Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I guess I'm just in a cupcake kind of mood lately (or all the time). Here's why friends: have you ever opened up your pantry and NOT found the ingredients for a delicious cake? I think not. Have you ever also not had random other ingredients to add as flavoring? Again, probably not (note: hot dogs may not count).

I've sort of had this idea swimming around for some time now, ever since my bagel craze week (more bagels to come soon). I like the flavors of cinnamon, raisin, and cream cheese so much together that I couldn't think of a reason not to try a cupcake version.

Also, I wanted to go in a little bit of an alternative (but still the same) direction with the cream cheese frosting. You've seen me do cream cheese buttercream (which is a standard cream cheese frosting you'll see used everywhere) a number of times. This standard usually involves cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Delicious? Totally.

A german buttercream might be something you've never heard of or experienced before. This type of frosting uses eggs for richness in addition to butter, and corn starch for thickening. It can be whipped into the lightest most luscious frosting this way of swiss meringue buttercream. The sugar content is adjusted much more easily since the volume and thickness of the frosting isn't dependent on cups upon cups of powdered sugar. I reigned on the savory-sweet side since this is a play on a cinnamon raisin bagel after all (in case you didn't catch that already ;).

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus 1 tsp for the swirl
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, at room temp
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1 tbl for the swirl
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tbl milk
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 14 standard muffin tins with paper liners. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and 1 tsp cinnamon.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and  3/4 cup sugar until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes on medium-high speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. 

Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture alternating with the milk in three separate additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat each addition until just combined and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the raisins and beat for a few seconds to combine.

In a small bowl mix together the remaining 2 tsp cinnamon and 2 tbl sugar. Scoop about 1/3 of the cupcake batter evenly among each cupcake tin. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the cupcakes. Scoop another 1/3 of the cupcake batter evenly into each cupcake tin and sprinkle each evenly with the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture. Divide the remaining 1/3 of the cupcake batter in each cupcake tin. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing and frosting cupcakes. 

Cream Cheese German Buttercream

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbl cornstarch
1 egg
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, cut into pieces and at room temp
4 ounces (1/2 loaf) cream cheese, cut into pieces and at room temp

In a medium saucepan heat the milk and sugar to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. 

In a separate bowl whisk the cornstarch and egg together. Add a few tablespoons of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to temper. Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the pan with the milk mixture and whisk to combine. 

Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly (the mixture will thicken). Cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. 

Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until room temperature. 

Turn the mixer to medium and add the butter and cream cheese one piece at a time until incorporated. Crank the mixer up to high speed and beat until light and fluffy. 

Source: Cupcake recipe heavily adapted from Martha Stewart. Frosting recipe inspired by Brave Tart.

8 Response to Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

February 17, 2012 at 8:40 PM

These are beautiful! I want one right now!

February 18, 2012 at 12:04 AM

These look beautiful and delicious! I love the way that cream cheese frosting looks, so fluffy and smooth. They look amazing, great job :)

February 18, 2012 at 1:37 AM

What a lovely recipe. And so cute too!

February 19, 2012 at 1:40 PM

These look insane! craving a few.. :)

February 19, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I have to make these! They look amazing!

February 19, 2012 at 6:27 PM

I can never resist cinnamon, but I just adore the way you wrapped these and presented them. Gorgeous!

March 16, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Sound and look delicious. I too am a big fan of the cinnamon-raisin bagel. :-)

November 28, 2012 at 4:31 PM

I really want to know how to make a frosting like this, round with a tip in the middle. so cute!!

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