Sunday, August 31, 2008

Jalapeño Cupcake: My Very First Cupcake

[js]Never in a million years did I think I would bake a cupcake.

First, I honestly don't even know what a cupcake is. I mean, I knew it was some sort of baked good and usually came in one of those liner things, but I always thought they were just muffins.

Muffins and cupcakes: to this ignorant non-baker, they have the same shape, so what's the difference?

I saw Alton Brown in the cupcake episode of Good Eats saying that cupcakes were actually cakes baked in a smaller form, in cups, but that didn't help me any. Cakes, muffins: again, what's the difference?

Anyways, I decided all this questing to alleviate my ignorance is futile and beside the point. Best to dive into making a cupcake, because Maybelle's mom, who shall henceforth be known as my blog-whisperer, told me to.

I wanted to do some sort of guava-jalapeño cupcake, based on our salad, because, as mentioned, my blog-whisperer told me to. A guava-jalapeno cupcake would actually be doable, because fortuitously we still had some of these hard-to-find guavas in the house.

Un-fortuitously though, I was the one who had to do the guava-jalapeño cupcakes, and given my absolute ignorance, I don't think I could have played around with the basic recipe too much. At least, more than I already had.

I used America's Test Kitchen recipe for yellow cupcakes, halved it, and used our expired yogurt (strawberry-in-the-bottom) in place of the buttermilk.

I grated one jalapeño into the batter (and the cupcakes could have used more). The resulting cupcakes had the merest whisper of strawberry, which was great, and a hint of a very fragrant green-ness from the jalapeño.

To add more jalapeño goodness to the cupcakes, I grated some more and rubbed it over the top (for that green tinge). I also added some of it to the inside as I was eating.

These cupcakes are evil, because they were so good! It was actually very surprising. It exceeded my expectations and made me exceed my daily recommended intake of fat and calories.

I don't think I'll be a cupcake hero here, since these cupcakes are very basic, no-frills, like a discount cupcake. But they were yummy enough that they got devoured during the first day.

(I had originally planned to add our ginger-guava jam as a topping to the cupcakes. But, after eating a cupcake adorned only with grated jalapeño, I decided it was perfectly fine the way it was.)

We're submitting this to Cupcake Hero.
Though, of course, I'm no hero. I think my cupcake is, at most, a Cupcake Sidekick.

This edition's hosts are Rachel of Confessions of a Tangerine Tart and Teri of The 90/10 Rule.

Info on Cupcake Hero here.

Jalapeño Cupcake
adapted from an America's Test Kitchen recipe
Makes 12

dry ingredients
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2/3 cups sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup yogurt
1-2 jalapeños, grated

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Sift together dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla extract and sugar until combined. Then add the melted butter, yogurt and grated jalapeño. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet until combined.

Fill each cupcake liner until 3/4 of the way full. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, rotating halfway through, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. (Check at 15 minutes.)

Cool pan on rack. If desired, cupcake can be decorated with more grated jalapeño.


  1. welcome to the wonderful world of cupcakes! these look extremely moist, and given my love of all things hot and spicy, i know they'd be delicious. congrats! :)

  2. I usually associate cupcakes with something sweet. This is the first time I have heard of a spicy savory cupcake! This must be deliciously hot! :)

  3. I need a blog whisperer. You are so lucky!

  4. BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! This looks very good. Though I had no idea you were a cupcake novice.

  5. Those are some beautiful looking cupcakes! I've never had a jalapeño cupcake before, but I sure want to!

  6. Great pictures. They look really good. I was afraid at first, but the more I think about it, the more I think I would like the combo of the jalapeno and the sweet.

  7. I love the fact that your first cupcake adventure was such a brilliant one! This flavor combination sounds fantastic! LOVE it.

  8. So...interesting - but I'd totally try this one! Totally.


  9. That looks really good and simple to make. Good job ladies.

  10. Oh this would have been a great entry for Iron Cupcake

  11. Ah, this reminds me of jalapeno cornbread, one of my favorites. :)

    To me cupcakes are sweeter, more dessert. Muffins are slightly less sweet, and eaten for breakfast usually with fruit ingredients.

  12. Ahh, they look gooooood. This is the 2nd savory cupcake I've run into this weekend and my tastebuds are hoppin'. I'd say your first cupcakes are a big success!

  13. My husband would love these!

  14. An evil cupcake? You two are crazy!


  15. Ning \\ Allen:
    This is still a sweet cupcake. The sweet and the jalapeno went really well together. In fact, the green-ness smell of the jalapeno was almost a touch floral in this!

    Lori Lynn:
    'Coz they were surprisingly good, haha. =D

  16. yumma yumma yumma! i love savory cupcakes! i want your your first born (cupcakes hehe)!

  17. Congrats on your first cupcake! I am sure it won't be your last. I saw that episode of Good Eats too where he baked a whole batch of cupcakes inside of cups. What a nut!

  18. I like the sound of a cupcake with jalapeno peppers.

  19. I can't believe you've never made cupcakes before. Really? I love that your first cupcake as this lovely creation. YUM!

  20. Lol at cupcake sidekick.
    Oh no you modified a cooks illustrated recipe. Watch out -- they'll threaten to sue you.

  21. Your savoury cupcakes look great, I woudn't have guessed this is your very first cupcake. Thumbs up!

  22. spicy cupcake? why not: they look great!

  23. Are you sure they are your first cupcakes? 'Cos they look 100% gorgeous, professionally done, and so light & fluffy! And this is the first time I've seen Jalapeno in cupcakes... how unique! :)

  24. I adore cupcakes and muffins (whatever the difference is!!) - and despite not liking chiles much, these are quite compelling :)

  25. Question - for the dry ingredients you list 1/2 tsp Baking Powder...then 1/4 tsp Baking Powder. I'm assuming one measurement should be Baking Soda...but which one?

    1. Oh, I'm so sorry! The lesser amount is for baking soda.


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