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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33 Responses to “Foodbuzz 24-24-24: Boston Cupcake Crawl”

  1. #
    1
    Nina — July 27, 2009 at 4:29 am

    What a great and yummy idea! I wish I lived closer and could have joined. I need to research the bakeries in Phoenix and find some delicious cupcakes.

  2. #
    2
    Mermaid Sweets — July 27, 2009 at 5:08 am

    What an amazing idea and post, awesome.

  3. #
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    brannyboilsover — July 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    what a great post and a fun idea!

  4. #
    4
    Molly Jean — July 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    You did SUCH a great job with this. I’m so happy it went well for you! And no rain? Double bonus!!!

  5. #
    5
    thenursecooks — July 27, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    How neat, all the cupcakes look yummy to me!

  6. #
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    Jamie* — July 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Very cool! Your group must have been exhausted at the end of the day. I am from Boston but now live in PA, your post made me want to head home for a visit. 🙂

  7. #
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    Jen — July 27, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks everyone. We definitely lucked out with the weather. It was a bit hot, but not unbearable.

    It was an exhausting day. I think we left the last bakery around 8:30. Hubby and I grabbed some dinner and got home around 11:00. We were exhausted!

  8. #
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    Tavia — July 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    I am jealous! This is right up my alley. I need to get myself out to Babycakes ASAP!

  9. #
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    ASkinner — July 27, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I used to live in Quincy and a stop into Babycakes was mandatory at least once a week for DH and me.

  10. #
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    elc — July 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    i live in the north end and have been wondering about the new lyndell’s!! great info for a fellow bostoner!!

  11. #
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    Joelen — July 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    What a great crawl! Glad to see you had fun and I hope to make a stop to check these out when I’ll be visiting in a few months! I’ve been on a slight commenting hiatus with my busy schedule lately… but it’s great to catch up and see what’s cooking in your kitchen!

  12. #
    12
    Emily — July 27, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Such a fantastic idea – I love Boston… and cupcakes.

  13. #
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    comforttable — July 27, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    What a great idea! I am in Boston and I am amazed at all of the cupcake shops that keep popping up. And another one: I just read that Todd English is opening “Curly Cupcakes” on Charles street!

    kitchenbelle.com

  14. #
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    ashley — July 27, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    fabulous idea for 24,24,24! i’m hungry for cupcakes now….

  15. #
    15
    ValleyWriter — July 27, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Great post! I can’t wait to try some of these places out the next time I’m in Boston.

  16. #
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    Stephanie Wagner — July 27, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Love this idea! Great post and pictures. The straw in the Pink Lemonade cupcake at Sweet is so cute!!

  17. #
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    Jingle — July 27, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Thank you SO much for this! Although, I wish I had all of this info on Friday when we were wandering around town just for fun! I am SO going to have to try some of these places!

  18. #
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    bcallegra — July 27, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    I love the fact that you did this crawl – I wanted to do the same thing after reading a Boston.com article a few months ago but never got off my lazy butt to do it. You’ve inspired me to start visiting some of these places.

    From a wedding standpoint, I love all the pictures of the cupcakes – this is because I want them as a part of my wedding reception and need to find the right bakery to get them from.

    As always, great post!

  19. #
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    michelle — July 28, 2009 at 6:21 am

    You forgot to try the the only cupcake store that would have scored a 5.0. Sensational cupcakes in saugus just 10 mins from boston. You really should try them they are simply sensational. http://Www.sensationalcupcake.com

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    Jen — July 28, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Thanks for the note about Curly Cupcakes, I’ll have to check that out too.

    As mentioned in the post, we were only trying cupcake bakeries that were accessable via the T. We wanted to be able to rate bakeries that anyone could get to in the city. There are quite a few other bakeries that don’t meet that criteria. I’ll definitely have to try Sensational Cupcakes next time I’m in the Saugus area though.

  21. #
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    hoppzor — July 28, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    you should have gone to Lyndell’s – the *real* Lyndell’s – in ball square close to Davis. their cupcakes are great. there is also an adorable cupcake-related story about Lyndell’s: http://www.wickedlocal.com/somerville/homepage/x418534015/Groom-to-be-My-love-is-like-a-Lyndell-s-cupcake

  22. #
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    Gigi — July 28, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    I agree with everyone that this was a great idea and I love reading the reviews. I also second the idea of going to the real Lyndell’s in Somerville, it is the same place, but the original store. However in my opinion the best thing at Lyndells is their black and white cookies. They are like flat cupcakes more than cookies and the frosting on them is at least an inch thick. Their chocolate frosting is A-MA-ZING!!!

  23. #
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    chris — July 29, 2009 at 1:15 am

    I have to give a nod to Lyndell’s in Somerville.I ended up with a ton of goods from them at The taste of Somerville.
    If you’re out on the T again you have to check out Sweet Tooth in South Boston just up Broadway from the Broadway T stop. Their cupcakes are enormous and are the absolute best I’ve ever had.
    http://www.sweettoothboston.com/
    They are also available at Lamberts in downtown Boston.

  24. #
    24
    Megan — July 29, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I love the idea of the Boston Cupcake Crawl. All the cupcakes look amazing and makes me want a cupcake!

  25. #
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    Ingrid — July 30, 2009 at 1:54 am

    VERY cool! I haven’t been to a bakery for cupcakes (anything, really) here in FL.

    Have you come down off your sugar high yet? 🙂
    ~ingrid

  26. #
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    SK — July 30, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    It sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks for the recommendations and ratings – it’s always good to get another perspective (other than yelp)!

  27. #
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    Elizabeth Jarrard — August 2, 2009 at 1:29 am

    that’s the cutest idea ever!!!
    i really enjoyed one of kickass cupcakes vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes once, and I hear that sweet has vegan offerings on Mondays! I can’t wait to check it out!

  28. #
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    CB — August 4, 2009 at 4:00 am

    How fun! Man I wish we were neighbors. I’d love to cupcake crawl with you! I totally have to jank this idea for my hood. Complete with your cute little scorecards and goodie bags. J’dorable!
    /Clara

  29. #
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    Debbie Flanagan — August 10, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Please come see me as part of your next cupcake crawl, Sugar Bakery… I am the cupcake lady ask for me. Always loooking to know if people enjoy my cupcakes:)

  30. #
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    Debbie Flanagan — August 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Please come by sugar bakery ask for me, I would love to be part of your next adventure. Always looking to see what people think of my cupcakes 🙂

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    eatlivetravelwrite — August 19, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    What a great 24,24,24 theme!!

    I just got selected for this month and am very excited!

    I also just got back from Boston where I did a great walking tour of the North End Market area:

    http://www.eatlivetravelwrite.com/2009/08/north-end-market-tour-boston-1.html

    (and the two posts that follow it!)

  32. #
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    Mrs Hackney — August 22, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    What a brilliant idea! I think I’ll try and organise a cupcake crawl now! Loving the little bags you made 🙂

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