All American BBQ Cupcakes: Smoky Chocolate Cupcakes with Sweet Corn Cream Cheese Frosting
My cupcakes get jealous at BBQs – all of that BBQ smoke and sweet corn at meal time and none at dessert. That’s why I created the All American BBQ cupcake. The cupcake is a chocolate cupcake with a secret ingredient – liquid smoke. The liquid smoke gives the chocolate a fantastic smoky smell and taste. The frosting is a sweet corn cream cheese frosting that has just enough corn to scream summer BBQ, but not too much to say, “Ewww, corn frosting!”
BBQ Cupcake Reactions
Bride and Groom 1.0 sampled this cupcake last night.
Groom 1.0 said that the smoky flavor reminded him of BBQ sauce and hamburgers and it worked well with the chocolate. That was my goal with the cupcake, as stated above, so I couldn’t have been happier about this review. He also said that it was in his top 10 of all Cupcake Project cupcakes.
Bride 1.0 said that if they were having a second wedding and it were in the summer, they might have chosen this cupcake.
Neither of them could taste the corn in the frosting, but they did think that the sweetness of the frosting went well with the smokiness of the cake.
Groom 1.0 also said that the cake tasted like a chocolate pop tart. He says that’s a good thing, but I don’t believe him (hence the attempt to hide this comment).
The Smoky Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
I added liquid smoke to my favorite chocolate cupcake (Chockylit’s chocolate cupcake) to make this recipe.
Makes 16 cupcakes
- 1/2 C (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 C sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 C flour
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/4 t baking soda
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Askinosie cocoa powder. See my post on Askinosie cocoa powder for more info.)
- 1/2 C milk
- 1 t vanilla
- 2 t hickory flavored liquid smoke
- Beat butter until softened.
- Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
- Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small-sized bowl and whisk to combine.
- Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
- Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine.
- Add about half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine.
- Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
- Add liquid smoke.
- Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 1/2 full. These cupcake will not dome. If you fill them too high, they will just collapse.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
The Sweet Corn Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
- 1 15 oz can corn (If you are already working the grill and have some fresh corn, that would work. I used white corn so you don’t see weird yellow pieces of corn jutting out of the frosting.)
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 C (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
- 3 C sifted powdered sugar
- Cream the butter and cream cheese.
- Drain any liquid out of the corn and food process it until it becomes a big corn mush (that’s a technical term).
- Add the corn to the butter and cream cheese and mix well.
- Mix in the powdered sugar. You can add more or less sugar to get the taste and consistency you like.
The Leftover Frosting
Because I frosted these cupcakes lightly, I ended up with lots of extra frosting. If you are also a light froster, you may want to halve the recipe above. If you do have extra frosting, you can make cornbread out of it. This was Jonathan’s idea all the way. He took my extra frosting, mixed in some corn meal and baked it in a cast iron skillet. It made a dry crumbly corn bread, but any corn bread is better than tossed out frosting. We think it might have been better if he had added an egg.
The Red, White, and Blue Sprinkles
I bought both the red wrappers and the red, white, and blue sprinkles at Confectionery House.
The theme for Cupcake Hero this month is cocoa powder with bonus points for Askinosie cocoa powder. I thought about topping these cupcake with my Askinosie chocolate cream cheese frosting instead of the sweet corn cream cheese frosting to increase my odds of winning, but the corn just seemed so right. Besides, I’m sure the Cupcake Hero staff will be happy for a corn break after tasting all of that chocolate.