Don’t you look at me with those, “girl. you’ve got weeeriiirddd taste buds” eyes. Just don’t.
(a) making faces at people is just rude
and (b) if you sneeze while making that face, your eyes are going to stay that way. So my momma said about crossing my eyes, rolling them into the back of my head, etc. And she speaketh the truth (except when she lies to me and, when caught, says “oh really? did I say that? doesn’t sound like me.” typical.)
Besides. I know you spend some nights sitting on your couch with a tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream and a spoon and call it a date night.
But really, is basil buttercream so different?
I promise it’s not, especially since when I handed The.Boy. a cupcake without telling him what it was, he swore up and down that it was mint chocolate. Until I told him it was basil chocolate.
Then he said, “oh yeah. I guess it does taste like that.”
I totally see where he was coming from, though, because the basil infusion takes the buttercream from being heavy to being light and refreshing. There’s something a bit herbaceous about it, but in a breath-of-fresh-air kind of way, so maybe you think mint when you first bite in, just because your mouth feels like everything is right in the world. But then it’s unmistakably basil, the whole rest of the way.
Basil = a leafy green = breakfast appropriate.
Makes 24, adapted from Annie’s Eats
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp hot water
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 sticks plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line cupcake tins with paper liners. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and hot water and whisk together until smooth. Set aside. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Combine the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and the butter is totally melted. Transfer the butter/sugar mix to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-low until cool, 4-5 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Blend in the vanilla and the cocoa mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream. Mix after each addition just until incorporated.
- Divide the batter evenly into the prepared liners until they are 3/4 full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.
Basil Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from vanilla bean
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk (or regular milk)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Combine the milk, heavy cream, and basil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat until simmering, then remove from the heat. Let cool and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Remove the basil leaves from the cream, squeezing any basil juice into them before discarding the basil.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the flour and sugar together. Add the basil milk to the pan and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high until cool, 7-9 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter, one piece at a time. Mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and continue mixing 1-2 minutes. If the mixture seems too soft and liquidy, put the bowl in the fridge to chill for about 10 minutes and then beat again until it is the correct consistency. Add a tiny bit of green gel food coloring if green color is desired (I just dipped the back of my fork in my the gel and then dipped it into the frosting and beat to combine.)