Felicia Orth: Cappuccino Cupcakes

Cappuccino cupcakes. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos
Girlfriend Judy Bentley and I traveled to Ruidoso a few weekends ago for recreation, and I was reminded on our way out of town that one of my favorite bakeries in all of New Mexico is there: Cornerstone Bakery, on Sudderth Drive, the main street through the Village.
All of their baked goods are scrumptious; over the years of traveling occasionally to Ruidoso for work, what I found myself packing back to Los Alamos to share with the family were the “Cappuccino Muffins.”
I was pretty consistent over the years of regular travel with consumable “souvenirs”: my husband and sons knew that a trip to Portales meant I returned home with Valencia peanuts; Hatch meant chile in some form; Alamogordo meant pistachios; Las Cruces meant pecans; Socorro/Lemitar meant wildflower honey; Carrizozo meant cherry cider; Las Vegas meant raspberry jam; Taos meant yak jerkey, etc.
Although the Bakery sells these as muffins, I don’t like to refer to anything with more than a teaspoon of sugar as a bread or muffin; I call them cakes or cupcakes.
These are not particularly sweet, however, unless you bite into a chocolate chip. This is not the Bakery’s recipe, so far as I know, merely my attempt to recreate what I’ve had there, minus the sprinkle of powdered sugar on top.
For a crowd that includes children, I use decaffeinated coffee granules.
Cappuccino Cupcakes
For one dozen cupcakes:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules (caf or decaf)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (regular or miniature)
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, stir the coffee granules into the milk until the coffee is dissolved.
Add the melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-quarters full. (Parchment or foil-lined cups are best to avoid stickiness.)
Bake at 375° for 20 minutes, until a fingertip pressed in the top of a cupcake bounces back without leaving an impression, or an inserted toothpick can be removed cleanly from the center. Cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tins before removing to wire racks or a platter.
Serve warm or at room temperature. These cupcakes are delicious without frosting; if you must, a simple butter cream frosting with another teaspoon of coffee granules makes them worthy of any coffeehouse.
A simple sprinkle of powdered sugar can be added instead. Yield: one dozen cupcakes.