Mojito // Rum Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cream Cheese, Rum, Lime & Mint Icing

mojito cupcakes

Mojitos! They've been one of my favourite summer cocktails for ages (mint and lime together are such winners) and they remind me of a particular night out in London where the bar closed at 1am and we had 10 minutes to drink our last round. My friend came back with a round that consisted of 6 mojitos between 3 of us who were still drinking. Pain. Delicious, delicious pain.

I've been making this recipe for the last five years (including once for a bake off between me and my friends while living in London) and it's such a winner! Mojitos usually have white rum, but this recipe calls for dark rum, sooo I guess the Queenslander in me came out a bit since I ended up with Bundaberg Rum. Really, it was because it was the cheapest rum I could find in a small bottle and Steve suggested some rum that was like $200 a bottle, but we can go with the story that I was being state patriotic...

Also, you'll quickly discover that when I bake, I don't do it by halves. So just about all of my recipes end up making at least two trays of cupcakes. I need all the cake I can get when I take them into work or to a party! I also need to start baking more in the afternoon when the light is ideal for photo taking...

Anyway, onto Notes from Steve. I feel like I should come up with a more creative title, but for now we're sticking with it...

Notes from Steve:
Mojito Specs:
  • 45mL White Rum
  • 30mL Lime Juice (or half a lime muddled)
  • 15mL Gomme Syrup (or sugar if not available)
  • 6-8 mint leaves
  • Built over Crushed Ice
  • Top with Soda to taste
The Mojito is now a classic Cuban Highball drink (a class of drink that is traditionally served in a Collins/Highball glass). Like all popular cocktails, its origins are contested.

The most commonly accepted tale goes something like this:

The mojito is allegedly developed from an early version of the drink called ‘el draque’ named after Sir Francis Drake, and contained an early form of Rum known as aguardiente de cana (Firewater from Sugarcane).

The form of the drink named Mojito was established and indeed made popular with the establishment of the Bacardi company in the mid-1800’s. However, it was not until Ernest Hemmingway tried the drink in Cuba that it rose to prominence, and is now in fact the most commonly ordered cocktail in Great Britain.

FUN FACT: Bacardi is now no longer found in Cuba, due to the family’s fierce opposition of Fidel Castro during the Cuban Revolution.

mojito cupcakesmojito cupcakes

mojito cupcakes
mojito cupcakes
mojito cupcakes
mojito cupcakes

Rum Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Rum and Mint Icing
Makes approx 24 cupcakes

  • 3 bowls
  • Electric mixer
  • Small saucepan
  • Basting brush


Rum Buttermilk Cupcakes
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 225g butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

Rum and Sugar Syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 55g butter
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 3 pieces lime zest
  • Few sprigs of mint

Cream Cheese, Rum, Lime & Mint Icing
  • 500g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 340g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup icing sugar (add more as needed)
  • 4 tbsp dark rum
  • Zest of 1 lime (the original recipe calls for 2 limes, but 1 lime works just fine!)
  • Chopped mint leaves

To make the Rum Buttermilk Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Combine the buttermilk, rum and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift and then set aside.
  4. Cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 4-5 minutes).
  5. Reduce the speed to low, and add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each egg.
  6. With the mixer still on low speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix well. Add half of the buttermilk mixture and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Alternate the dry ingredients and buttermilk until the batter is smooth.
  7. Fill the cupcake cases 3/4 of the way with batter and bake for 20 minutes. Test if they’re cooked by inserting a wooden skewer into the centre of the cupcakes. If it comes out clean, they’re done. If not, bake for another 5 minutes and check again.
  8. Remove cupcakes from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before poking holes in them with a skewer or toothpick. While they're cooling, make the mojito sugar syrup!

To make the Rum and Sugar Syrup:
  1. In a small pot, combine the sugar, water and butter over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring often.
  2. Once the butter has completely melted and the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and carefully add the rum. The mixture will bubble, so be careful!
  3. Add the lime zest and mint and let the syrup infuse for 5 minutes before spooning over the cupcakes.
  4. Immediately spoon over the warm cupcakes and let them soak it all up.

To make the Cream Cheese Rum, Lime & Mint Icing: (Note: The icing should be used immediately, so make it once your cupcakes have soaked up the syrup and are cool.)
  1. Combine the cream cheese and butter at high speed until it mixes together and looks a bit fluffy.
  2. Reduce the speed to low and add the icing sugar a bit at a time. If your bowl/electric mixer combo is anything like mine, you get giant clouds of icing sugar unless you add it in a bit at at time.
  3. Mix for a minute to incorporate the sugar and then increase the speed to high again and mix for another minute or two. The icing should be light and fluffy.
  4. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the rum, lime zest and chopped mint and mix at medium speed until combined.
  5. Ice cupcakes and enjoy!

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