Churro Cupcakes

The search for the right Cinco de Mayo cupcake started weeks ago. I had several options: Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes, Churro Cupcakes, Tres Leches Cupcakes, the list goes on. The Margarita Cupcakes were so good I even considered doing those again.

I thought back to my time in Mexico in March. My favorite restaurant that we went to was a nice place in our resort (the name escapes me now) that served seemingly regular Mexican food but with a fancier spin.For dessert, my son and I split a plate of churros with dips (caramel, chocolate, etc). They were far better than your average county fair churro.

I wanted to recreate my Mexican experience a little bit, so I went with the Churro cupcake. Besides, it was stuffed with dulce de leche, and who wouldn’t love that? I’m a sucker for caramel-y things.

The cupcakes turned out mostly good. I think I overcooked them a little as they were a little dry. But the dulce de leche filling was nice- not too sweet and really creamy- and the cinnamon sugar crunch on top was excellent. And don’t get me started on the mascarpone frosting. We won’t even discuss the fact that I ate it, quite literally, by the spoonful. Best part of the cupcakes, hands down.

Churro Cupcakes (from The Sweet Chick)
makes 16-18 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk, room temperature

Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Filling Ingredients:
3/4 cup dulce de leche
1/4 cup sour cream

Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon sifted

To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin (and a half of another) with cupcake liners and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Mix the cinnamon and sugar for the topping together and set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just combined, and then add the vanilla. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until barely combined. Add half of the milk and mix until barely combined. Repeat these steps with the remaining flour and milk, ending with the flour. Be careful not to over-mix.
Fill each liner with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the batter (I used a measuring spoon). Bake the cupcakes for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 2-3 minutes, then dip the top of each cupcake into the topping mixture. I had to swirl the cupcakes around a bit to get it to stick. (I also think it might work to sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar on top of the cupcakes before baking them.) Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before filling and frosting them.

To make the filling: Combine the dulce de leche and the sour cream and mix well. Put the mixture into a piping bag or plastic bag (like a Ziploc), and snip off the end. Remove the cores with either a paring knife or apple corer (I used an apple corer) and fill the with dulce de leche.

To make the frosting: With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Do not over-mix or the cream with get grainy. In another bowl, stir together the mascarpone, powdered sugar, and cinnamon until well combined. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until fully incorporated. Use immediately. Sprinkle with some of the remaining cinnamon and sugar.

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