Mexican chocolate, if you haven’t seen it before, is a combination of sweetened chocolate, cinnamon and sometimes other spices and is sold in discs at some regular grocers and all Mexican grocers. It can also be purchased online, even at Amazon. Mexican chocolate is a complex combination of flavors and when added to these cupcakes, produces a velvety soft crumb that is almost addicting. Topped off with a Dulce De Leche buttercream frosting, these cupcakes are sure to dazzle.
You probably remember me posting about these Mexican chocolate cupcakes before. In my previous version the cupcake recipe was from scratch and the frosting is different. While those that have made the recipe and my neighbors that taste tested these for me all thought the frosting was great, I was concerned that it was a bit too sugary. Notice I didn’t use the word sweet since the frosting I have chosen to replace it with is made from dulce de leche, a thick, sweet milk caramel.
I also decided to use a cake mix this time because around the holidays the kitchen is a hectic place. We want to spend time with our families and not have to be a slave to the oven. So in the interest of convenience, I’ve adjusted my from scratch recipe to this doctored cake mix version. :)
You can make your own homemade dulce de leche by slowly simmering a can of sweetened condensed milk immersed in water for a few hours. It can also be made in less than 20 minutes by placing an open can of sweetened condensed milk in a pan of simmering water. You can also but pre-made dulce de leche in the Mexican food aisle of your supermarket. For convenience sake, that’s what I did to make this frosting. If you use a homemade version you will need the mixture to cool completely before making this recipe.
The Dulce De Leche frosting turned out wonderful, sweet but not face puckering sweet, and a marvelous compliment to the Mexican chocolate flavor of the cupcakes. I’ve made it both with a convenient can of ready made frosting and also a from scratch version. Both are below, choose whichever suits your tastes. A perfect finish to a tasty Mexican meal!
Note: You can make the cupcakes and the frosting ahead, just store them separately in the refrigerator. Remove frosting from the refrigerator about 30 minutes early, then frost the cupcakes as desired.
Mexican Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes
with Dulce De Leche Frosting
1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist butter recipe yellow cake mix
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup buttermilk or milk
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 8-oz container Breakstone’s sour cream
4 oz Mexican chocolate (like Ibarra or Abuelita) (1 disc plus 2 triangles)
Dulce De Leche Frosting
1 can vanilla frosting
1 can of Nestles Dulce De Leche
sifted powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F and line muffin tins with cupcake liners (makes 24 cupcakes).
Coarsely chop the chocolate and place in a glass or metal bowl over a simmering pot of water. Mexican chocolate contains sugar and cinnamon and will not melt smooth and shiny the way regular chocolate does. Just keep checking it and gently mashing it with a heavy rubber spatula. It will melt into more of a paste-like consistency. Turn off heat and place chocolate in a room temperature bowl to cool while to make the batter.
In mixer bowl combine cake mix, spices, buttermilk, butter, eggs and sour cream. Beat on lowest speed for 30 seconds to moisten. Turn off mixer and add the chocolate. Beat again on low speed for 15-20 second to mix in the chocolate. Turn off mixer and scrape down sides. Turn mixer on medium speed and beat for two minutes.
Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full and bake for 22-26 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.
Make the Frosting
Empty content of frosting container into a large mixing bowl. Add the Dulce De Leche and blend well. Add small amounts of powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency. Mix on medium for 3 minutes.
Frost as is or fill a pastry bag and pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with silver dragees.
For the homemade version of this frosting:
Homemade Dulce De Leche Frosting
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 can of Nestles Dulce De Leche
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
Pinch of sea salt
Beat butter in mixer on medium speed until creamy. Slowly add 2 cups of the sifted powdered sugar. Add vanilla extract and half of the heavy cream. Mix until well incorporated. Add half of the Dulce De Leche and mix until blended well. Add the remaining heavy cream, then add the remaining Dulce De Leche. Add salt and blend well. Continue adding powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency. Mix on medium for 4 minutes.
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