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Robicelli's Coquito Cupcake

Have you ever had a dessert so good, it inspired a love letter? If not, you’ve never had a Robicelli cupcake.

Robicelli’s -- started by the husband and wife team of a former firefighter, Matt, and a former catering chef, Allison Robicelli -- is a whole sale bakery in New York City famous for its inventive, creative, and indulgently delicious cupcakes. On their menu, you’ll find: The Duckwalk, a vanilla cake with blueberry port syrup, buttercream, and Maine blueberries; the Car Bomb, a chocolate Guinness stout cake with Jameson whiskey ganache and Bailey’s Irish Cream buttercream; and the Egyptian Cobra, an orange cardamom cake with Egyptian rice pudding buttercream, Cheerwine ganache, and Cheerwine simmered dried cherries.

If you’re mouth is watering and you don’t have a trip scheduled to NYC soon, good news: the Robicelli’s have released their first cookbook. Robicelli’s: A Love Story with Cupcakes opens with a love letter to, what else, cupcakes, then breaks each chapter down into a theme, each with it’s own dedicated love letter (including bacon, the Golden Girls, and Christmas). And just in time for the holidays, the Robicelli’s have shared their take on a classic recipe with us. Behold, the coquito cupcake.

In their book they write:

One of the things I love most about being from Brooklyn is the endless supply of international delights we are gifted with from all our friends during the holidays. Italians make struffoli, Jamaicans give rum cake, Syrians bake baklava, and the Irish, Jameson (the ones in Bay Ridge at least have never been much for cooking). If you’re really lucky, like we are, and you’ve got Puerto Ricans in your life (and trust me, everyone needs Puerto Ricans in their life), you’ve tried coquito, aka Boriqua eggnog.

It’s a mixture of coconut milk, rum, sweetened condensed milk, rum, lime, spices, and more rum. See what I’m talking about? Christmastime in New York is known all over the world for lots of things, but our melting pot of insanely good food might be the best reason of all. And the coquito? Why, that’s the thing that puts it over the top every single year. So suck on that, small-town America Christmas! Brooklyn’s celebrating the baby Jesus by getting fat and wasted!

And about the recipe, they say:

"What do I say about the coquito that I haven't already said? It's one of those miracles that can almost only exist at Christmas. It's the sort of thing that greets you as you're warmly welcomed into a friends home at the most wonderful time of the year, you take a sip, and you think “damn, why couldn't I grow up Puerto Rican?".  It's that good. It's one of those things that so delicious that you will use your body to create a physical barrier around the punchbowl so no one else at the party can siphon off some of your precious coquito, and even though it's rich as hell and you will get an agonizing tummy ache after your second quart, you won't stop drinking it.

No, you keep going to make sure you store all the coquito as fat deposits around your hips to keep you going until the next Christmas. Then one summer Matt and I had the "a ha!" moment -- we didn't have to wait ‘til Christmas to make it. Nor did we need to wait ‘til Christmas to make it into a cupcake. So we did, and it was glorious."

Inspired yet? Here’s how to make your own Robicelli-sanctioned coquito cupcake.

Coconut Rum Cake with Coconut Lime Buttercream 

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4  cup dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar

Get the full recipe.

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