Thursday, March 18, 2010

Horchata Cupcakes

I love going up and down the aisles at the grocery store.  I don't always know what I am looking for, but I use a critical eye to check out ingredients and then decide if they would be suitable for a cupcake.

I was in the "Hispanic foods" section when I found this:

Instant horchata mix! I found it at Meijers, but it's available online here.  Horchata is a drink made of rice or almond with sugar and cinnamon, depending on the country, and is common in Mexico and various other Latin American countries. It has a sweet flavor that is difficult for me to describe.  Seeing the horchata mix reminded me of the summer of 2006 when life was more simple and I was in San Diego.  There was that one taco shop that sold horchata at the top of the hill that I used to like.  Oh, and that little Latin Grocery Store that was so difficult to find, but sold mate.  Sigh, memories of warm, beach-filled days.

Anyway, I had to buy it.  And make cupcakes.  If you want to really get into things, you can make horchata from scratch.  But I have been driving to and from Detroit for neurology, so my time is precious... too precious to figure out how to make horchata.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the unfrosted cupcakes because they finished baking at night when I had bad lighting.  However, they came out a pretty light brown color with flecks of cinnamon in it.  You'll just have to bake them and see for yourself!

Baa Baa's Horchata Cupcakes - Makes 24

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup horchata
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Add paper liners to cupcake pans.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl until well mixed and pale in color.  This will take a few minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Mix the ingredients together with a whisk.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time to the butter-sugar mixture.  Beat well on medium speed after each addition.  Keep mixing on medium-high speed until well mixed.
  5. Add the vanilla to the horchata. 
  6. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk-vanilla mixture to the butter-egg-sugar mixture until fully combined.  Mix well after each addition and continue mixing until fully combined.  
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in to the center of the cupcake comes out clean

You can kind of see the cake underneath the frosting here.  Oh, and the frosting really makes the cupcake!

Horchata Frosting  - enough to generously frost 24 cupcakes
  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons horchata
  • Generous pinch of cinnamon
  1. Cream butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft and pale.
  2. Add the confectioners' sugar 1/2 cup at a time.  Be sure to aerate the frosting every couple of additions by running the mixer on high speed for a few seconds.  Keep that frosting fluffy!
  3. Add the horchata and the cinnamon.  You may wish to add more or less to taste.  Mix well after adding on medium high speed until the frosting is completely mixed.

It was sort of surprising to me how few of my friends had heard of horchata. "Horcha-what-cha?"  However, Emily said that it tasted just like horchata, and even if people didn't know what it was they still thought that it was really good.  These are definitely cupcakes that I want to make again!

Oh, and for my medical student readers out there in bloggerland, congratulations to everyone that matched today! 


  1. This is amazing! I must try it! You have also given me a great blog idea. I'll post my families horchata recipe.

  2. I cannot wait to try these! I love horchata. My friend once tried making horchata ice cream, but unfortunately I didn't get to try it. So this is definitely on my list of to-dos now!



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