Jack and Coke Cupcakes

When I was invited to a friend’s birthday party last week, I was so excited because it meant that I would get to make cupcakes, and it had been a while.  It was her 21st birthday, so I wanted to do an alcohol-themed cupcake.  I love Smitten Kitchen’s carbomb cupcakes, but I wanted to do something different.

I was poking around the internet and came across a bakery review on Cakespy – Lollicake, I think.  Anywho, one of the photos was of jack and coke lollicakes (think cake pops), and it got me excited.  Jack and Coke is my well drink of choice, second only to gin and grapefruit juice (actually called a greyhound, I think).  I know not everybody slugs down whiskey, but hoo boy!  Like me, this girl hails from Tennessee, so I knew I had to do it.

Then oddly enough, I couldn’t find any recipe on line.  I didn’t know whether to be excited or appalled, so I was a little of both while I mish-mashed this recipe together.  Then I got so sick that I couldn’t even deliver them to the party, but I hear they were a hit!  The recipe made so many I also brought some to work and to the guy that does my hair… and a couple neighbors.  It sounds like I should have saved them all for the party, but I know the other people appreciated them too!

These are perfect cupcakes for a 21st birthday party, or any birthday party, or no party at all, just bring someone you like a treat.  It’s like the cocktail you can’t have because you’re still at work!

Jack and Coke Cupcakes

Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes, or 12 regular size and about 16 or so minis.

Adapted from SmittenKitchen’s Chocolate Whiskey and Beer cupcakes.

For the Coca-Cola Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup cola
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sour cream at room temperature

Ganache Filling

  • 8 ½ ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons whiskey

Whiskey Buttercream Frosting

  • 6 cups confections sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperatue
  • 6 tablespoons Jack Daniels, or other whiskey

Cupcake Method

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup cola and 2 sticks butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Allow to cool for at least fifteen minutes.

    chocolate, butter, cola

  • Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, whisk eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add the sugar and whisk to combine.  With the mixer on, pour in the cola-chocolate mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
  • Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Be really careful about not overfilling them – this cake rises and will spill over.  I put the batter in a plastic bag and pipe it into the papers.  Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

    batter, almost as good as the cake

Ganache Method*

  • Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth.  Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.

    ready to ganache it up

  • Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.
  • Meanwhile, using a 1-inch round cookie cutter, an apple corer, or a paring knife, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes.

    like a hole in their hearts, they yearn for ganache filling

  • Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

    chocolate chocolate chocolate AACK!

*If you make the ganache a day ahead of time, it will keep fine and minimize waiting time.  Just make sure to let it come to room temperature before storing in the fridge, and allow to come to room temperature before trying to pipe it into the cupcakes.

Frosting Method

  • Whisk the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.  It does make a difference.  The frosting will be less grainy, and require less sugar to thicken them up.
  • When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the whiskey and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin, beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.  Don’t worry about trying to use all 6 cups, just use your intuition and stop when it seems thick enough.
  • Ice and decorate the cupcakes. I used a plastic zip top bag to pipe the frosting, and topped them with Wilton’s white sparkling sugar and Haribo gummy colas.  I also think little gummy lime wedges would be adorable.

    i was trying to recreate a favorite photograph

You can bake the cupcakes a week or two in advance and store them, well wrapped, in the freezer. You can also fill them before you freeze them. They also keep filled — or filled and frosted — in the fridge for a day. Just make sure to bring them to room temperature before serving!

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