As Negroni Week continues, I thought I'd bring you another tasty treat. This time in cupcake form! I deconstructed the classic negroni and made gin and sweet vermouth cupcakes with a campari buttercream. I really have tons of fun thinking of ways I can turn cocktails into sweets and so far I've been pretty successful. They aren't too complicated to make and if you've already been mixing up this cocktail at home, you're half way there with having all the ingredients. If you are anything like me, I usually have a full pantry, so I didnt have to run out for much to whip these up just in time for hump day!
Negroni Mini Cupcakes, serves 48 mini or 12 regular cupcakes
for the cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup gin (I used Brooklyn Gin)
1/4 cup sweet vermouth (I used Dolin)
2 tsp orange rind (optional)
for the frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tbsp campari
dehydrated oranges or orange rind for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until completely incorporated. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix well. Add gin, vermouth, flour mixture, and orange rind. Mix on low speed until incorporated.
Spoon cupcake batter into lined pan, filling them about 2/3 full. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in pan for 5 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
In the clean bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter on high until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add Campari, then add half of the powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until combined and them on medium speed until powdered sugar is completely incorporated. Repeat with the rest of the powdered sugar. If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar, but that shouldn't be a problem as this frosting is very thick. You can add more Campari too. ;)
When your cupcakes have cooled, pipe the icing on with a pastry bag. I cut up dehydrated orange wedges as garnish and I highly recommend doing the same. They are filled with flavor, add aromatics just like an orange peel would, and add a little bit of crunch and texture.
THESE ARE FABULOUS! I am thrilled with how they came out. Next time I might add some yogurt or sour cream to the batter to make them a little moister, these were on the spongier side, but totally not a deal breaker. The cake is floral and herbaceous and the frosting definitely packs a punch. I have to say, they are more negroni-like than anticipated, which is A-OK with me. What's your favorite negroni variation? Have you supported any local bars this week to benefit charity? Check out all the venues participating until 6/11 here.