Enjoying a cocktail in an edible format is strangely satisfying, especially if it is a contrasting treat like a cupcake. Boozy cupcakes? Yes please!
These almost-martini cupcakes are super moist and absolutely delicious – the green olives leaning a surprisingly pleasant savoury element – soaked with a gin & lemon syrup right after baking. An ultra smooth not-too-sweet cream cheese icing (with a splash of gin, of course) rounds these grown-up treats off. They’re easy to make, they’re not too frilly or fussy, and they taste fantastic with just the right amount of “kick”.
Add these to your repertoire for the next party – any gin & tonic or martini lover will certainly come looking for more!
For the batter:
12 queen green olives, pips removed (I used Buffet Olives Queen Green)
finely grated rind of a lemon
15 ml poppy seeds (plus extra for sprinkling over the icing)
125 g cake flour
125 g sugar
125 g soft butter
5 ml baking powder
2,5 ml baking soda
2 XL eggs
30 ml milk
Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with baking paper or cupcake liners. Place all of the ingredients except for the milk in a food processor and process for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides, then process again, adding the milk as it mixes. Process until very smooth, then divide the mixture between the 12 cupcake moulds. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked.
While the cupcakes are baking, make the syrup:
125 ml (1/2 cup) gin (I used New Harbour Spekboom Gin)
125 ml (1/2 cup) lemon juice
250 ml (1 cup) sugar
Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan, then bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar has just melted, then remove from the heat. When the cupcakes are ready, poke a few holes in each one with a sosatie stick. Spoon a tablespoon of syrup (15 ml) over each cupcake, then repeat with a second round, giving the syrup some time to get absorbed. Let the cupcakes cool completely before icing.
For the icing:
250 g plain cream cheese, at room temperature
125 ml (1/2 cup) icing sugar, sifted
15 ml gin (I used New Harbour Spekboom Gin)
Use electrical beaters (or a wooden spoon and some elbow grease) to beat the cream cheese, icing sugar, and gin together in a mixing bowl until smooth and fluffy. Top each cooled cupcake with a generous dollop – I use the back of a teaspoon, but you can also use a piping bag.
To serve: Sprinkle with some poppy seeds, then garnish with cocktail sticks skewered with slices of lemon & green olives.