“‘Well, I can bake a cake,” he says, shrugging at me and grinning. “I can make a white chocolate walnut cake that might just make you fall in love with me.'” ~Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler
White Chocolate Walnut Cupcakes
3/4 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
1 cup cold milk
3/4 stick (6 tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup coarsely chopped walnut halves and pieces, divided
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
Zest from 1 medium orange
- Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Line the pans with cupcake papers; set aside.
- Get ready: Melt the white chocolate in a small metal bowl placed over simmering water or in a double boiler, stirring occasionally. Whisk the cold milk into the chocolate a little at the time until the chocolate is completely incorporated into the milk; set aside.
- Make the batter. Cream butter and sugar at a medium speed in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until smooth, 5-8 minutes. Scrape down the side with a rubber spatula and mix to blend. Add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time, blending on slow speed until thoroughly mixed.
- Finish the batter. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Beat half of the flour mixture into the batter with the mixer still on low speed. Remove the bowl from the mixture and stir in half of the white chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula. Stir in the remaining flour and the remaining white chocolate and milk. Stir in cup of the nuts and all of the dried cherries.
- Fill the tins a little more than 3/4 full.
- Place the tray in the center of the oven and bake for 8 minutes, then rotate the tray. Bake for an additional 5-8 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of a cupcake emerges clean. Cool.
- Make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese and butter at medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
- Add the sugar and ginger, and beat for an addition 2-3 minutes until smooth.
- Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. When the cupcakes are cooled, pipe the frosting on top of each. Top with grated orange zest and the remaining 1/3 cup walnuts.