Call me easily amused, but these little torch-topped cupcakes delight me. Besides being a cute novelty item for a party, I think they would add a little drama to the end of a romantic meal. I’ve been looking for something different to serve for Valentine’s dessert, and this is definitely different. The strawberries are hollowed out and filled with a bit of liquor, then ignited with a match.
For the cake portion, I chose a One Bowl Chocolate Cupcake recipe because 1. it’s quick 2. it is easy, and 3. it fits my prerequisite for a light ending on date night.
I should say, a light ending provided you don’t eat too many. Which is really, really easy to do.
The cakes are just sweet enough, and have a light, fluffy crumb – the perfect vehicle for rich chocolate buttercream.
Notes for flaming strawberries:
- Any alcohol below 80 proof will not ignite well. I used 80 proof which makes a small blue flame. Note: some have had trouble getting 80 proof to ignite – lots of people are recommending Bacardi 151 as a fail-safe.
- You can add a little sugar to the inside of the strawberry to sweeten things up. However, the flame seems to last longer without the addition of sugar.
- Make sure to use a liquor that you like. Vodka is a good choice if you want very little flavor.
- Alcohol evaporates, so light the strawberry soon after you spoon the liquor in.
- Room temperature alcohol ignites better than refrigerated.
- Do I have to say it? Probably not, but my conscience will not let me go without. Do not attempt to eat a flaming strawberry. It has a relatively short burn time, lasting about 30 seconds to 1 minute. So, enjoy but be careful. Use your noodle.
Shaina made a margarita version of this on Babble Food. You can find the link HERE, along with some additional tips on getting the alcohol to ignite.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Flaming Strawberries
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 sticks softened butter
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
- 18-24 Strawberries – you’ll need as many as you have cupcakes
- Vodka rum, or your choice of liquor 80 proof or higher (use Bacardi 151 for fail-proof results).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line muffin tin with cupcake papers and set aside.
- Sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, water, heavy cream, oil and vanilla. Mix with a hand held mixer until smooth.
- Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each half full. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool before frosting.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, cream together sugar, cocoa and butter; beginning on low speed then increase to high. Beat until fluffy and lightened in color. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip. Frost cupcakes.
- Hollow the strawberries carefully. If you pierce the side of the strawberry accidentally, start with a new one. Since you’ll be setting the liquor aflame, it is important that the strawberry is leak-proof.
- Set one strawberry atop each frosted cupcake. Fill strawberries with liquor just before lighting (see tips). If you need to light them all at once, (say, for a party) use a turkey baster to quickly fill all the strawberries and a grill lighter in lieu of matches.
Genius! I'm making these next week for sure. X
These look AMAZING. And flammable? I'd prob hurt someone. But I'd risk it!
These are just too cool! And super fun too.
Amazing! Where did you get your cupcake liners?
These are absolutely stunning!
This is such a fabulous idea!!! Xoxoxo 1942charm.blogspot.com
These are unbelievably cute! How did you get such nice photos in what must have been fairly dark conditions?
Very impressive..lurve it!!
Jane, I used disposable mini brioche pans from the King Arthur Flour store. They are cute but were a bit of a pain when it came to removing the cupcakes.
Brooke, Thank you! I must admit that I am a little dissatisfied with the graininess that some of the photos have. I used a 50mm 1.8 lens which is great to have in low light situations. It's pretty cheap too as far as camera lenses go.
What a cute idea! I think my beloved would enjoy flaming strawberries!
OMG, those look so awesome!! Even without the flame!! I'm totally going to try these!! Thanks for sharing!
you always amaze me!
totally creative & impressive…& great for a small dinner party!!
flaming strawberries are GENIUS! these are so beautiful…and i love that they're very valentine's day-esque, but with a twist 🙂
So romantic. Great dessert for Valentine's Day.
What a great idea. Love the flaming strawberries. I needed something for dinner this weekend and i think I've just found it.
I'm in love.. I think I just found the perfect cupcake for my husbands upcoming birthday!
Yet something else I will copy you on, what a perfect idea for valentines…I will be stealing this!
Freakin. Fantastic. LOVE flames + food…every time I order crepes suzette I get way too excited. These look stunning too.
These are the coolest cupcakes I've ever seen!!
CLEVER. I like fire…and cake.
This is genius! I can indulge my love of chocolate and pyromania all at once!
Really love these cases!
Whoa! These are amazing, I definitely am going to try this sometime.
These look so cool! Great presentation for a dinner party. Thanks for the details about alcohol proofs! Very helpful!
Beautiful photos! Magazine quality photos and I'm sure award winning taste.
um wow… i'm speechless! my husband would get a kick out of these…
Hi, I'm Angela from Australia and I just had to tell you that I absolutely love your blog. Beautiful recipes, photos…everything is amazing…and this post is simply THE BEST I have seen on any blog.
Thanks for sharing your talent with the world.
Regards from the Land-Downunder
those are incredible! so fancy looking!
Such a great idea and so beautiful!! Thanks for sharing 🙂
What a clever idea! Plus, they look fabulous!!
O.M.G. I'm so so looking for beautiful strawberries now! Heather, you've outdone yourself–again!
HOLY CRAP exciting!
Oh Heather, I love that you did all the research on this for getting it to work perfectly. Love that blue flame. I'm going to try it with my home made raspberry liqueur! Your images are fabulous, I'm thinking you had to work very quickly to capture them!! ~Lili
What a creative, show-stopping dessert. Thanks for sharing it!
Haha yes! This is ridiculously brilliant! More desserts should probably be on fire, when you think about it.
Do the strawberries burn after the alcohol has burned off or change consistency? What camera do you use to shoot your photos, they are amazing!
Oooohhhh, those are so pretty! A terrific idea as long as you don't set the table on fire… ;-P
oh this is simply a super idea. genius! 🙂
Elegant, simply elegant. This certainly is the way to impress someone on Valentine's Day . The brlliance of this is surely to good to go unnoticed.
Wow what a wonderful idea !!! Love it !!
So classy! I love it ;0)
Creative, original and beautiful –
My admiration, Diana
Wooooow! These are so amazing amazing amazing. (I posted a link on ediblecrafts.craftgossip.com). Amazing!!
Different and such a grand finale!
Oh I just LOVE this!!! Subscribing to feed asap. Greetings from snowy Norway!
Such a fun idea!! I love it and can only imagine the amazement of my children if i were to prepare something this fancy…with fire 😉
Heather, every time I come here I fall in love with your creativity all over again. Absolutely adore these.
These are the single most impressive cupcakes I have ever seen! Just beautiful!