Mission Minis’ Cinnamon Horchata Cupcakes

by Kelly on November 17, 2009

cupcake3P1013636One of the smartest decisions I made at the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival was to ask the Mission Minis cupcake staff if they would care to share a recipe with me and my readers. I was expecting the answer to be no. Given how delicious their cupakes were I figured that perhaps they were made from some top secret, closely guarded recipes. I imagined a kitchen in which each baker prepares only part of recipe so that no one knows the entire process. Far fetched, of course, but the cupcakes were really that good. I’m also a pretty picky cupcake eater so this is saying a lot. Often when I eat a cupcake from a cupcake bakery I find that the frosting is silky and rich but the cupcake itself is dry and underwhelming. I can understand why that might happen because my guess is that most cupcake eaters love the frosting more than the cake. I always see them at parties; the ones who before chosing a slice of cake investigate which has the most frosting, often in the form of those frosting rosettes. They’re the ones who, when they order dessert at places like Kickass Cupcakes, get at least one frosting shot on the side. Being the oddball that I am, I am the exact opposite. For as long as I remember I’ve eaten the cake and left the frosting. The frosting was always too rich or too sweet or so sugar-laden it felt gritty on my tongue. Because of this you can understand why I would be disapointed by dry cupcakes.

Thankfully, this recipe for Horchata Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting will appeal to both frosting and cake lovers. The cake is supple and nicely spiced while the frosting is creamy and sweet without being cloyingly so. I also love that using Horchata gives these a unique and grown up flavor. For those unfamiliar, Horchata is a a Mexican beverage. In the United States the most common variety is a rice-based drink, but I have also read of varations that use ground squash seeds or chufa nuts. This recipe calls for 1 cup of fresh horchata. I used my Extra Rich Vegan Horchata, which combines rice, almond, and a cinnamon stick that have been soaked overnight in hot water with vanillay soy milk and sugar, but there are also a multitude of other recipes available on the internet. Baking Bites has a recipe that sounds very easy, although it still requires resting overnight like mine. To save time, you could buy Horchata rather than making it from scratch. It’s pretty widely available in my area at taquerias and Mexican restaurants. Some markets and grocery stores also carry it bottled or canned, although I have not tried store-bought Horchata so I cannot really speak to the quality. I find Horchata to be subtly nuanced in flavor so my personal recommendationwould be to use the best Horchata you can find, whether that means making it at home or buying it at a restaurant. Whether you are a newbie to Horchata or long time Horchata lover these cupcakes are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. The rice, cinnamon and almonds really come through in the cake and are well matched with the creamy, tangy frosting. These are great any time of year, but would be especially fitting for a Mexican-inspired meal. Just beware that they are addictive – my boyfriend and I each polished off about 5 each.


Mission Minis’ Cinnamon Horchata Cupcakes
Yields 48 mini cupcakes

-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 level tablespoons cinnamon
-1 1/3 cups Safflower oil
-1 cup Fresh Horchata
-2 large eggs, room temperature
-1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cake:
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, horchata, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric
mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake at 325 degrees F in oven for 16 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for
doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

Mission Minis Cream Cheese Frosting:
-2 sticks butter, room temperature
-16 ounces cream cheese, room temp
-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-3 cups powdered sugar

Cream the butter and cream cheese on med speed using an electric mixer. Add vanilla extract, mix in thoroughly.
Sift 3 cups of powdered sugar into butter, cream cheese, vanilla mixture gradually on low-med speed. Once all powdered sugar is mixed in put mixer on med-high speed and beat for a few minutes until light and fluffy.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Elina November 17, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Horchata? Bless you!
Hehe, just kidding… although I’ve never heard of it before. These cupcakes sound amazing. I am definitely a frosting girl but it has to be a good one. I don’t really like the super sugary ones or the super buttery ones (that are almost hard from the butter). Cream cheese frosting is definitely a favorite… and a good chocolate too!
Hope works is a little less crazy. Shoot me an email if you ever want to get together… maybe we can even bake something ๐Ÿ™‚


Kelly November 18, 2009 at 1:42 am

Elina – Thankfully work is a lot less crazy. The meeting we were prepping for was on Tuesday so things are a little calmer. Thankfully I’m on vacation all next week for Thanksgiving so I cannot wait. We should DEFINITELY get together and bake. I’ll send you an e-mail!


