King Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Filling

www.eatrunread.com
Makes about 15 cupcakes.
Cake:
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (.25-oz)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk (any kind), warm (100-110F)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk room temperature (save the white for the filling)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Filling:
  • 4-oz cream cheese (1/2 block), room temperature
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Directions:
  1. Line cupcake tins.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine 3/4 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Add in warm milk and oil, then beat mixture for 2 minutes at medium speed. The paddle attachment works the best for this recipe. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each has been fully incorporated to add the next. Add in the vanilla extract and an additional 1/2 cup of flour and beat for 2 more minutes at medium-high speed.
  4. Stir in all remaining flour (creating a thick batter, rather than a standard dough), then cover the bowl and let rest for 10 minutes while you make the filling.
  5. For the filling, beat together all ingredients at high speed until smooth and fluffy.
  6. Scoop about half the dough into each cupcake tin (about 3 Tablespoons per cupcake). Using a spoon, add dollops of cream cheese filling to each cupcake. Spoon the remaining batter over each cupcake, trying to cover the filling (you won’t be able to completely cover it, which is fine). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (under a lamp, in a 100 degrees oven, on top of the dryer, etc.) until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  8. Bake cupcakes for 15-18 minutes. 
  9. Let cakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then turn them out to finish cooling on a wire rack. 
Icing:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • food coloring
  • sprinkles
  1. Beat all ingredients except food coloring until smooth, adding more water or powdered sugar as necessary to reach a drippy but not liquid consistency. 
  2. Scoop out 1/3 of the icing into a separate bowl and mix in food coloring (as you can see, I went with purple).
  3. Spoon  white frosting over the cooled cupcakes. Using a fork, drip purple frosting on top, then immediately decorate with sprinkles!