I was in the syrup and molasses section in the grocery store the other day and found a bottle of pomegranate molasses. I happen to love pomegranates, so I picked up the bottle to inspect it closer. The product I found is from Lebanon. A quick search on pomegranate molasses brought up a cake recipe from the New York Times. Apparently, pomegranate molasses is a very common ingredient in Middle Eastern dishes. It's so exciting to use exotic or unusual ingredients, so I decided to give it a go.
I tasted a bit of the dark, viscous liquid from the bottle and it's quite sour (I can only imagine what sort of attractive pucker face I made). However, it adds a nice dimension to cake that was absent in the other pomegranate cupcakes that I made. I added some slivered almonds, but you could just as easily leave them out.
Pomegranate Molasses Cupcakes - Adapted from the NY Times - Makes 4 dozen mini-cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 T pomegranate molasses
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix together with a whisk and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and well-mixed.
- Add the eggs one at a time to the butter and sugar mixture scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure that it's all getting mixed.
- Alternate adding the flour and the milk to the mixture in the large bowl.
- Add in the molasses and mix well.
- If desired, stir in the almonds.
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full of batter and bake for 13-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. For regular-sized cupcakes, the baking time will be increased. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- 2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 4 cups (approximately 1 lb) confectioner's sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1-2 T milk
- In a medium bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
- Add the confectioner's sugar 1/2 cup at a time to the butter. Beat until combined, and then mix on high speed for 15 seconds to keep the frosting nice and fluffy.
- Once all of the sugar has been mixed into the butter, add the vanilla. Mix until well combined.
- Add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you achieve a desired consistency for spreading.
Lastly, I thought that it would be fun to put some pomegranate molasses on the almonds with some sugar as a little topping for the cupcakes. It was easy to make, but the final product can get sort of sticky.
Pomegranate Molasses Almonds
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds
- 2 tsp pomegranate molasses
- 4 tsp sugar
- In a small skillet on medium heat, add the almonds, molasses, and sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon until the molasses and sugar coats the almonds. Keep stirring until the sugar melts. This should only take a couple of minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow the almonds to cool on a plate or cookie sheet.
I kept the almonds in a tupperware container until right before the cupcakes were served and then put a couple on each cupcake. A nice tangy treat to top off the sweetness of the frosting.
I highly recommend giving these cupcakes a try if you can get your hands on some pomegranate molasses. Now I just need to figure out what to do with the rest of the bottle....