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A young man only turns one once in his life, and what better way to do so then by pillaging, plundering, and saying yarr? In celebration of a certain boy’s first b-day over at Quirky Cupcake, I give you Pirate Cupcakes. Flavoured with Key Lime in honour of the Florida coast’s long love affair with pirates, and rum extract to celebrate all things grog, these cupcakes are very mild and not too exotic for a kid’s taste buds. The rum extract gives them a hint of the beloved butter rum Life Saver, and the lime is there but not overwhelming or sharp. I wanted to make this something your average kid wouldn’t find weird or unfamiliar tasting. It’s very easy to add more lime to the frosting for the adults, it sharpens it up and cuts some of the sweet that a kid would often like better.
Cupcake (Adapted From Perfect Party Cake, Dorie Greenspan)
2 1/4 c. flour (she says cake flour, I used AP flour)
1 tbls. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c. whole milk or buttermilk (I used buttermilk)
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 tsp Key Lime juice (this is different from Dorie’s recipe, she uses 1/2 tsp. lemon extract)
1 tsp. rum extract (Dorie’s recipe doesn’t use that at all)
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together the eggs and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the lime juice and the rum extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Pour into cupcake tins. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 F.
2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 stick of butter, softened
1 c. confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Key Lime juice to taste (2 tsp. for a mild, child friendly taste, the more you add the tangier it gets)
Whip together until well blended.
The decorations are some left over frosting with enough cocoa powder put in to make it dark and thick. Piped it with a frosting bag, and a 4 Wilton decorator tip.