Friday, May 20, 2011

Pirate Cakes: Maple, Cinnamon, Caramel and Coffee Goodness

Calling all Scallywags to make these pirate cakes. 

This recipe was made by boys, for boys - it's not pretty, exact or frilly but it's delicious and plentiful.
We call this,

A Murder of Pirate Cakes

It seemed a fitting treat for the weekend when Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides hits the theaters. Anyone still excited about the Pirates franchise? 

Okay, enough about movies... let's talk cake!

The key to this recipe is that you need a scruffy looking helper - 
preferably one in need of a hair cut and a clean shirt. I used this one:

Such a cute crewman. 

The cake is dense, spicy and not overly sweet which is lovely as it lends itself nicely to a richer frosting.
Don't be overly concerned with the crazy blend of flavors, they meld together well and the coffee (the oddball of the group) lends depth to the glaze but the flavor is nearly undetectable. 

For the Cake:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon maple extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup non-fat milk
1/4 cup Cinnabon flavored International Delight Creamer :

(It's also fine to use a full cup of milk and no creamer but where's the fun in that?)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line pan with cupcake liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray. We made 24 mini-sized and 10 regular pirate-sized ones. They're SO cool!

Beat together butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Mix in, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and maple until just combined.

Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour until thoroughly combined.

Spoon batter  equally into lined pan.

Bake until cupcakes are pale golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean; roughly 15 to 17 minutes for pirate-sized cupcakes and 8-10 minutes for minis.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 10 minutes before frosting.

To make the glaze:

1 C packed brown sugar
½ C butter
¼ C Cinnabon International Delights Creamer (or milk)
1 tsp maple extract (vanilla is nice too)
Icing sugar (we use about 1 1/4 cups-ish)
Cold Brewed Coffee as needed - several tablespoons

Combine brown sugar, butter and creamer or milk in a saucepan; bring to boil over medium heat.
Cook and stir for two minutes.
Remove from heat and add maple.
Cool to luke warm. (I sit the pot in a bowl of ice cubes and stir like crazy. The temperature comes down really quickly.)

Beat in icing sugar until it reaches spreading consistency.

This always looks a little greasy at this stage. You can either add a little more icing sugar to make a stiff frosting or stir in a few TBLs of brewed coffee to thin it to a heavy glaze. Since the frosting is very rich, I prefer the glaze method as it's not as intense and it has a beautiful gloss.




Add a flag and let it set up:

The frosting will stiffen as you're dipping the cupcakes, beat in a few more spoonfuls of coffee as needed.

This is Cake # 16 of our 52 Cakes project. I need to pick up the cake-pace!

I love trying fancy creamers  but not all of them are winners. To be honest, Coffee Mate brand is my favorite and the International Delights can be so-so... hence the baking with it. But regardless of how they taste in my cup o' Joe, they're a marvelous flavor addition to baked goods, homemade puddings (think coconut creamer in chocolate) or added to frosting. Yum!

Anyone else use them when they bake?

P.S. The cupcakes were a teeny bit dry. I think I overcooked them, but next time - just to be sure- I'm going to replace the oil with applesauce. That always does the trick.

And here's an old pirate card, I forgot how much I loved coloring skin with markers on watercolor paper. Blending is a breeze!

Stamps: Bombshell Stamps, A Pirate's Life

Did anyone guess my exciting news yet? I've been having a blast playing with the goodies in the box. Can't wait to send one along to one of you :-)

Linked Up With:
Tatertots and Jello


Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Those totally rock!

I love it when you show pics of your boys cooking.

Jennifer Moore said...

I am making pirate cupcakes for my son's birthday party next weekend. :) Where did you get the little pirate flags and cupcake liners?

Sourkraut said...

Oh yum! I happen to have that creamer already even though I have yet to crack it open and try it. How could I resist it?

Sonda T said...

I'M SALIVATING!!!!!!!!!!

Meaghan Luby said...

amazing! pirate yum! thanks for sharing! i adore this :)
@ said...

Those look and sound delish! I love your 52 week cake project - it's inspiring!

Star Hughes Living