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All American BBQ Cupcakes: Smoky Chocolate Cupcakes with Sweet Corn Cream Cheese Frosting

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My cupcakes get jealous at BBQs – all of that BBQ smoke and sweet corn at meal time and none at dessert. That’s why I created the All American BBQ cupcake. The cupcake is a chocolate cupcake with a secret ingredient – liquid smoke. The liquid smoke gives the chocolate a fantastic smoky smell and taste. The frosting is a sweet corn cream cheese frosting that has just enough corn to scream summer BBQ, but not too much to say, “Ewww, corn frosting!”

BBQ Cupcake Reactions

Bride and Groom 1.0 sampled this cupcake last night.

Groom 1.0 said that the smoky flavor reminded him of BBQ sauce and hamburgers and it worked well with the chocolate. That was my goal with the cupcake, as stated above, so I couldn’t have been happier about this review. He also said that it was in his top 10 of all Cupcake Project cupcakes.

Bride 1.0 said that if they were having a second wedding and it were in the summer, they might have chosen this cupcake.

Neither of them could taste the corn in the frosting, but they did think that the sweetness of the frosting went well with the smokiness of the cake.

Groom 1.0 also said that the cake tasted like a chocolate pop tart. He says that’s a good thing, but I don’t believe him (hence the attempt to hide this comment).

The Smoky Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

I added liquid smoke to my favorite chocolate cupcake (Chockylit’s chocolate cupcake) to make this recipe.

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    All American BBQ Cupcakes: Smoky Chocolate Cupcakes with Sweet Corn Cream Cheese Frosting


    Cupcake Ingredients

    • 1/2 C 1 stick butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/4 C sugar
    • 2 large eggs room temperature
    • 3/4 C flour
    • 1/2 t baking powder
    • 1/4 t baking soda
    • 1/4 t salt
    • 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder I used Askinosie cocoa powder. See my post on Askinosie cocoa powder for more info.
    • 1/2 C milk
    • 1 t vanilla
    • 2 t hickory flavored liquid smoke

    Sweet Corn Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

    • 1 15 oz can corn If you are already working the grill and have some fresh corn, that would work. I used white corn so you don't see weird yellow pieces of corn jutting out of the frosting.
    • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
    • 1/4 C 1/2 stick butter, room temperature
    • 3 C sifted powdered sugar


    Cupcake Instructions

    1. Beat butter until softened.
    2. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
    3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
    4. Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small-sized bowl and whisk to combine.
    5. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
    6. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine.
    7. Add about half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine.
    8. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
    9. Add liquid smoke.
    10. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 1/2 full. These cupcake will not dome. If you fill them too high, they will just collapse.
    11. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    Sweet Corn Cream Cheese Frosting Instructions

    1. Cream the butter and cream cheese.
    2. Drain any liquid out of the corn and food process it until it becomes a big corn mush (that's a technical term).
    3. Add the corn to the butter and cream cheese and mix well.
    4. Mix in the powdered sugar. You can add more or less sugar to get the taste and consistency you like.

    Recipe Notes

    If you are a light froster, you may want to halve the frosting recipe.

The Leftover Frosting

Because I frosted these cupcakes lightly, I ended up with lots of extra frosting. If you are also a light froster, you may want to halve the recipe above. If you do have extra frosting, you can make cornbread out of it. This was Jonathan’s idea all the way. He took my extra frosting, mixed in some corn meal and baked it in a cast iron skillet. It made a dry crumbly corn bread, but any corn bread is better than tossed out frosting. We think it might have been better if he had added an egg.

The Red, White, and Blue Sprinkles

I bought both the red wrappers and the red, white, and blue sprinkles at Confectionery House.

Cupcake Hero

The theme for Cupcake Hero this month is cocoa powder with bonus points for Askinosie cocoa powder. I thought about topping these cupcake with my Askinosie chocolate cream cheese frosting instead of the sweet corn cream cheese frosting to increase my odds of winning, but the corn just seemed so right. Besides, I’m sure the Cupcake Hero staff will be happy for a corn break after tasting all of that chocolate.

Love it? Share it!

19 comments on “All American BBQ Cupcakes: Smoky Chocolate Cupcakes with Sweet Corn Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Rachelsays:

    YUM! I love smoky things. And smoky chocolate.

  2. No extra points needed! I love this recipe and I think the sweet corn frosting is pure genius. Funny thing~ I was reading through the whole post (cause I’m a nerd like that) and when I saw you used Askinosie I was all like “HEY! How come she didn’t enter this into…” Yeah, I finally made it to the last paragraph. heh

  3. Kevinsays:

    These smoky chocolate cupcakes sound pretty interesting and the corn in the frosting is a great idea.

  4. Hillarysays:

    Whoa! Those are deceiving. They look like cute ordinary chocolate cupcakes decorated for Memorial Day. Very cool!

  5. OH WOW…the cream corn frosting sounds wonderful!

    BTW, I’m trying to get my ice cream cupcake done but this time of year is so busy with planting, weddings and graduations, there’s just not time in the day.

    I’m so behind!!! :((

  6. Stefsays:

    Rachel – I am such a sucker for smokey foods. If you ever make it to St. Louis, I’ll have to take you to Iron Barley. The whole place smells smokey and not the cigarette kind.

    TW – Hahaha! I’m glad you like it. I think Laurie seems a bit scared of it based on her email. Then again it’s not exactly the best recipe to eat with an upset stomach.

    Kevin – Thanks! I love em!

    Hillary – I know! I gave one to an unsuspecting child. She seemed all excited until she heard what was in them. I still haven’t heard back from her mom on if she liked them or not.

    Michelle – I know. Things can get kinda crazy! Good luck with it all!

  7. I sampled an All American BBQ Cupcake on Friday and it was great! If I didn’t concentrate on the smoke flavor, I could barely tell it was there … but if I thought I about the smokiness, I could definitely taste it! Another great cupcake, Stef!

  8. Vickisays:

    I made these for my inlaws over the weekend. My four year old loved them, but only if I let him use a lot of frosting. The inlaws loved the chocolate flavor and texture, but thought the smoke at the end covered the chocolate flavor too much. Me? I’m trying to resist sneaking more after guests go to bed in case they counted how many were left. Thanks!

  9. Stefsays:

    Kimberly – Glad as always to share with you. Glad you liked them!

    Vicki- Glad you enjoyed. I know they aren’t for everyone. As it turned out, Bride and Groom 2.0 didn’t like them at all. They didn’t like the smokiness with the chocolate. To each their own.

  10. Sophiesays:

    This is a really cool combo :)! It would never have occurred to me to create a cupcake like this — very unique :D.

  11. Gigisays:

    what a great addition to the american bbq menu! i can’t wait to see what you make for the fourth of july!

  12. Peabodysays:

    Sweet corn cream cheese frosting…I am intrigued.

  13. Stefsays:

    Sophie – Thanks! You’ve come up with some pretty creative stuff though.

    Gigi – The wheels are spinning!

    Peabody – The corn was real subtle.

  14. Anonymoussays:

    my husband loves chocolate poptarts, eats them everyday, so maybe that was not a negative comment!

  15. Anonymoussays:

    Genius! I can’t wait to try these!

  16. Well now, won’t these just be the bell of the BBQ. What a freaking cool idea. Great job.

  17. Aimeesays:

    These sound totally interesting! I would never have thought to put liquid smoke in a cupcake! They look cute too!

  18. shwetasays:

    Wow!! It looks so yummy. Lot of love from India.

  19. shwetasays:

    Wow!It looks soooo yummy.Keep baking.Lots of love from India:)))

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