shall post them soon.

P.S. My cookbook giveaway is open till the 20th of this month. Have you entered yet?


Hari Chandana said...

Wowwwwwwwwwwww... cute cupcakes.. looks soooo tempting dear.. awesome presentation.. :)

Nupur said...

Good to know you are on Twitter- I am off to go "follow" you.

I have come to like twitter, and also have come to hate facebook so much that last week I deleted my account :)

Curry Leaf said...

I too have joined twitter and fb but its of no use to me as I am absent from both for long periods.
Did you get anything about the icecream maker.I saw one ad here in paper that they are available in Reliance Supermart.I am not sure whether its good or branded or anything.Anyway its not available in anyother electronics/appliance store as far as I know.

Love the cupcakes.I have been wanting to try the cinnamon sugar ones for a long time.

Lisa Michelle said...

I'm a twitter free idea why, but I just never had the desire. Then again, I think it's because my life just isn't interesting enough lol

That said,those cupcakes look absolutely delicious and beautiful. Your photos are magazine/cookbook worthy :)

Asha @ FSK said...

agree.. FB is silly for people you are in touch with already.. it does however connect you to people you have lost touch with.. but that doesn't mean, the communication flows after that.. LOL.. it's I think mostly a curiosity tool to see what ppl are upto ... :D these days rarely log on to it..

having said that your cupcakes look delectable!!! me wants!

Divya Kudua said...

I feel quite the opposite though,I liked Twitter initially but the initial interest did not last long and I am thinking of deleting my a/c.While fb is more convenient..:).Love the muffin tins..are those from Ekm?? I love cinnamon in baked goods..looks really nice:)

Parita said...

Never tried frosting with egg whites, would try someday. Cupcakes look very inviting!

jayasri said...

Wow, look at
those photos!!, they look great!!, you have become a good photographer, with your cooking, baking and writing skills, they look absolutely gorgeous!!
Yes, how very true you are!!, I am absent from my FB for long periods, I also love to talk and would use my phone rather!!, I have never tried cup cakes with frosting!!, should give it a try sometime.....

Andy said...

hi, can i check if it is possible to use soy milk instead? Will the difference be very distinguish ?

Ken said...

Simply elegant and I can almost taste them just by looking.

shellyfish said...

These are so beautiful, Aparna! It was a pleasure baking cupcakes with you. I finally got my blog post up just now.
Your recipe sounds delicious - and pretty easy to do vegan. I'll have to give them a try.

The Cooking Ninja said...

oooh...I'm booking marking this to make it. Poppet will love it. :)

I love your muffin tin cups. So cute. hmm...I'll have to see if I can find these in Singapore. :)

Apu said...

These look delicious Aparna!!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Sounds amazing! Yum!

Manggy said...

Well, Facebook is a great way to share pictures among family (especially mine with members all around the world). I'm glad you're on twitter.
I love Dulce de Leche, but the cupcakes look fab even without it. By the way, I gotta warn you that the temperature attained by Italian Meringue is insufficient to kill Salmonella bacteria.

sra said...

I joined FB first so I'm more comfy with that. I don't see it as networking as much as getting to discover other facets to family as well as old and new friends, and that's exactly why I'm enjoying it. I've also rediscovered a lot of dear old friends.

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Oh Aparna these cupcakes sound amazing. I'm going to try the dulce de leche version, because I absolutely love it ;)

bake in paris said...

Seems like I read your radar, I baked cupcakes too... almost at the same time when you baked yours... :-)

Sawadee from Bangkok,

Aparna said...

Good to have you following me on Twitter, Nupur. :) We shall meet there.

No I didn't, Sweatha. Am still waiting for info on a reliable brand. Will let you know whenever I have it.

Lisa, I think my life has got more interesting in a way, after Twitter! LOL
Thanks for the vote on my pictures.

Well, I'm still an FB novice and not convinced, Asha. Though I've found some of my old friends because of it.

Yes, Divya. I got some of them from Ekm and some from Mumbai.

Thanks for the compliments, Jayasri. You're making me *blush*. :)

Andy, I've never baked with soy milk so don't know. But I have seen a lot of vegan bakers subbing with soy milk.
Perhaps you could try it and let me know?

Shel, it was fun baking with you too. We should do this again some time.

Thanks Pam. Your poppet will love them. You should be able to find them in S'pore.

Thank you, Mark. Returning your sentiment. :)
I agree too as a large part of family are all around the world too.
Thanks for the warning. Didn't know that!

Am still not comfortable with FB, Sra though I have re-discovered my old friends there. :)

Yes, you did Kris. Yours looked gorgeous. :)

Dubai said...

Simply elegant and I can almost taste them just by looking.