Monday, May 18, 2009

Jalapeno Popper Cupcakes

I love jalapenos. I love jalapeno poppers even more. There's nothing like sitting in a bar, watching your team win Superbowl XLIII and chomping into some greasy, cheesy jalapeno poppers.

For some reason, all my friends still thought I had lost my mind with this cupcake idea. I guess my creation of the Pizza Cupcake might have bypassed a few people. I mean, would you really expect anything less? With Pizza Cupcakes as my first official entry to the Iron Cupcake: Earth competition (voting begins May 30th), I decided that it was definitely worth a try to incorporate Jalapeno Poppers into another cupcake.

The hardest part about this endeavor was finding a cupcake recipe to start with. Sure, there are several cornbread-based recipes that include jalapenos, but what I'm going for is the real deal. I want my cupcakes to taste like cake. Or as close to cake as you can get when you throw chopped peppers into the mix. Finally, after hours of scrounging around the internet, I found a candidate.

My inspiration? Living In The Kitchen With Puppies' Jalapeno Orange Marmalade Cupcakes. Now say that 3 times fast. But as you can guess from the title of this post, I made my own adjustments to the recipe.

Jalapeno Popper Cupcakes
adapted from L.I.T.K.W.P.'s Jalapeno Orange Marmalade Cupcakes

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 7 chopped jalapenos (cuz I like it spicy! but you can use more or less, depending on your preference)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup soft unsalted butter
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) In a small bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Note: Dry ingredients DO NOT include sugar. As you can guess, The Bitchin' Kitchin' had another snafu with baking directions at Step 2, but the cupcake still survived!
3) In stand mixer, beat sugar with butter. (Unless you've disregarded my note and included sugar in Step 2. From personal experience, I can tell you that this is still OK. Continue on to Step 4...).
4) Add egg whites, one at a time. Beat until light and fluffy.
5) Add sour cream and jalapenos. Mix.
6) Add dry mixture and milk alternately. Use three additions of dry mixture and two additions of milk.
7) Pour evenly into cupcake liners and bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean.
8) Take cupcakes out of the oven and let them cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting

This could be the simplest thing ever:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Bread Crumbs for sprinkling on top
1) Whip cream cheese slightly to make it more spreadable
2) Spread the cream cheese over the tops of the cupcakes.
3) Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
In the process of creating this wacky cupcake, the Roomie and I just HAD to taste the batter, of course! Upon investigation, I will admit there was an "oh crap" moment. The batter was pretty sweet. I liked the sweetness personally, but since I was out to make a savory cupcake, I was a little worried. But never fear! Once the flavors had a chance to come together in the oven, the end result was a nice balance of savory and sweet. There was also the extra kick thrown in the mix, due to the jalapenos. The heat really creeps up on you when you think you're almost done with the cupcake. I also have to admit that I put a little too much cream cheese on a few of the cupcakes, which overwhelmed the flavor a bit, but that situation can be easily rectified. I really enjoyed the bread crumb topping. I used Italian-style bread crumbs for my cupcakes (amazing!), but you can use your preferred bread crumb brand/flavor/seasoning in yours.

Although I really liked how this cupcake came out, there was one unfortunate incident. When I took my beautiful, perfectly rounded cupcakes out of the oven, it took approximately 60 seconds for them to sink into little valleys right before my eyes. (Can someone tell me what I did wrong? I couldn't even find a good answer on Google!) But thankfully the taste more than made up for this. Interestingly enough, Zoo and AM thought I had planned for the cupcakes to fall so I would have a place to put the cream cheese....Why yes, this was all in the master plan....wink wink...
Time for Taste Squad Reviews:
- KL: First thought "Wow, this actually tastes like a jalapeno popper". Second thought "Wow, this is actually pretty good!" While the batter initially tasted too sweet, it turned out to be a perfect counterbalance to the spiciness of the jalapeno. The cream cheese icing was the perfect "icing" to the cake. The cake itself was a perfect balance between sweet and jalapeno hotness.

- RM: Liked the moistness of the cupcakes, flavor of the jalapeno, and bread crumb topping. Suggestions for future variations include playing with cornmeal in the batter or flavoring the icing with jalapenos or lime. Overall, YUM-O.
- Zoo (This trendsetter tried it both cold and warm) : "I like it. It's spicy and really tastes like a jalapeno popper. But I like it better cold."
There are additional members of the Taste Squad (I think KL and I attacked about 20 people in less than 48 hours), but in general, everyone was surprised that a Jalapeno Popper Cupcake was not my personal attempt to poison them.

As you can see, my attempt at writing a shorter blog post has not yet been realized. But let's look at the bright side, this will provide you with an additional means of procrastination at work. Please don't forget that I am entering the fantabulous Iron Cupcake: Earth competition this month. The theme is "Savory Cupcakes"...You didn't think I came up with these cupcake ideas for no reason, did you? :) So vote for me!!! (Voting begins May 30th!) And let's face it, if you've read this much of my blog, chances are that you like me already. And I may or may not have forced you to eat a cupcake in the past two weeks.

FYI, I'm also working on my picture-taking skills. I just figured out how to properly use my point and shoot last weekend, thanks to Sameer! But still, I would just LOVE to receive a digital SLR camera for my birthday...ahem...cough cough...Mom?...cough...


  1. Ellie I have to applaud your creativity- but I must admit these sound disgusting. Also, you need to spend more tme watching "Good Eats". Alton Brown will constantly remind you that in baking, sugar is a wet ingredient. Good luck with your adventure.

  2. So I followed the link to dutifully place my vote, but there was no place to cast a vote?! I guess I'll check back at the end of the month?

    P.S. Here is some falling cake insight.

    P.P.S. WTF, sugar is wet?!?!

  3. Sorry!! I should have mentioned that voting starts Saturday May 30th!

  4. Eric - as the dutiful roomie who is "forced" (aka twist my rubber arm) to taste the first try, these cupcakes are actually pretty f*ing awesome. Not going to lie. And Ellie is not even bribing me (although there are some fabulous pairs of shoes that I'm eyeing, cough cough, Ellie, cough cough) ;)

  5. Eric, I watch Alton every night at 11pm. And if it's a really boring night, also from 8-9pm. I've never seen this "sugar is wet" episode of which you speak.
    Kimmy, didn't you already buy those shoes? ;)

  6. Ellie, Your life is definitely about as exciting as mine. I'll have to think of which episode has a reference to the "wet" sugar- but I think it's just about anything made with the "muffin method". I'm thinking the most recent one I saw was the dutch oven cooking but I'll have to keep my eyes open when my TiVo records reruns.

  7. Do you take the seeds out of the jalapenos?

  8. Yes! I took the seeds out of the jalapenos before chopping them and adding them to the batter. I didn't add whole jalapenos, even though it appears that I did in some pics. I was playing with the tops of the peppers :)