I love cinnamon rolls. There, I said it, they’re a weakness of mine. And, you know what? I seem to share that fact with the general populace. I made a batch of these last night and brought them in the work, and even those who usually resist the baked goods I bring in due to watching calories went for them. That’s right. They looked that good. What’s not to like about a cinnamon roll in a cupcake?!
These things are warm. They’re gooey. They’re sticky, and you have no choice but to lick your fingers so as to not waste the icing you’ve accidentally just removed from the bun’s surface. After all, sustainability is ‘in’ right now- if you don’t save that icing, who knows what your coworkers, friends, and family will think of you?
If you have an apology gift, I-need-you-to-like-me gift, a woo-ing gift, or a make-that-someone-smile gift, these are it. A box of these wrapped up nicely with a ribbon is enough to make any heart melt. Guaranteed.
Gooey Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes
- 3/4 heaping cup low-fat (part skim) ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tblspn soy butter
- 1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups organic AP flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tablespoons soy butter
- 3/4 heaping cup packed light brown sugar
- 1.5 teaspoon saigon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 2/3 heaping cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons organic vanilla soy milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line large or small (or combination) cupcake pan(s) with paper liners.
- Place ricotta cheese, buttermilk, sugar, melted soy butter, and vanilla in food processor and process for a few seconds until the mixture is smooth.
- Place the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl and mix together. Add to mixture in the food processor and and pulse in short bursts just until the dough clumps together (be sure not to overprocess- this will toughen the dough).
- Emtpy the dough onto a flour countertop and knead gently into a ball (kneading process should only take about 20-30 seconds)
- With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a large rectangle (about 1/2 cm thick). Take about 1/3 of the melted soy butter from the filling section and brush onto the rectangle, leaving about an inch on all sides untouched.
- In a small bowl (you can re-use that same one from earlier), and mix together the brown sugar, spices, and the remaining melted soy butter. Spread the sugar/spice mixture over the dough as evenly as possible.
- Roll the dough up into a long log, like a jelly roll, and get your pastry cutter ready. Pinch the edges and the side closed, and push the two ends inward to create sharper angles (straight edges).
- Sharply cut the log into slices that are slightly under 2 inches thick. Place each slice into one of the cupcake liners, swirled side up (as opposed to on the side). Bake for 15 minutes (my oven is hot)- possibly a few minutes more if your oven is cooler.
- Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool. The tops should be just golden brown and with a very slight crisp. The sugar mixture should have oozed out over the edges.
- Prepare the icing: place the mascarpone, vanilla, soy milk, and confectioner’s sugar in the food processor and process for 3-4 seconds, just until smooth and homogenous. Place a baking sheet under the wire rack, take a spoon, and drizzle (if you’re me, quite liberally) the icing over the cupcakes. Feel free to do a second drizzling later when the rolls have cooled a bit.
These are utterly delicious. There’s really not much else to say about them because I’ve since baked a second batch and all this talking about them is reducing my willpower in staying away from the countertop where batch #2 is resting. Must.. resist… mmmmmmh. The best part is that they’re low-fat! Low-fat buttermilk, low-fat ricotta, no eggs… yes, there’s sugar, and yes, there’s mascarpone, but I can tell you with complete confidence that this is far healthier than anything you’ll find at the store. :)