adult | alcohol | brown sugar | butterscotch | christmas | cinnamon | cupcakes | frosting | ginger

Hot buttered rum cupcakes, for all your drunk relatives.

December 8, 2009

…Or your drunk friends. Or your drunken self.

Sorry I’ve been MIA on the recipe front. It’s been a busy time of year, as usual. There are trees to put up, lights to hang, gifts to buy, etc. And this year has been made slightly busier because Miss Yoyo came to town this week, and we (Jay & I) gave her a grand VIP tour of the Empire State Building/Rockefeller Center/St. Patrick’s Cathedral/Times Square Monday (with Miss Becky & Gene as well) and also because of my new blog venture, our dinner plans for our “celebration” of the completion of our first book last night at Franny’s in Brooklyn… and the possibility of having drinks with the author, which sadly didn’t happen- but we had a blast (you can read about all that here)! Anyway, since I took some pictures of the big tree in Rockefeller Center and stuff on Monday, I thought I’d share some with you all. Click them to view the pictures full-size.

The tree, left… & 30 Rock!

I’ll share some more pictures in other posts before Christmas. Okay back to the topic at hand… this time of year, there are a plethora (wow, SAT word!) of cake, cookie and dessert recipes to make. Being partial to cupcakes, I like to try something new every year, if it’s possible. I’ve made eggnog cupcakes, french toast cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes, candy cane cupcakes/mint chocolate cupcakes, and a variety of other cupcakes themed with Christmas-y, uh, themes… plus a bunch of my traditional cookies & such. I usually like to make a cupcake recipe a week up until Christmas, if possible. So here are my first Christmas cupcakes of 2009!

This year I had a few new ideas up my wool sweater sleeves. Actually I had an idea left over from last year that I knew I wanted to use and didn’t get around to, but I also got an idea/inspiration from the new Food Network magazine and Cupcake Jones. So tonight, a freezing cold night in New York, I made these Hot Buttered Rum cupcakes; and I had a set of gorgeous pink embossed foil cupcake liners for them to go in that reminded me of Victorian Christmases. Which is coincidentally what hot buttered rum reminds me of as well, despite most people referring to it as “Colonial” hot buttered rum. Well, WHATEVER! Colonial, Victorian, only a 100 years or so difference there!

I used some butterscotch schnapps too, because it added a bit more “buttery” ness to them. If you don’t have butterscotch schnapps, then use 1/3 cup dark rum. Thanks to My Own Sweet Thyme for the base recipe. I tweaked it, of course.



  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1/6 cup dark rum
  • 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon butterscotch schnapps
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 3 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350° degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, rum and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, pepper, ginger and cinnamon. Whisk to thoroughly combine dry ingredients.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the brown sugar and molasses until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add the flour mixture slowly, beating just until combined.
  6. Add the butter mixture and beat until incorporated.
  7. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Bake at 350° degrees for approximately 15 minutes, or until done. (When done, the top will spring back when lightly touched.)
  8. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting I used a brown butter frosting, with a little bit of butterscotch schnapps beat into it… but you could use some dark rum too. You can also make a rum butter glaze to drizzle on top of the cupcakes, or drizzle some dark rum on them and let it soak in before you frost them. I topped them with pearl nonpareils, ’cause they’re preeeetty. And those liners are the best liners I ever used. They don’t get gross from the batter, and they stay firm and look gorgeous right out of the oven. Highly recommended.

The white pepper? It’s just black pepper with the husk removed, so you can substitute black pepper in a recipe like this without a drastic flavor change. You can also just omit it altogether if you want.

Go on, get drunk on cupcakes. You deserve it after battling the crowds to do Christmas shopping for people you probably don’t even like, and tolerating irritating relatives stampeding in and out of your house.

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  1. Ya know, I was just thinking that I wanted to make something a little different for one of my family’s Christmas parties (we always have pie) and I think these are just perfect! And it will give me a good excuse to leave the rum out on the kitchen counter….for shots. Hehe.

  2. Hey can you substitute rum flavoring instead of the rum for those of us who don’t drink if so how much?

  3. Hey Tonya. I’d substitute milk for the alcohol, and then use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon rum… I can’t promise it’ll taste the same but the consistency should turn out just fine.

  4. Hi! I am going to make these for my Dad’s birthday tonight… they sound delicious! Quick (dumb) question… does this recipe make 24 cupcakes?

  5. butterscotch schnapps … it’s in the listed ingredients but NOT anywhere in the directions. did i just miss it?? already have the batter all made without it, do i add it in?? need these cupcakes to IMPRESS, so i cant get them wrong! please respond asap!!

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