These are a great sweet treat for St. Patrick’s Day, but they could easily be adapted to any other holiday or occasion. By changing the liqueur and flavoring, you change the cupcake entirely. When adding toppings and enhancements along with frosting, keep them both at a minimum. The taste of the cake itself should always be center stage.
4 egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
¼ cup green crème de menthe**
½ cup shortening
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Green food coloring
Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Whole eggs can also be placed in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes to bring to room temperature. Meanwhile, line twenty to twenty-two muffin cups with paper bake cups. The muffin cups could also be lined with silicone baking cups for an easier release. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup combine the buttermilk and the crème de menthe. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to shortening mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until mixture is combined.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks. Makes 20 to 22 (2-1/2 inch) cupcakes.
Frost with your favorite vanilla frosting and decorate with a green tinted frosting, green sprinkles, any green candies, or Oreo Mint Cookies.
Note: If you don’t have buttermilk, place one tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar in a one cup measure. Then fill with milk. Milk will curdle and become sour. These cupcakes are very sweet. The amount of sugar could be reduced by ¼ cup, making the total sugar in the recipe 1 ½ cups.