Saturday, June 2, 2012

Debb's Italian Cream Cake Cupcakes

Debb's Italian Cream Cake Cupcake
My all-time favorite cake is made by our preacher's wife (and my dear friend and mentor), Debbie Webb.  I begged for the recipe which she gave up without hesitation and for over two years, I have never made it.  I guess I was afraid it wouldn't turn out as good as hers and I didn't want to go to all the work to be disappointed.

Well, I decided to dust it off today to make for our Italian themed potluck at church tomorrow.  Layer cakes are so hard to cut and serve well at potlucks, so I decided to make a cupcake form.  Ok, I just like to turn things into cupcakes....isn't that why read this blog?

I did make a couple tweaks to the original recipe.  First, I substituted almond extract for amaretto (we live in a dry county and I didn't want to make a road trip to buy it, but the amaretto is really worth and adds just a little more flavor punch).  I also left pecans out of the frosting and sprinkled them on top so that I could pipe the frosting.

They turned out amazing and while I wouldn't call this a quick, easy recipe, it was totally worth the effort and I hope the 36 people who get one tomorrow enjoy them.

Italian Cream Cupcakes
Yield: 36 cupcakes

2 sticks butter, softened
400 grams sugar
5 egg yolks
300 grams flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 tablespoon vinegar with enough milk to equal 1 cup)
2/3 cup pecans, chopped plus more for garnish
3.5 oz shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract (or 3 tablespoons amaretto)
5 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and prep cupcake pan(s) with liners.
  2. Combine flour and soda, set aside
  3. Beat butter at medium speed for 30 seconds.  Gradually add sugar and beat another 30 seconds. Add egg yolks, one at a time beating after each addition.
  4. Set mixer on the lowest speed and add flour mixture alternating with buttermilk and ending with flour.
  5. On low speed add pecans, coconut and extracts.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat cold egg whites in a cold bowl until foamy.  Add cream of tartar beat until stiff peaks form.
  7. Gently fold egg whites into batter.
  8. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Top with frosting and sprinkle with pecans.  Refrigerate if not serving immediately.
16 oz cream cheese, softened
2 sticks + 2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Beat cream cheese until smooth, add butter and beat until fluffy
  2. Add remaining ingredients and beat on high for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy

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