All right, all right. Churro Cupcake time.
Yes, I know that these are not authentic churros. I am completely aware. I will make them next year for Cinco de Mayo, I promise, because I really love them, but the thought of cupcakes right now was a little more appealing. Because? Because these cupcakes are filled with Dulce de Leche filling (Feel free to make your own from scratch, which I promise to do at some point as well, but I am a studying machine as of late with a dire need for kitchen short-cuts. And besides, who has time to make everything from scratch all the time anyways? I realize I am not a superhuman. Ha!)
So, my digression is over. Let me tell you about these cupcakes. I’m already in the Cinco de Mayo spirit. These cupcakes fit the bill. A buttery cinnamon cupcake, dulce de leche filling, fried tortilla strips dusted in cinnamon-sugar, and a cinnamon cream cheese frosting? There. That’s really all I have to say about them. Except that I did find myself eating multiples of these, sneaking down in the middle of the night during study breaks to devour with a nice cold glass of milk. This was a mixture of recipes that I combined for the final product, so I was a little unsure of my selected recipes at first. And now they are one of my favorite combinations in a cupcake ever. So worth it.
Servings: approximately 16 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
3 cups cake flour
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cups whole milk
1 can (14.1 ounces) of store-bought Dulce de Leche (or make your own)
For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups powdered sugar
For the fried tortillas:
Two or three 8-inch flour tortillas, cut longitudinally into 1/2-inch wide strips
Oil, for frying (I used canola.)
1 cup mixture of ground cinnamon and granulated sugar, mixed to your liking of desired sweetness (I do 1/2 cup of each.)
1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line your muffin tin with the desired liners of your choice.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, cinnamon, and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
6. Add the vanilla, mixing well.
7. Reduce the mixer to low speed and add one-third of the flour mixture.
8. Add one-half of the milk, then alternate with another one-third of the flour mixture.
9. Add the remaining milk, and then add the last one-third of the flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
10. Divide the mixture evenly among your prepared pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
11. Let the cupcakes cool to room temperature before filling and frosting.
12. For the frosting: In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
13. Add the vanilla and cinnamon until well combined.
14. Reduce the mixer to low speed, and gradually add the powdered sugar until mixed. **Feel free to add more for a thicker consistency.
15. For the fried tortillas: In a deep frying pan, heat the oil (about 3/4-inch in depth) on medium heat until very hot.***I tested this by putting in a small piece of tortilla to make sure it would fry. I did not try to aim for a specific temperature.
16. Fry only a few of the tortilla strips at a time, turning them with tongs until lightly browned on both sides (about 5-10 seconds on each side).
17. Place the strips on paper towel, and, while they are still warm, sprinkle both sides generously with the cinnamon-sugar combination.
18. Repeat with the remaining tortilla strips.
19. To assemble the cupcakes: Using a small mellon baller, or a knife, gently cut a cone-shaped portion of cake out of the center of each cupcake from the top.
20. Using a pastry bag and large round tip (I used Wilton 2A), fill each cupcake with your desired amount of Dulce de Leche.
22. Pipe the frosting over the tops of each cupcake with your desired tip (I used Wilton 1M).
Enjoy, and happy early Cinco De Mayo!