Happy Cinco de Mayo! After a few weeks off, I’m excited to be back with a Mexican-inspired dessert. Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure what flavours I could incorporate for Cinco but churros were an immediate idea. I wanted to do something a little more than a plain churro recipe though. It took a little bit of research but I also thought about incorporating the idea of a margarita into a dessert. However, I can’t even SMELL tequila without getting sick, so my options were between something of the key lime or churro variety. After close consultation with friends and family, I decided to create a churro cupcake—a deliciously spicy cinnamon cupcake, with a tangy cream cheese icing, topped with a golden brown churro, and a surprise piñata centre!
Churros are a Spanish pastry, prepared by deep frying the dough in oil and rolling the cooked pastry in sugar. They are often served with a variety of dipping sauces including melted chocolate and dulce de leche. They actually aren’t the most difficult treats to make, which is why I chose to combine them with a cupcake in order to bring you a Mexican-inspired dessert. Since I usually work with chocolate or fruit flavours, these churro cupcakes allowed me to make a cupcake with a flavour that I haven’t used before but I’ve always thought about trying. To add, cream cheese icing is always superior to buttercream, so I knew it would be an incredible addition to this treat!
I’ll admit that I did spend quite a bit of time on these cupcakes because it involved quite a few steps including the cupcakes, the frosting, the churros, and the cleanup of course. To add, I also made my own dulce de leche sauce, which I didn’t include in the recipe because it’s quite simple to do, or you could buy it pre-made. To prepare your own dulce de leche sauce, pour an entire can of sweetened condensed milk into a mason jar. Seal it tight, place it on its side in a large pot, and cover the jar completely in room temperature water. Ensure that the pot has at least 1-2 inches of water above the jar. Heat the water over medium-high heat until the water begins to boil, then reduce to low heat to maintain a simmer for 2-3 hours. Be sure to check the water level as it boils to ensure that the jar is always covered with water. I boiled mine for around 2 hours, but the mixture will darken as the cook-time increases. When you're satisfied with the colour, remove the jar from the hot water and allow it to come to room temperature before opening the jar.
If you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo with your favourite Mexican dishes, make sure you cover all bases and treat yourself and your guests with a delicious dessert. Enjoy your celebrations!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Yield: 24 Cupcakes
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup sour cream
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup water
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar + 2 tsp ground cinnamon for coating
Oil for frying
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with liners.
2. In a stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar until pale and glossy. Add in butter and vanilla and continue to beat, working out the lumps.
3. Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix together until just combined.
4. Add in sour cream and beat until thoroughly combined, while scraping down the sides of the bowl.
5. Scoop even amounts into each muffin tin until 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes and test with a toothpick. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before decorating.
6. To make the churros, heat water, 2 1/2 tbsp sugar, salt and 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture starts to boil, remove from heat, add in flour, and stir until a ball of dough forms. Set aside to cool.
7. Prepare a pot with oil to fry the churros. Pipe the churros into small bite-size pieces into the oil and fry until golden brown.
8. When the churros are done, place them on a paper towel to drain the oil. Next, place them in the cinnamon sugar mixture and toss to coat. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the cupcakes.
9. To prepare the icing, beat the butter and cream cheese together. Add in vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until combined. If the mixture is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk. If it is too runny, add more powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.
10. To assemble the cupcakes, pipe the cream cheese icing onto the cooled cupcakes. Top each cupcake with a mini churro, and spoon dulce de leche sauce over the top of each cupcake. Refrigerate after assembling.