Tuesday, February 8, 2011

blackberry brandy cupcakes

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I'll admit, I spent a good amount of time editing this picture so it would look really yummy when I blogged about it. These cupcakes aren't as pretty as others I've made, but they tasted great! Various food blogs I read and love have done boozy cupcakes before and the day before the super bowl I got the idea to try the recipes I saw with brandy instead of whisky/Bailey's/etc.

You see, my grandpa Neff was a big fan of blackberry brandy. Since the summer he passed away my dad and uncle will have a bit of brandy to remember and honor him and all of us in the family associate that particular drink with my grandpa. At my wedding reception my dad actually pulled Steve aside to have some brandy as a sort of "welcome to the family" kind of thing. So you can see that having a dessert that incorporates the brandy seemed like a nice idea.

I ended up using recipes from a couple places to make these cupcakes:

Perfect Yellow Cake - found via google search the day before Christmas after I packed up all my cookbooks and needed a from scratch cake recipe for Christmas day lunch at my in-laws' house. It truly is the best cake recipe I've ever made.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (do not sift the flour)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
Vegetable oil
1 stick butter (not margarine), softened
1-tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and prep the cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, mixing well.
Measure the 1-1/4 cups of milk in a 2 cup measuring cup….then add enough vegetable oil to bring the liquid up to 1-1/3 cups.

Add the milk/vegetable oil mixture, butter and vanilla to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on medium to medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
Add the eggs and continue beating an additional 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow them to cool on a wire rack.
Simple Syrup - adapted from Annie's Eats 
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 water
2 tbsp brandy
combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, heat until the mixture is warm and the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in brandy then brush onto the tops of the cooled cupcakes.
Frosting - Also adapted from Annie's Eats... just a different recipe than the one the syrup came from.
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I used about 3)
4-8 tbsp. Brandy (I used about 7)

Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Gradually add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated. You'll want to be sure and scrape not only the sides, but the bottom of the bowl as well to get all of the butter/sugar mixture loose prior to adding the brandy. Once everything is incorporated, add the brandy and mix well. Add more brandy as needed until the frosting reaches the desired consistancy and frost as desired.

After making margarita cupcakes and now these, I have to say I am a fan of boozy cupcakes. Next up will possibly be the Irish Car Bomb cupcakes for St. Patrick's day. :)


  1. I love the story about your grandpa and the brandy. I didn't even know blackberry brandy existed! Shows how much I know They cupcakes look...amazing!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Can you really taste the blackberry or is it just boozy? I love boozy treats but also want to taste the berry!

    1. Blackberry brandy does have a great blackberry flavor on its own. However, if you want more of a berry flavor you could add some blackberry purée to the frosting in place of some of the brandy.