Alfajore Cupcakes or Peruvian Caramel Filled Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream and Coconut41

Posted by chockylit in Berries,Citrus,Peruvian-Inspired (Monday February 26, 2007 at 7:49 pm)

Alfajore Cupcake or Peruvian Caramel Filled Lemon Cupcake with Raspberry Buttercream and Coconut

There is a Peruvian restaurant just a few blocks from my house, Mi Lindo Peru on Mission Street in San Francisco, where I go when I must have Lomo Saltado now! Lomo Saltado is yummy strips of beef cooked with onion and tomato all poured over french fries and rice! Yum. We usually get take out from Mi Lindo Peru, as the atmosphere isn’t all that, and go to Fresca or Limon when we want to pay a little extra for nice lighting and whatnot. Anyway, given my love for Lomo Saltado, I figured it was time to pay my respects to Peru in the form of a cupcake.

I am familiar with custard-type Peruvian desserts, but was looking for something a bit different. The Alfajore cookie appeared to have “cupcake conversion” potential – milky caramel, sandwiched between lemony cookies, rolled in coconut. All sounds very good. I was also in the mood for something pink (not sure why) and thought a light raspberry buttercream would pair with the flavors quite well.

The cake by itself was slightly disappointing. While it had a nice lemon flavor it was also a bit too dense. But paired with the filling and the frosting, the end result was very tasty – sweet, but not too sweet and a coherent combination of flavors. I ran into some trouble with the frosting, because I was being impatient. I made notes where I failed so you won’t. But other than being a bit runny, the frosting was delicious.

Lemon Cupcakes
12 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
1¾ cups sugar
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt
2½ teaspoons baking powder
3 cups flour
1 cup milk
1/3 cup lemon juice, from 2 medium lemons
zest of two medium lemons

1. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
2. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds between each.
4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
5. Add to mixer bowl. Add the milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix to combine.
6. Scoop into cupcake papers about half to two-thirds full (depending on whether you want flat or domed cupcakes).
7. Bake for 22-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

Peruvian Caramel or Manjar Blanco

1 8 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1. Immerse closed can on its side in a pot of boiling water.
2. Leave on a simmer or light boil for 2 hours topping off with water as needed. Be careful and don’t let the water dry out.
2. Remove from heat and let cool thoroughly before opening can. Condensed milk should be thick and a nice caramel color. Don’t open the can while its still hot, I hear that can be very, very messy.

Raspberry Meringue Buttercream

2 large egg whites
½ cup sugar
1 sticks (½ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup seedless raspberry preserves

1. Set the bowl of your electric mixer over a pan of simmering water. Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl and whisk until sugar has dissolved and mixture is at least 160° which will kill any bacteria present. This should only take a few minutes.
2. Take the bowl off the heat and attach to the mixer along with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff peaks. Continue beating on medium-low speed until the mixture is cooled, about 6 minutes. This step is important. If you don’t beat to stiff peaks and allow the mixture to cool, the frosting will end up runny.
3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Beat in vanilla.
5. Measure out preserves into a small bowl and whisk to soften. Fold preserves into the frosting with a rubber spatula until smooth.

Alfajore Cupcake or Peruvian Caramel Filled Lemon Cupcake with Raspberry Buttercream and Coconut

1. Using a small pairing knife, cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with the caramel.
3. Replace the top of the cone.
4. Scoop a tablespoon of buttercream on top of each cupcake.
5. Sprinkle with coconut.

41 comments for Alfajore Cupcakes or Peruvian Caramel Filled Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream and Coconut »

  1. I love your twists on different sweets – I like alfajores and this version sounds scrumptious!

    Comment by Anita — February 26, 2007 @ 10:43 pm

  2. If the cake is dense, would using buttermilk instead of milk help to make the cake ligher in texture?

    Or does the dense texture of the take compiment the flavours and other components of the cupcake itself?

    This will def be a cupcake I will make for a morning tea in a couple of weeks time.

    Keep creating!

    Comment by Minko — February 27, 2007 @ 2:22 am

  3. Everything you make sounds so exotic.

    Comment by Kate — February 27, 2007 @ 3:51 am

  4. These flavors sound so great together. I love lemon cake; I enjoyed your comparison of the Martha and Amy Sedaris cakes a couple weeks ago. I like Martha’s recipe, but I’ve got to try the Magnolia one as well. The trick for making the caramel out of the condensed milk is so nifty! I’ve never heard of doing that…nice work!

