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Sep 25, 2012 08:56 AM

creating cupcake recipe - help needed

I want to make a mai tai cupcake. I have the basic idea for it, based on recipes I could find on line, but nothing was exactly what I was looking for.

I have a basic white cupcake recipe that has been tried and tested. I am wondering about playing around with that. It calls for 1 cup buttermilk. Can I replace some of that liquid with my orange, pineapple and lime juice? Do I need to leave some buttermilk in the recipe? Will their be any other adjustments to make? I can also use orange essence, orange and lime zest.

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  1. I'd go with the zest, rather than juice. Juice, in place of or with buttermilk, will affect the texture of the cupcake and you may end up with something heavier than you wanted.

    9 Replies
    1. re: todao

      I won't be able to do that with the pineapple though. will have to have some juice in there.

      1. re: cleopatra999

        You could make a pineapple simple syrup and brush that on. You could just do the simple syrup w/mai tai ingredients. Or use some as frosting flavoring.

        1. re: chowser

          I am doing a rum glaze and cherry frosting. I was hoping to make the cake the fruit juice component.

          1. re: cleopatra999

            IMO, you've got more going on in these cupcakes than they can handle. Flavors of orange, pineapple, lime, rum and cherry all blended into a single cupcake, it seems to me, become a confusion of flavors that would be less than complimentary.

            1. re: cleopatra999

              Like others, definitely don't substitute juice for the buttermilk. Need the fat for moisture and tenderness. Bake your white cupcake recipe as is; when cooled, scoop out a little of the cake, fill the hole with a mixture of chopped pineapple tossed with zest and juice. Make sure the mixture is not too wet.

              1. re: PBSF

                Or what about cutting it in half and putting a fruit curd in the middle?

              2. re: cleopatra999

                What about making a simple syrup w/ lime and orange peel, pineapple juice. Remove lime and orange peel after candied, add to cake batter. Add rum to simple syrup and brush over the cake.

                I do agree w/ todao about the number of flavors in the cake but it would replicate the mai tai, if that's your goal.

                1. re: chowser

                  replicating the taste of a mai tai is exactly my goal.

                  1. re: cleopatra999

                    "replicating the taste of a mai tai is exactly my goal."



                    that link gives the recipe for a true mai tai. it does not contain cherry, pineapple, or coconut which you mention down-thread. the drink is not a pina colada, nor is it the equivalent of a fruit-salad. :


                    orgeat is a sweet almond syrup that also contains rose flower and orange blossom waters.

                    you may want to scale back and do good rum cupcakes with a frosting of cointreau and orgeat.


                    do a tres leche cupcake with pineapple frosting for pina coladas.

                    eta: phooey. zombie thread.

        2. You'd be adjusting a lot by replacing buttermilk with juice, like fat, acidity, and protein. These changes would in turn affect your gluten structure, leavening, and browning among other things. It would be possible to do, but you'd probably want a pretty decent understanding of baking science, and a few do-overs.

          I think the others are probably on the right track with a syrup. Maybe a sponge/genoise type cake base that you would then really saturate with the syrup would work well? Take a look at:

          good luck :)

          8 Replies
          1. re: adamj880

            I was thinking a genoise would work better w/ the simple syrup, too. Or, play w/ this cake from Tehama, which is a great ring cake. It would be fine as a cupcake, too.


            1. re: chowser

              The only thing with the genoise that would concern me is the crusts going soggy/pasty, which is why they are usually cut off before syruping. Also I suppose genoises could be considered more finicky.

              I guess another idea would be to stick with her shortened cupcake recipe, add orange and lime zest, which would have little effect on the batter. Then put caramelized pineapple ala Pineapple Upside-Down Cake in the bottom of the cupcake papers to get the pineapple element in the base.

              1. re: adamj880

                Here is one recipe that I was thinking of tinkering with. It is a margarita cupcake that still uses buttermilk, in fact the recipe is very similar to my base recipe. But only 1/2 cup of buttermilk the other 1/2 cup is tequila and lime. I think I can make this ratio work with my juices and amp it up a bit with essence or zest. the recipe then brushes the cake with tequila.
                I think I will give this a try over the next couple days. Will report back. If unsuccessful, my next step will be the simple syrup route.

                1. re: cleopatra999

                  That sounds good. I think zest might be the easiest way to add flavor w/out tinkering w/ the chemistry of the cake.

                2. re: adamj880

                  I've never had the problem of genoise crusts going soggy/pasty and I made tres leches often where you just pour the milks over the cake. Genoise are a little more finicky but stand up so well to liquids, as opposed to some cakes that end up mushy.

                  A piece of caramelized pineapple on the bottom sounds really good. I'd probably put the fruit flavors into a good frosting and use rum as part of the cake.

                3. re: chowser

                  Hey Chowser! You're so sweet --- thanks for the suggestion. I was actually on this thread because I'd search for "tres leche cupcake" and got this link. I found this recipe with a google search: but I don't think it is exactly what I am looking for, for some reason or another. Do you have a tres leche cupcake recipe you like? I'm going to a Mexican thee party this weekend, and have been asked to bring cupcakes. If not tres leche, I was thinking margarita cupcakes or actually my Grandmamma's orange cake in cupcake format (---> but wasn't sure what to do about a frosting if I did the orange cake, since the ring cake version just has the glaze & no frosting....). Thank you for your advice!

                  1. re: Tehama

                    I've only made them using a regular cake recipe. You know, your granmama's orange ring cake is similar to a tres leches. I wonder if I combined the orange simple syrup w/ tres leches, I could get a orange creamsicle like cake... When I make tres leches, I do a whipped cream rather than the cooked frosting. I like the lightness of it. Although I'm also thinking it would be good if you used orange curd instead of lemon curd in this recipe:


                    I think that would be excellent w/ either cake, or the creamsicle cake.

                    1. re: chowser

                      Oh! Excellent advice *as always*! I'll keep you posted! Thank you!

              2. If you are up to change the cupcake, I have a great maraschino cherry cake recipe from the Betty Crocker Picture Book that might fit the bill. Then rum and lime glaze, orange frosting with a chunk of pineapple....maybe?

                2 Replies
                1. re: jill kibler

                  I am not sure. To me, the dominant flavour in a mai tai is the orange and rum. Should this be the main part of the cake? or is more flavour in the frosting better?

                  1. re: cleopatra999

                    frosting always seems to pack the flavor for me...all that fat I guess!