Nicole (dishin') November 17, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Mmm! These look awesome. I’m a huge fan of cream cheese frosting – it’s the best!


Kelly November 18, 2009 at 1:40 am


I am not a frosting girl but I do have to agree with you that if I am going to have frosting Cream Cheese is the best.


RhodeyGirl November 17, 2009 at 3:42 pm

I am with you girl! I ALWAYS leave the frosting!


Kelly November 18, 2009 at 1:40 am

Rhodey Girl – Glad to know I’m not alone. ๐Ÿ™‚


Jessica @ How Sweet November 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm

This looks delicious!


Kelly November 18, 2009 at 1:42 am

Jessica – Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚


River - The Crafty Kook November 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm

How awesome that the Mission Minis guys (I love their website, it’s so pink!) shared a recipe with you! You’re awesome for asking them for the recipe to share with your readers, even if you are a frosting-hating weirdo! ๐Ÿ˜€


Mo November 17, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Not only do these sound spectacular, your photos are so professional! Great job!


Kelly November 18, 2009 at 1:37 am

Mo – Thank you. I appreciate the compliment on my photos. I’m such a perfectionist that of course all I see are the things I wish I had done better. I’m planning on taking a photography seminar soon so hopefully I’ll stop judging myself so much.


Natasha - 5 Star Foodie November 17, 2009 at 11:39 pm

Such unique cupcakes with Horchata! They look just delightful!


Kelly November 18, 2009 at 1:36 am

Natasha – Thank you. They were quite good.


Diana November 18, 2009 at 12:52 am

I will HAVE to try this! I hardly ever want cupcakes for the same reason, frosting is just to rich and the cake part is always dry. I’m excited to give this a go. Good for you for asking for a recipe.


Kelly November 18, 2009 at 1:35 am

Diana – These are so good. So worth it. I put them out at work and they went fast. I’m glad to hear other people agree with me. Growing up I always thought I was the only one.


brandi November 18, 2009 at 8:32 am

yum! I wish I had tried all of their flavors. I think I only tried the chocolate cinnamon one, but it was amazing.

this looks awesome!

and it was so fun to meet you at the festival!!! I hope we get to hang out again ๐Ÿ™‚


CaSaundra November 18, 2009 at 8:49 am

These sound SO unique & it’s funny that you did something Mexican cause that’s what’s happening over on my blog today! So if you don’t mind, I am going to point people over your way for a Mexican dessert to finish of my Mexican menu! ๐Ÿ™‚

Btw..member a long time ago you told me about that pizza place near Minneapolis?! What was it called again? I cannot remember, but I will be headed down there and might stop in! Thanks


Shannon November 18, 2009 at 9:04 am

genius!!! i love you asked for their recipe, and now can share with us ๐Ÿ™‚ will definitely try it!


Kerstin November 18, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Thanks for scoring the recipe for us! I’ve never had Horchata before, so I’ll have to see if I can find (or make!) some. I agree that the perfect ratio of frosting and cupcake is so important! BTW, do you like Kickass Cupcakes? I’ve been disappointed with what I’ve had there, but maybe I need to give them another chance…


Kelly November 18, 2009 at 12:52 pm

CaSaundra – Yes, Paninos. There is also Pizza Nea in Minneapolis which I love, love, love.

Shannon – Thank you.

Kerstin – I’ve been disapointed with their cupcakes as well. I want so badly to love them because the flavors sound really awesome and the dog loves that they have doggie cupcakes, but they never seem to live up to the flavor descriptions and are damn expensive for not being so good.


Esi November 18, 2009 at 11:59 pm

So cool (and a great idea) that you got the recipe. It was great meeting you! I wish every weekend was Foodbuzz fest!


FollowMeFoodie December 18, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Wow! HOw exotic!!!! OMG serve them at parties with a a little sangria…how cute would that be! Or even at Christmas with some mulled wine! I love hoe they were so nice to share the recipe. Great post!


Kim May 7, 2010 at 4:18 pm

These were delicious! I just made them a few nights ago and could not stop eating them. I am going to make more for our our local cupcake competition that has a Mexican theme. Thanks for a great recipe from Mission Mini’s!


Kelly May 10, 2010 at 1:18 pm

So glad to hear you enjoyed them Kim.


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