    Comment by Julie O'Hara — February 27, 2007 @ 8:24 am

  5. I really love your website and take loads of inspiration from! Keep it coming.

    Just a slight word of warning though… cooking caramel in the sweetened condensed milk tin can be very dangerous if there is trapped air in the tin. There is a chance that the tin will explode causing the caramel to go every where and since it’s so hot it could burn skin. I’ve seen the damage that it can cause – so please be wary.

    Comment by Bonnie — February 27, 2007 @ 9:06 am

  6. sounds yummy.
    i grew up on lomo!my mom is from peru!
    i’m hungry now!

    Comment by acaligurl — February 27, 2007 @ 9:52 am

  7. I love the trick with the sweetened condesed milk. My grandma would do that for us and place it over fresh pound cake or fruit. :)

    Comment by Garrett — February 27, 2007 @ 9:53 am

  8. Oh yum I love lemon, and raspberry together.

    I have a question that you would know. How long can buttercream go unrefriderated, and how long can a cream cheese frosting go. I take cupcakes to potlucks sometimes, but only if I know we are going to eat right away, as I am paranoid about leaving that stuff out.


    Comment by courtney — February 27, 2007 @ 9:54 am

  9. i have constructed a small platter with a saddle like harness on it. i attach this to my boston terrier sir licks a lot. when i’m watching tivos of adult swim and don’t feel like getting up i have sir licks a lot run to the kitchen, trigger the cupcake dispenser, and then return to me with a tasty treat.

    Comment by mc_smoothbottom — February 27, 2007 @ 11:49 am

  10. Hi, Courtney. I leave butter cream unrefrigerated for up to three days. I like to keep cream cheese frosting refrigerated as much as possible, but an hour or two at room temp is likely fine. I leave them out at parties, etc.

    Bonnie, thanks for the info. I will add a comment to the recipe that this is dangerous work. Although it seems a lot of grandmas of friends (and husbands) used this trick quite often.

    Oh, honey, you and your comments!

    Comment by chockylit — February 27, 2007 @ 12:15 pm

  11. I have done the condensed milk trick many times…Just make sure the can stays covered with water the entire time and it should be fine…Also boil several cans at once, they keep a long time.

    Comment by Jill — February 27, 2007 @ 4:39 pm

  12. I can only imagine how delicious these taste. You are so creative!

    Comment by Kristen — February 27, 2007 @ 7:42 pm

  13. Thank you, I knew you would be the one who could answer this. I would not have thought buttercream to be okay for three days. I am always a little too paranoid about this stuff. But nothing ruins a party like botchalism, hahaha!

    Thanks again. I think this is the 4th or 5th recipe of yours that I have bookmarked to my “to try” folder.

    Comment by courtney — February 28, 2007 @ 9:06 am

  14. This sounds so yummy!! I can’t wait to try it! I was reading over the recipe and I have one question. Does the lemon juice curdle the milk??? :-/

    Usually when I make most vanilla cupcake recipes, I replace one of the eggs with 2 whites. This makes them fluffier and less eggy. For me, eggy cake overpowers the delicate flavor of vanilla.

    Thanks for sharing your recipes. They’re always fun and delicious.

    Comment by Kristi =) — February 28, 2007 @ 12:54 pm

  15. I love the little cups you bake your cupcakes in it makes them more bite-size…something small one can savor. Where can I find this item or something similar?

    Thank you!

    Comment by Sam — March 1, 2007 @ 10:03 am

  16. Can you look into a microwave cupcake recipe?? It would be perfect for college students :D

    Comment by Christina — March 6, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

  17. Just bake it!…

    Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit……

    Trackback by GoodShit — March 6, 2007 @ 9:07 pm

  18. That is so pretty. Cupcakes aren’t just for kids parties anymore. Wow! My mother art club would love these.

    Comment by tiffany — March 13, 2007 @ 10:04 am

  19. I live in a city that has been taken over by the cupcake…NYC but none of them are as original and fun as yours. I I need to make cupcakes for 3 year olds birthday and will definately be filling then as done with these. Thank you

    Comment by Patty — March 13, 2007 @ 6:39 pm

  20. Hi, about the condensed milk in a can – open the can & put stuff in a heavy bottom small saute pan – reduce it on low-med. It will reduce slowly and turn golden. I am forever using it as i like to use lots.

    Comment by lev — March 14, 2007 @ 6:20 pm

  21. Sam,

    I don’t know if you live in the Bay Area or not but Smart and Final sells the nut cups in different sizes including the size used on this site for not quite $4 a pack. I think you get a couple hundred. =)

    Comment by Kristen — March 15, 2007 @ 11:43 am

  22. I made these little jewels last night and they were great! Very rich! My icing was a bit runny too but delish nonetheless! I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

    I ordered the little baking cups from the internet source that you cite on your “cupcake questions” page -they were the bomb!

