Sweet and Savory Cuba Libre Cupcakes
  • Cooking Time: 30
  • Servings: 12
  • Preparation Time: 15
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup coca cola
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • For Rum Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered confectioners sugar
  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dutch process cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • For Rum Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons rum
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • heavy cream to desired consistency
  • Coca-Cola Reduction Syrup:
  • 4 tablespoons coca cola
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Position rack in middle of oven.
  2. Line one 12-cup standard muffin tin or two 24-cup mini-muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  3. Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat butter, coca cola and rum to boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  5. In another medium bowl, beat the egg and sugar with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. While beating, gradually pour in the milk and add the lime. Add the cooled butter/coke mixture and beat until well combined.
  6. Combine all ingredients slowly, add half the dry ingredients, followed by half of the wet. Use a low setting or whisk by hand. Take care not to over mix the batter.
  7. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared tin.
  8. Bake 20 minutes (12 minutes for minis) until tooth pick in tester comes out clean from the center. For best results, rotate the muffin tin about halfway through and remove cupcakes to wire racks as soon as possible to cool.
  9. Once cooled (about 5 min), frost with desired frosting. Garnish with a wedge of lime or candied lime.
  10. For Rum Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting: Combine all ingredients with electric beater on high.
  11. For Rum Buttercream Frosting: Cream butter and add sugar until blended. Beat in rum and grated lime for another minute. Add heavy cream to achieve desired consistency.
  12. For Coca-Cola Reduction Syrup: Bring 4 tbsp of coca cola and 2 tbsp of sugar to simmer for 5 minutes until reduced. Syrup should be thick. Be careful to not over cook.
Summer is on the rise and in honor of this season's beloved pastimes (beach relaxing), here is a recipe for a favored island-lounging highball, the Cuba Libre. With supposed origins in Havana during the Spanish-American War, this simple cocktail of rum and coke, served with a wedge of lime, has become a universal sipper that's standard at any bar/club, restaurant, and home. In honor of simplicity, freedom and the smell of sunscreen, this recipe is adapted from various bakers and beach-lovers, who like me, said adios to the bikini diet and experimented with various rums, sugars, and soda to adapt a traditional drink into light and fluffy cupcake. In sum, this cupcake is ideal for any summer soiree and can be amended to your level of sweetness by adding a buttercream or frosting. For a quick treat, savory with sea-side nostalgia and an essence of rum, search for the four ingredient cupcake recipe listed in my cookbook as well. Baking notes: On choosing a rum: For a zealous flavor, use a spiced rum. To accentuate the chocolate flavor, use a dark rum, however a light rum can be substituted. On decadence: For a sweeter, lighter cupcake use sifted cake flour and buttercream. For a savory, moist cupcake add an additional egg yolk. On frosting: Rum Buttercream and Chocolate Rum Cream Cheese Frosting recipe included. On decoration: Garnish with sugared lime wedge, umbrellas, or a colorful straw. I like to pipe my cupcakes with Rum Buttercream, drizzle a syrup of coca cola and garnish with sugared lime.