Winter Spice Cupcakes with Beer and Wine Pairing

For the December issue of Cake Central Magazine, Marlo Scott, founder of Sweet Revenge restaurant and wine bar in New York City shared her recipe for Winter Spice Cupcakes along with her spirited pairings to complete the dessert experience. We highly recommend you swing by her place if you find yourself in NYC!

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The ruby-colored, spicy Sweet Smaak Chocolate Mocha Kiss Pinotage from South Africa was the compliment to the spices, fruit and chocolate in the cupcake. The creamy, chocolatey Young’s Double Chocolate Stout is our choice for those who prefer beer. Its straightforward flavor mellows out the dessert’s complexity.

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Keep reading for Sweet Revenge’s recipes and instructions  to create the holiday-inspired Mexican vanilla cake with cranberry jam center, topped with spiced chocolate cream cheese frosting, drizzled in dark chocolate ganache and sprinkled with cranberry sugar. YUM!

VANILLA BATTER
1 pound self-rising flour
15 ounces sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
5 eggs
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

COMBINE flour and sugar in a stand mixer with paddle attachment.
ADD softened butter and mix until butter is completely combined (texture will be mealy).
ADD eggs one at a time and scrape bowl after each addition.
ADD vanilla and buttermilk and mix until incorporated. Do not overmix.

CRANBERRY FILLING
1½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup sugar

COMBINE cranberries and sugar in a 2-quart saucepan.
COOK over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and cranberries are softened. Allow to cool, then blend in a food processor. Set aside.

SPICED CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
20 ounces cream cheese
3 sticks butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2½ pounds powdered sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 teaspoons allspice

COMBINE cream cheese and butter in stand mixer.
MIX until smooth and free of lumps.
ADD powdered sugar in small batches. Next, add spices, then vanilla. Mix until just incorporated and smooth.

GANACHE
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup semisweet chocolate, chips or bar broken into pieces

BRING cream to a simmer and pour over chocolate.
WHISK until smooth and combined.
COOL and set aside.
RESERVE 3 tablespoons for garnish.

CRANBERRY SUGAR
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup granulated sugar
MIX in food processor until fine crumbs form.

ASSEMBLY

COMBINE cream cheese frosting and ganache in mixer until fully incorporated. Set aside.
SCOOP cupcake batter into lined tray. Add one tablespoon of cranberry filling into the middle of each cupcake and swirl with a skewer to marble.
BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes until the cake springs back to the touch or when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
FROST cooled cupcakes with frosting. To achieve the Sweet Revenge mohawk motif, use a St. Honore tip with a
piping bag.
DRIZZLE the top with melted ganache using a spoon or piping bag and garnish with cranberry sugar.

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