Mai Tai // Rum Cupcakes with Cream Cheese, Orange and Lime Icing

mai tai

Mai Tais! They're tropical and delicious. After making these I realised they're pretty similar to the mojito cupcakes since I left out the almond kind of flavour (I have bad, bad times with anything fake almond like marzipan. Gross, gross, gross.) Oh well, these were still yummy without almond! You could add in some chopped almonds to the cake mixture for some extra crunch.

Notes from Helena and kinda Steve:
There seems to be two stories about who invented the Mai Tai. There’s Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron or Donn “Don the Beachcomber” Beach. They both owned tiki bars in California in the 1930s. Don reckons he created Mai Tais for his restaurant in Hollywood, made from Cuban rum, Cointreau, Pernod, Agnostura bitters, fresh lime and grapefruit juice. Or, it was at Trader Vic’s in Northern California, where Vic Bergeron made a special drink for friends on holiday from Tahiti that included gold Jamaican rum, Orange Curacao, rock candy syrup, French orgeat, and fresh lime juice. His friends tried it, and allegedly said, “Mai Tai roa ae” which is Tahitian for “out of this world, the best.” (I think Victor’s story sounds better.)

Mai Tai
  • 45mL Jamaican Rum
  • 15mL orgeat syrup
  • 15mL triple sec
  • 30mL fresh lime juice
Served over crushed ice, garnished with mint leaves and a cherry.

mai tai

mai tai

Rum Cupcakes with Cream Cheese, Orange and Lime Icing
Makes 24 cupcakes.
Slightly modified from Baking a Moment.

Rum Cupcakes
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened, cut into small cubes
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Add the butter and mix on low speed, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (2-3 minutes).
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are well-combined.
  5. Combine the milk, vanilla and rum in a measuring cup. Beat half this mixture into the flour, butter and eggs.
  6. Beat on medium speed for 1½ minutes, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, add the remaining milk and rum mixture, and beat for another 30 seconds.
  7. Fill cupcake cases 2/3 full with batter, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.

Cream Cheese, Orange and Lime Icing 
  • 500g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 340g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup icing sugar (add more as needed)
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • Zest of 1 orange
  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 and electric hand mixer combo is anything like mine, you get giant clouds of icing sugar unless you add it in a bit at at time. 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.
  3. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the lime zest and mix at medium speed until well incorporated.

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