Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kraken Mocha Mini Cupcakes

As mentioned previously, I hadn't found the time or energy to bake in quite some time, until Valentine's Day. I canceled reservations, ordered in (calzones) with my boy, and baked some cupcakes for my coworker who is changing teams (but we can say they're for Tim too, since he loved them, and I left him with plenty).

Here is the brief story behind the Kraken mocha: Kraken is a brand of spiced rum. I personally love the octopus on the bottle. My coworker Jen and I discovered on a work trip to Vegas that it also pairs beautifully with mocha. The Kraken mocha was born. So what better way to wish her well on her new team than with Kraken mocha, in cupcake form?

I basically made most of this up and was really pleased with how well it turned out (after a few alterations during the process). Feel free to leave out the espresso powder or rum if the triple chocolate-spiced rum-espresso blast is too much. Also note: 8 dozen may seem like a lot, but these are really tiny and people tend to eat several. As long as you have a lot of friends or coworkers to share with, you should be fine. Enjoy!

Kraken Mocha Mini Cupcakes
makes about 8 dozen tiny cupcakes, or 4 dozen plus a yummy pan of deliciousness (see variation, below)


4 oz semi sweet chocolate
1/3 cup water
3 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 T espresso powder
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup Kraken rum
3/4 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Thoroughly grease mini muffin tins (I used the baking variety of Pam) or fill with mini muffin papers.
  2. Microwave chocolate and water for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until chocolate is melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until smooth
  3. Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. 
  4. Beat butter and sugar in mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each. Blend in melted chocolate, vanilla, and rum.
  5. Alternate the flour mixture with the buttermlik, beating well after each addition.
  6. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Gently stir into batter.
  7. Fill muffin tins 1/2 to 2/3 full and bake for 12 minutes or until firm and springy to the touch. Let cool for a few minutes, remove from pan, regrease (you may want to wipe out or wash the pan before regreasing), and repeat with remaining batter.

1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup rum
1/2 cup brown sugar

Simmer over low heat until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes, stirring often.

Kraken-espresso-whipped cream buttercream:

1 cup whipping cream
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar
1/4 cup rum
2 T espresso powder

  1. Whip cream until stiff peaks form; set aside.
  2. Beat butter and powdered sugar until combined (this will be dry). Add the rum and espresso powder and beat until well mixed and fluffy.
  3. Gently fold in whipping cream, starting with a small amount, and stir by hand until combined with frosting.


Poke holes in the top of cupcakes with a fork. Drizzle a spoonful of glaze over each. Let sit for a few minutes and repeat with remaining glaze. Pipe icing onto each cupcake.

Variation: Leave out one cup of flour (2 cups total) - if making both the cupcakes and this, just add 1/2 cup of flour halfway through, after making a few pans of these. Bake for only 10 minutes or so, or until slightly underdone. Remove from oven, let cool, and turn the pan upside-down and hit the bottom until the cupcakes fall out. They will be very soft and fluffy and not really able to hold up to icing in their current state. Press the fluffy cupcakes into a baking dish (I used a 9x9 square Pyrex - this worked well for the first half of the batch, with the rest becoming regular cupcakes), pour glaze over the top, and pipe or spread frosting over the whole thing. Store in the refrigerator - the cupcakes will soak up the glaze over time and taste AMAZING.


  1. let's be 100% honest: you left me with zero cupcakes. you left me with some sort of collection of failed cupcakes pushed into a pan with syrup and frosting on top that is about eighty times more delicious than standard cupcakes due to an inability to have any idea how much you've eaten. it removes all sense of guilt, which is also dangerous.

  2. Hahahah TRUE. I think we each ate about 20 cupcakes' worth last night but WHO KNOWS.