Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cupcakes for Grown-Ups (Featuring the Mojito)

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Did you ever have anyone call you "cute"?
Usually, it's the high school guy you have a crush on
who thinks of you as his little sister because
you're still in middle school. What you
feel like doing is kicking him in the shins and
telling him "cute" is for puppies and kittens and cupcakes!
Yes, cupcakes. But of course, you don't do that. You turn bright
red and run home and cry into your pillow because the boy of your dreams
thinks you're "cute" instead of "hot" or a "babe". Then again, maybe this is
just me and perhaps I am sharing too much -- wouldn't be the first time.

But for those of you who have suffered the label "cute", I want you
to know I hear you! Now that you're an adult you're over it, way
over it, and now you don't want "cute" in your life. For instance,
you've had it with cutesy kid cupcakes that look like teddy bears or
clown heads. You want a cupcake with attitude, one that marries the
subtleties of adult flavors, like mint and lime, and makes you remember
that you're an adult...who loves cupcakes even though, yes, they are
awfully "cute".

In my first cupcake bakery mystery, SPRINKLE WITH MURDER,
Melanie Cooper, my main character, hosts a cooking class in
her bakery that features happy hour cupcakes. One of the
cupcakes that they bake is a personal favorite of mine,
the mojito cupcake.

The Mojito: A dense, golden cupcake flavored with lime zest and dried spearmint leaves and topped with a rum flavored icing.


Preheat your oven to 350°F. Sift all the dry stuff

together in a big bowl. Melt the butter and add

the beaten egg to it. Add that to the dry ingredients,

stirring in the milk until smooth. Zest half of a

lime, add it to the bowl. Squeeze in half of the lime

as well. Add the dried spearmint leaves to the batter,

mixing well. Bake for 16-20 minutes until they spring

back to the touch. Makes 12.

Rum buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon rum flavored extract
  • Mix all ingredients until fluffy
  • Garnish with a candied spearmint leaf, real mint leaf or lime wedge.

Jenn McKinlay

aka Lucy Lawrence


  1. These sound terrific! And they're both so different from the usual chocolate variety we have over here.

    No, I don't think I was ever cute. :) Too tall and bony when I was a kid.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. Oh, oh, oh!!! I'm so excited to see this recipe. Why? I was lucky enough to read Jenn's first Cupcake Bakery Mystery (Sprinkle with Murder) while it was still in manuscript form. I immediately fell in love with the characters--like new best friends. (The setting is wonderful, too, and you can get a feel for the Fairy Tale Cucakes shop by glancing at the book cover in the right column.) Anyway, Jenn's description of the cupcakes that her character Melanie bakes and sells had me drooling -- and this was one I was dying to try. Now I can! LOL! Thanks Jenn!! (I do love Mojitos!)

    "Where coffee and crime are always brewing...which is extremely convenient considering Cleo's love of mojitos..."
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  3. Jenn, what a delicious and unique cupcake! And I'll bet served with a mojito it would make a perfect "shower" style cake! Girls unite.

  4. The cupcake grows up. Very sophisticated, Jenn!


  5. Thanks, ladies! The cupcake part is very
    dense (like a little pound cake) but I love
    it. Now if I can just figure out why the font
    in my blog posts seems to change itself from line to line...argh. I can almost hear it saying, "Oh no, I'm feeling more Times than Arial, so I'm changing myself. Phthtbtt!" It's maddening.

  6. These sound so decadent and sinful. Very grown up, I'm not sharing with the kids!

  7. Oh, yummy! (Repeat 100 times and squeal!) Got these bookmarked!