After 25 years of perfuming malls across America with the sweet smell of cinnamon rolls, Cinnabon has launched a new line of products — cupcakes!
To celebrate the grand occasion, Cinnabon invited a group of bloggers to Seattle a few months ago for a “Sweet Retreat” that included meeting and baking with Jerilyn Brusseau, the woman who developed both the cinnamon roll and cupcake recipes. Joining me on this delicious journey were Amanda of Mommy Mandy, Alice of Savory Sweet Life, Tanya of Mommy Goggles, Carey of GigaChef, Elita of Soul Parents, Shara of Mommy Perks, Nichelle of Cupcakes Take the Cake, and Erin of Serious Eats.
It was a characteristically gray and rainy Seattle morning when our ferry set off for Jerilyn’s home on Bainbridge Island. Upon arriving, we took in the majestic scenery and learned more about the product and its brilliant maker. After a full year of development and 556 different recipes, she got the combination just right, and the folks at Cinnabon were ready to launch the “World’s Best Cupcake.” By mid-March, every Cinnabon outlet will be baking cupcakes fresh on the premises, each and every day.
The new line of cupcakes includes four unique flavors:
- Cinnacake Classic – a tribute to Cinnabon’s Classic Roll
- Chocolate Passion – chocolate cake topped with rich chocolate butter cream frosting
- Vanilla Bliss – vanilla cake topped with luscious vanilla butter cream frosting
- 24-Carrot Cake – spiced carrot cake topped with Cinnabon’s signature cream cheese frosting and orange sugar sprinkles.
Each cupcake was impeccably adorned and unbelievably fragrant. When it finally came time to sample, we dove right in!
As a frequent visitor of mom and pop cupcakeries, I initially had my doubts about the quality of this mass produced effort. However, one bite of the Cinnacake and I was completely blissed out. The cinnamon swirled cake was impossibly moist, while the cream cheese frosting brought the tang and sugar hit that I was hoping for. Topping it all off was an ever-so-light accent of cinnamon caramel. Jerilyn has done it again!
Another one of my favorites was the 24-Carrot Cake. I loved that the batter contained hints of pineapple and coconut, along with actual shreds of carrot. The classic cream cheese frosting was the ideal complement. All of the cupcakes are standard sized and include an avalanche of frosting, which is unsurprising considering the company’s motto: Life Needs Frosting.
After tasting and re-tasting each of the four flavors, our group powered up the KitchenAid stand mixers and tried our hand at baking Jerilyn’s Coconut Cream Cupcakes with Coconut Butter Cream Frosting (recipe below). The results were so spectacular that we all made room for a little more cake and frosting. Okay, a lot more!
Our day concluded with a savory dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Coconut Cream Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream Frosting
From the Jerilyn Brusseau Family Heritage Collection
For 12 cupcakes
½ cup butter
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, large
½ cup sour cream
1 ½ cups cake flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup angel flake coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract
1½ tsp coconut extract
Jerilyn’s Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)
1 ½ cups Angel Flake Coconut
½ cup Angel Flake Coconut, toasted, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350’
Cream butter, canola oil and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition.
Sift together flour, soda and salt.
Add ½ dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, stirring gently. Add sour cream, then remaining dry ingredients, stirring gently. Stir in 1 cup coconut flakes, vanilla, and coconut extract. Stir lightly until barely together with a quick, light hand.
Pour into 12 paper lined cupcake pans. Bake 15-20 minutes until top springs back when touched.
Cool completely. Frost with Brusseau’s Butter Cream Frosting. Generously pat (or dip) tops of cupcakes with angel flake coconut. Toast ½ cup coconut and sprinkle over cupcakes or layer cakes as a garnish, if desired. Garnish with strawberries or edible flowers.
Jerilyn Brusseau’s Butter Cream Frosting
Frosts 12 cupcakes
Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
8 oz unsalted butter
1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp whole milk
Scant ¼ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp your favorite vanilla*
Buttercream Frosting Directions:
Bring butter to room temperature.
Dissolve salt in milk and let stand 2-3 minutes.
Cream butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat well. Add salt/milk mixture to butter and powdered sugar mixture. Stir in vanilla to taste.
* Add additional 1/4 tsp vanilla if richer vanilla flavor is preferred.
Cathy Danh writes about food at GastronomyBlog. Please go check out her awesome site!