We started a war.  Some time ago we made Eggnog Cupcakes and served them in the store so we knew they were a big hit.  Then we tinkered with a chocolate cake and chocolate frosting until we had the perfect Peanut Butter Fudge Cupcakes.  Then we made them both and served them in the store.  It was war.

We watched people approach the platter.  Even confirmed chocoholics, intent on reaching the chocolate cupcakes, falter at the last minute, not sure that they want to pass up the opportunity to try an Eggnog Cupcake.  My son-in-law Ben declared the Eggnog Cupcakes the best but a lady in the store, carefully guarding the last couple bites, declared the chocolate cupcakes “the world’s best cupcakes.”  Fortunately, you can make both.

To Make the Eggnog Cupcakes:

We’re using the Vanilla Bean Baby Cakes and adding eggnog to both the mix and the frosting.  Pretty simple.  Could you use a white cake mix from the store?  I think so but I don’t think the cheap mixes would work quite as well.  Most of those are really light and airy, not much substance.  The frosting and the cream filling tends to overwhelm the light cake—not enough balance.  The baby cakes mix is a cream cake mix, denser and moister.  You get more cake in each bite.  But I don’t think the store mixes would be bad.  If you go that way, reduce the amount of frosting and filling that you use.

This mix makes 18 cupcakes.  You’ll have frosting and Bavarian cream left over for your next project.

You will need:

Vanilla Bean Baby Cakes Cake Mix
Bavarian Cream (comes in a two-pound dispenser pack)
Sweet Sensations Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Mix or your favorite buttercream frosting recipe
Butter rum flavor
Ground nutmeg

Eggnog

For the cupcakes:

  1. Make the cake mix per directions except substitute eggnog for water.
  2. Add four teaspoons of butter rum flavor and two teaspoons of ground nutmeg.
  3. Bake as directed.

For the filling:

  1. Cut a 1/4-inch corner off the dispenser pack of Bavarian cream.  Insert the cut corner into the center of the cupcake to a depth of about 1/2-inch.
  2. Squeeze the dispenser bag so that the Bavarian cream flows from the bag into the cupcake.  You will feel the cupcake swell and get heavier. (There is no need to cut a slit or core the cupcake.)  Repeat with the other cupcakes.  When you frost the cupcakes, you will cover the holes.  See how to fill cupcakes this way.  Store your leftover filling in the refrigerator.

For the frosting:

  1. Make the frosting per the directions on the package but substitute eggnog for the water.
  2. Add two teaspoons of butter rum flavor and one teaspoon of nutmeg.

Frost the cupcakes with a pastry bag or spread a thick layer of frosting on the cupcakes with knife.

To Make the Peanut Butter Fudge Cupcakes:

We’re using Fudgy Baby Cakes but substituting crunchy peanut butter for the oil called for in the directions.  We’re making the cake according to package instructions but it needs to bake a minute or so longer.

For the frosting, we’re mixing 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter to 1 1/2 cups Sweet Sensations Fudgy Chocolate Frosting.

Could you use a chocolate cake mix from the store?  I don’t think so, at least not the cheap mixes.  I don’t think your cheap mixes will hold up to that much peanut butter.  The fudgy Baby Cakes mix has a ton of little chocolate pieces in the batter.  With the peanut butter and the chocolate pieces in the batter, these come out almost like brownies.  (They’re darned scrumptious without any frosting.)

Can you use another frosting?  Yes, I think you can take any thick, fudgy frosting and add peanut butter.  We’ve mixed peanut butter into ganache before with fantastic results.  To make ganache, melt really good chocolate wafers and stir in a little cream to reach the right consistency.  But this frosting is darned good.

Why don’t you start a war in your kitchen?

Where’s the Breakthrough?

We thought it was pretty neat that you could substitute eggnog for the water in both the cake mix and the frosting.  It made us wonder what else we might substitute for water.

It’s pretty neat that you can substitute peanut butter for the oil in the cake mix—at least in this cake mix.