Cake · Desserts

Honey & Fig Cupcakes

Fresh figs atop a cloud of honey Italian meringue buttercream, floating over a rich dark chocolate cupcake. # 273: Honey & Fig Cupcakes

A pile of fresh figs inspired this first bake back after a month abroad! Another chocolate cupcake, I know, but it’s truly impossible to have too much chocolate cake.

I also used some of the honey we brought home from Greece and felt very fancy, not gonna lie.

My parents have a fig tree that likes to ripen at the end of the season so I associate figs more with October than late summer. I flipped a coin for whether I’d use these in a bake, or just eat them on toast with a swoosh of mascarpone and drizzle of honey. These cupcakes felt like a good compromise!

I used my favorite chocolate cupcake base, but swapped out the orange olive oil for regular. Orange would have been delicious but I’m sadly out at the moment. Good thing my birthday is coming up! (Subtle hint, huh?)

One bowl batters are so satisfying.

Glossy puddles of goodness.

Cue the buttercream’s grand entrance!

I went with Swiss instead of Italian meringue (bain marie instead of slowly adding hot sugar simple syrup) and it just confirmed my preference for the Italian method. Less messy and more consistent results!

Including this picture to remind myself of the magic that egg whites and sugar make. You go from gloppy and gritty to glossy and gorgeous with some heat and patience.

The buttercream decided to split, even though I had left the butter out to soften for over an hour. Sigh. Fortunately, there there a few tricks for fixing broken buttercreams! I used this one: take a scoop of it out and microwave it for 10 or so seconds before mixing it back in and whipping til smooth. Another option is to put the whole bowl back over the bain marie and whip by hand until smooth again. The first way required less working over hot steam so it won.

I like the smooth sides on the front cupcake, but Nathan liked the swirled piped design. The first design made my fingers twitch towards my collection of sprinkles so expect some rolled sprinkle high hat cupcakes in the near future!

Honey drizzle time.

Gilding the lily perhaps?


The honey had its own design ideas and abandoned my neat and tidy drizzles the second they hit the buttercream.

Happy munching!

Frosting recipe from:

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