Is it Christmas yet? I just can’t wait to be home in New Jersey with my whole family. Christmas for us absolutely revolves around the food – and I’m looking forward to sharing with you our fantastic spread for Christmas Eve. But something that’s maybe even better than our big Christmas Eve dinner is what we Christmas morning. Mostly it’s leftovers – meatballs, antipasti, great cheeses – incorporated into my dad’s eggs. Often it’s just leftover chocolate bourbon pound cake and mimosas. Sometimes we think a little further ahead and soak blueberry french toast over night to bake in the morning. Just thinking about all these things makes me feel warm and fuzzy and full of love for my awesome family.
My point is (besides bragging about my great Christmas food), whatever you eat on Christmas morning (or any morning you share with loved ones) make it something special. Since this whole cupcake for breakfast thing is catching on (seriously, keep sending me your photos–I love it!) I made a cupcake specifically for Christmas morning.
This cinnamon roll cupcake has a simple vanilla base, with a cinnamon, pecan, brown sugar filling. The tops are brushed in strong coffee and they’re lightly iced in a sweet vanilla cream cheese icing. They might just possibly make an appearance at our Christmas morning table too.
What’s your go-to Christmas morning treat? Leftover cookies? (We do that too!)
Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Pre-heat oven to 350°
- In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar until light an fluffy (about two minutes), scraping down the sides occasionally. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in vanilla. Alternately add flour and mix mixtures to butter mixture, beating on low speed just until combined.
- Spoon about a tablespoon of the batter into each cup. Sprinkle the cinnamon mix on top of the batter. And then spoon the remaining batter on top.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when stuck inside. Cool cupcakes on a wire baking rack.
Coffee Glaze and Cream Cheese Frosting
Make about a cup of really strong coffee and let cool. With a kitchen brush, brush cupcake tops with coffee a few times, allowing the coffee to soak in between brushings.
- 1 8 oz-package cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
- Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla extract.
- Gradually add the sugar and beat until incorporated.
- Using a small spatula, frost the tops of the cupcakes.
One of my new favorite things is brown butter. It’s so nutty and sweet and has the most unique warm flavors. I want to put it in and on everything – pasta, rice kirspies treats, and this perfect fall frosting. I made my favorite pumpkin cupcake recipe a couple weekends ago for a party but I wanted to do something different than a plain cream cheese frosting. Remembered my love for brown butter. Adding extra cinnamon. And voilà! I think I just whipped up the best frosting ever.
Seriously. Best. It would also go well with a great vanilla cake or banana cake. So go make this frosting soon…and report back. Do you love the brown butter as much as I do?
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups canned pumpkin purée (8 ounces), not pie filling
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- In a large bowl, beat together eggs, pumpkin, sugars, and oil. Slowly add the flour mixture until fully combined.
- Divide batter into cups and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool.
Cinnamon Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Brown the butter, then set aside to cool completely. (It might look congealed a little but it’s ok to use.)
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat browned butter and cream cheese. Add in cinnamon and vanilla.
- Slowly incorporate confectioners’ sugar until sweetened to your liking. Frost cupcakes.
*Forgive the crappy photos, I baked these during a day of drinking at a beer festival :)
…but won’t because I have nightmares about finding dead mice all over my kitchen. Gah. I need to just grow up and stop being a frustrated wuss about this, right? I’m working on fixing the problem, but in the meantime I need to just get over it and let the pumpkin and apple smells take me over. I’m trying. Really. So, if I wasn’t totally turned off by baking at home, here are a few things that I’d particularly like to make for you.
pecan pie bars | snickerdoodle pumpkin ice cream sandwiches | caramelized apple tart | stacked applesauce cake with cinnamon whipped cream | mini apple pies | apple beignets with caramel sauce | brown butter pumpkin cupcakes with salted caramel frosting
so last night i just had to bake something…or two things. but of course, I didn’t have any flour. it’s not so easy to bake without flour…although I should probably give it a try for my friends over at Delight. First I thought of a flourless chocolate cake, but I’ve done that before and wanted to do something different. Then I remembered I had puff pastry in the freezer and it all came together.
With just 3 ingredients, you can make these fun, sweet and flaky cookies. In French, they’re palmiers, but I just call them mouse ears. They’re so simple and so cute. I love that the cinnamon/sugar mix creates a yummy caramel-y glaze. They make a pretty good impression for such few ingredients and little effort.
- 2 sheets puff pastry – thawed
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon (I’m still out of cinnamon, so I used my pumpkin pie spice mix – delish!)
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Combine sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl.
- Unfold thawed pastry dough and roll out with a rolling pin a little.
- Generously sprinkle sugar mix all over the pastry. Roll again with a rolling pin to push sugar into the dough.
- Flip pastry over and repeat step 4 on the other side.
- Take the long side of the pastry and tightly roll into the center. Repeat on the other side until the two sides are coiled in together.
- Repeat with other puff pastry sheet.
- Using a sharp knife, slice rolls 1/2″ thick and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper. (They will expand a little, so don’t place the cookies too close together.)
- Bake for 15-18 minutes.