Creme Brulee Cupcakes

For Hubby’s birthday, I told him I’d make a treat for him to take in to work. As I’ve mentioned before, his favorite dessert is creme brulee. I’ve made it twice for him already. But, creme brulee doesn’t travel to work very well. So instead, I gave him a list of 10 desserts that are at the top of my must-bake list.

When I added this recipe as the last option for him, I knew there was no point in even giving him the list. Sure enough, he chose his favorite dessert in cupcake form for his birthday treat.

I have to admit that I’m very glad he chose this recipe, because it’s amazing. The cupcakes really do taste like creme brulee. I made the cupcakes and frosting the night before his birthday and then we torched them in the morning before heading to work. Hubby said they only lasted about 10 minutes in the kitchen at work.

The other great thing about these cupcakes is that I found my new favorite way to frost a cupcake. I just loved how the cupcakes looked with a good portion of the cake peaking out, but there still being plenty of frosting. I decided at that point that I will be frosting cupcakes like this again (as I did for my Red Velvet cupcakes).

As a side note, for those of you who know, Hubby’s birthday is in February. This post is going up in April. I tend to do this unless there is a deadline for a blogging event. When I make something to be blogged, I add the pictures, recipe and link to the original source, then save it as a draft. Then on some random day, I go back and finish up the post and set it to publish at some point in the future. So on an evening like tonight, I can bust out about 10 posts while Hubby plays video games with his buddy. Then if I don’t have time to write blog posts for another month, it’s ok.

Creme Brulee Cupcakes – Adapted from Clara, originally from How to Eat a Cupcake
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch for the egg whites
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk – I used 1/4 c water + 3/4 c heavy cream
3 tablespoons caramel syrup – I used Smuckers ice cream topping
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Alternately beat in dry ingredients and milk.

Add caramel syrup and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff but not dry. Gently fold whites into batter.

Spoon batter into cupcake papers, filling cups about 2/3 full. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.

Brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream
1 cup light brown sugar
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

Put sugar, egg whites and salt into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees). Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes total.

Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and continue beating 1 minute to reduce air bubbles.

To assemble cupcakes
Remove center of cupcake using the cone method. Fill cupcake with buttercream. Sprinkle brown sugar on top and caramelize with creme brulee torch.

I’m entering this in Joelen’s Tasty Tools event for April. She’s featuring muffin pans this month!

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14 Responses to “12 Days of Cookies – Chocolate Peppermint Meringue Kisses”

  1. #
    Katie — December 22, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    These are absolutely GORGEOUS! I’ve never seen a treat so perfect! So impressed!!

  2. #
    Joelen — December 22, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Beautiful job! I love the addition of chocolate and peppermint on the bottom for additional texture!

  3. #
    Amy Kingman — December 22, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Oh my goodness those are so pretty!

  4. #
    ~Amber~ — December 23, 2008 at 1:33 am

    OMG these are adorable!! Great job.

  5. #
    Tiffany and Ganesh — December 23, 2008 at 1:52 am

    wow, these are so pretty and look delish!

  6. #
    Scott W. — December 23, 2008 at 2:36 am

    how great are these! you can’t buy something that looks so nice.

  7. #
    Jen — December 23, 2008 at 2:50 am

    Thanks everyone. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. Everyone loved them.

  8. #
    Hallie Fae — December 23, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Wow, I’m impressed. Those look great. What did you do with over 100 meringues?? 🙂

  9. #
    Jen — December 23, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Hallie – I took half to a holiday potluck and the other have came to my in-laws with us for Christmas. They’re going on the cookie tray. The good thing is they keep well and go fast! And Hubby loves them so I have a hard time keeping his hand out of the bag of these guys.

  10. #
    Steph — December 30, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    These are beautiful!

  11. #
    Ali — November 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Hi, these look great and I want to try them as gifts this year. Thanks! One question, how do you “paint” the red coloring into the bag?

  12. #
    Jen — November 15, 2009 at 9:45 pm


    Using a small paint brush, I dipped it into the food coloring and painted stripes on the inside of the pastry bag prior to filling it with the meringue.

  13. #
    cindy6174 — January 3, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    These as well as your Raspberry Meringue Cookies look wonderful. I wish I had come upon these before the holidays as they would have made a great addition to my cookie plate!

  14. #
    Cornelius the Pig — December 22, 2010 at 6:03 am

    i realize these were posted 2 years ago… but i just found them and they look wonderful! so pretty!

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