If you’ve ever been to a Cuban bakery, you know that the only question is how you’d like you’re guava. In puff pastry, shortbread, masa real, with crackers or as flan, I never get tired of it. Cupcakes were inevitable. I’ve been making guava cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for friends but hadn’t come across just the right combination till last week. I tried small pieces of guava paste that sank to the bottom and guava jelly that was undetectable. Preserves piped in just after baking worked the best, but I haven’t found them outside of Florida. Tired of hoarding the tiny jars I’d bring back from Miami, I found a recipe for an easy filling made of guava paste, orange and rum. A Cuban solution for a Cuban cupcake.
Estrellitas/Guava-filled Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Blossom-Topped Cupcakes in Gourmet, 1999.
Canola oil cooking spray
1 cup cake flour (not self rising)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 8oz. package of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon orange blossom water
Eating Cuban: 120 Recipes from the Streets of Havana to American Shores by Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs.
8 ounces guava paste
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons rum (optional)
Optional: 8 ounces guava paste for additional decoration.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat muffin tray with cooking spray. Line muffin cups with liners and spray again. Set aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter on medium speed for one minute. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat on medium-high speed till light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and continue to beat about 1-2 more minutes. Beat in milk and vanilla. Batter may separate. On low speed, add flour in two batches and beat until just combined.
Divide butter into muffin cups and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
For the filling, combine all filling ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Fill a pastry bag with a small star tip (Ateco #6). Pipe a small amount of filling into the center of each cupcake.
To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat on low speed until incorporated. Add the lemon juice and orange flower water and beat until smooth. Spread on cupcakes or top using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.
Optional: Cut guava paste in 1/4″ thick slices. Using small aspic cutter, punch out small forms in desired shapes from guava paste as additional decoration.
Makes 24 mini cupcakes.