    Comment by Alison — March 17, 2007 @ 7:59 am

  23. wow- i just halved the lemon cupcake recipe, thinking i’d make six, just enough for a few girls, but still ended up with a dozen full sized cupcakes, which threaten to overflow their cups any second! goodness.

    Comment by kali — March 17, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

  24. I was truly inspired and made these cupcakes last weekend. Very tasty! My icing was a little on the runny side as well, but that did not stop anybody from eating them. Wow – I can not wait to try more of the recipes here.

    Comment by Jen — March 20, 2007 @ 2:23 pm

  25. Yeah those sound GOOD. Everything sounds good for except that two hour wait on the condensed milk. >_>

    Well I was browsing the web and this reminded me of you :D
    Sixty dollars..but it is waay cute.

    Comment by Angela — March 21, 2007 @ 11:25 pm

  26. Alfajores are my newest discovery so I like the idea of a cupcake with the same great flavours!

    Comment by Brilynn — March 23, 2007 @ 10:32 am

  27. Goodness, just the name of these cupcakes makes my mouth water!

    Comment by Ari (Baking and Books) — March 25, 2007 @ 4:21 pm

  28. I am very excited to try your recipe. It will be my first cup cake experience ever. I will keep you posted.

    Comment by Rose — March 26, 2007 @ 8:59 am

  29. I tried it this and the results were wonderful – except…I think I didn’t let the egg whites cool long enough…sigh…

    Comment by Babs — March 30, 2007 @ 10:12 am

  30. THANK YOU, Kristen…I will visit my Smart and Final to see if they carry these cups. Most appreciated!


    Comment by Sam — March 31, 2007 @ 11:29 am

  31. Made these for an Easter dinner party this evening and they were a hit. I used a 14 oz. can of milk and only used about half of it–but I piped the filling in with a tip, so I probably just didn’t fill them as much.

    I enjoyed making these. They were just the right amount of fiddly–enough to feel like I was working on a fun project but not enough to be a pain in the keister.

    Thanks for this recipe!

    Comment by Kristina — April 8, 2007 @ 8:03 pm

  32. forgot to add–I got 24 regular-sized cakes out of this recipe.

    Comment by Kristina — April 8, 2007 @ 8:04 pm

  33. marry me, so i can be fat and happy! :)

    love your cupcakes!

    Comment by jessica — April 10, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

  34. I’ve made these twice now; they’re delicious. The second time I made them, I reserved half of the frosting, before adding the raspberry preserves, and used Nutella instead. I put the Nutella frosting on un-filled cupcakes. That was a nice combination.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    Comment by Audrey — April 17, 2007 @ 9:14 pm

  35. In Colombia we often spread Manjar Blanco on Saltine crackers for a combo of sweet and salty.

    Comment by Deiv — April 25, 2007 @ 5:49 pm

  36. I made these with success. My buttercream was not runny at all. I don’t know what I did different. Maybe it was about the eggwhites being completely cooled down? Thanks for an awesome recipe!

    Comment by Natalie — May 2, 2007 @ 8:02 pm

  37. I know this is a bit late, but I’ve yet to see a manjar blanco catastrophe. Just drop that sucker in and read a book.

    Comment by Val — May 13, 2007 @ 11:57 am

  38. Magnifiques tes cupcake, dommage que il y a pas la traduction (ou fr-ou italienne)!

    Comment by lory — May 19, 2007 @ 11:03 pm

  39. made these lemon cupcakes twice this weekend – they are truly delicious – although a little more muffin like than cupcake like – but very yummy. everybody loves them! thanks!

    Comment by hamper — June 11, 2007 @ 11:24 am

  40. while the cupcakes sound delicious, you got my attention with the Lomo Saltado – I’ve gotta check that out and since I’m in the same general neighborhood as you – fresca right around the corner from a client’s

    Comment by Julie — September 22, 2007 @ 3:54 pm

  41. I’m a HUGE fan of the sweetened condensed milk caramel – I use it for a ton of things… And, I’ve personally experienced the pain of opening the can before it cools. Hey – sometimes i just cant wait for that caramel-y goodness!
    Anyway, you can be really creative with it, I’ve used it as a filling in between two thinly baked brownies, as ice cream topper, as the base for a bananoffee pie, and even to dip my apples in – yum! I always make sure to have a can in the cupboard just in case!

    Comment by Sarah — January 27, 2008 @ 9:03 am

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