Sunday, May 8, 2011

#34 - Cajeta Filled Cupcakes

For Mother's Day, we invited Mamu over for dinner, where we made her a Mexican inspired meal. We served some Hungry Hundred classics - rice, beans, and enchiladas - and what we hoped would become an instant classic - Mexican cupcakes.

Cajeta Filled Cupcakes

From Mexican Made Easy with help from Rick Bayless
Marcela Valladolid had a recipe for these cupcakes, and one of the ingredients was cajeta, a Mexican caramel. Well, we decided to go all out and make our cajeta from scratch, using a Rick Bayless recipe. If you're going the store-bought route, you won't need the goat's milk, cinnamon stick, baking soda, or as much sugar. But you'd need a store-bought cajeta.
Making the cajeta was the most time-intensive part of this recipe. You put goat milk, sugar, and a cinnamon stick in a big pot, and with a little love, it magically becomes caramel.
After making the batter and cooking the cupcakes, it's time for the two recipes to become one.
You cut a little wedge out of the cupcake, pour the cajeta inside, replace the top, and cover with the Mexican frosting.
These cupcakes were a lot of work, but they were definitely worth it. They came out so good, and after tasting the yummy cake and icing, getting a bite of the cajeta was a great surprise. Even Mamu, who claims she doesn't really like cupcakes (whoops), thought these were delicious.
If you have a Mexican mother, you should make this for her next Mother's Day.

Rick Bayless' Cajeta
  • 1 qt goat's milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda, dissolved in 1/2 Tbs water
  1. In a Dutch oven, combine the milk, sugar, and cinnamon stick and set over medium heat.
  2. Stir regularly until the milk comes to a simmer and all the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the dissolved baking soda. If bubbles form, wait for the bubbles to subside.
  4. Return the pot to the heat, and adjust the temperature to maintain the mixture at a brisk simmer. If it's too high, the mixture will boil over, and if it's too low, it will take forever to cook.
  5. Stir regularly until the mixture turns pale golden, about one hour.
  6. Once the mixture has changed colors, begin stirring frequently as it changes to a caramel-brown and thickens to the consistency of maple syrup. The bubbles will become much larger and glassier.
  7. Test a couple of drops of the cajeta on a cold plate. When it cools, it should be the consistency of a medium-thick caramel sauce. If the cooled cajeta is thicker, stir in a tablespoon of water and remove from the heat.
  8. Pour the cajeta through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup cajeta
  • Mexican vanilla buttercream frosting
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tray with 12 baking cups.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then beat in the vanilla extract.
  5. With the mixer on low, beat in the flour mixture in two parts, alternating with the milk.
  6. Scoop the batter into the baking cups.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  8. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, and then remove the cupcakes from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Using a paring knife, cut a 1-inch-deep piece from the top of each cupcake, and set aside.
  10. Fill each hole with 1 teaspoon of cajeta, and replace the cut out pieces.
  11. Frost the cupcakes with the Mexican vanilla buttercream frosting.

Mexican Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbs Mexican crema or sour cream
  1. Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add the salt, vanilla extract and crema.
  3. Increase the speed to high and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

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